I bought this car used and being a person that prefers GM I was skeptical. However, this has turned-out to be the best I've ever owned. It has excellent "giddy-up-n-go", 28+ mpg hwy with a/c, easy to drive, and plain satisfies all of my expectations of what a car of this type should be. It is regrettable that I am forced to get rid of it, but dire financial problems forces me to.
The power to "git on it" when necessary; power windows/locks; comfortable seats.
I agree with other reviewer - I would only recommend a Contour to a high schooler buying their 1st car. I bought this car 5 years ago, and it started out with minor problems - the cup holders breaking (was told they "overload" too easily). But the last 2-3 years, I've noticed every time it gets humid, rainy or even when I have my air on, my car wants to stall. I know someone else who has a Contour, & the same thing happens to hers. Now my temp gauge is not functioning, & not too long ago, my cruise control broke because of an electrical problem (too expensive to even bother). I also was surprised to find I couldn't get my car out of park one day also because of an electrical problem.
Comfortable seats, awesome gas mileage, large trunk for groceries or whatnot, no real blind spots,
Cup holders - either stronger or different design all together. Make the car more reliable. My trunk also leaked; don't know if that was just my car or if all had that problem.
A very decent car. Nothing to get excited over, but great transportation. Handles very well, and with the right tires excellent in the snow. Got it with 33K on it and 100K warranty. Only the cigarette lighter and cup holders went out under warranty. 100k tune up, but needed new plugs at 85k. 4 cyl is simple to tune up. Smooth transmission. At about 110K needed new brakes (3rd set), waterpump and TIMING BELT. Still gets ok mileage at 114K, 23 city, 29 hwy. Used to get better, but its aging. You do have to maintain these! Do yourself a favor--get the tranny fluid changed (ideally flushed). I've done that twice--happy transmission. Solid car!
Handles well, especially in the snow. Reliable/dependable--just do the maintenance.
OK, of course the cupholders are crap, but that is minor. Wish there was a touch more room in the engine compartment. FORD--don't EVER hide that PCV valve so deep in the engine--shame on you! I'm going to start driving my 2003 Ford Focus soon--that is similar.
I bought this car because I loved the way it drives, and I still do. I'm not completely happy, though, because I have never had such a series of small problems with a car. Interior parts (that darn cupholder!), window motors and relays, sensors, etc. The brake rotors are thin and have a short life expectancy. It never ends. But I have to say that I've never been stranded in this car. The drive train has been 100% reliable. Still, Ford cancelled the model (I guess it drives too well) and the small things... so this will be my last Ford.
The way it drives (w/manual transmission and Sport package)
Make the little things as reliable as the drivetrain.