After 8 years with no expenses (aside from basic maintenance), I have had a great experience with the Contour. I only wish Ford didn't discontinue the line! This car brought me back and forth across the country with great control, comfortable handling and no problems. After 120,000 miles and many years, its time to move on. I hope my next car treats me as well as the Contour has!
We purchased this car with 98,000 miles on the odometer from a reliable individual we'd dealt with before. Here's a short list of what's gone wrong with the car: 1st year: The fuse block had a meltdown and had to be replaced ($500). 3rd year: At appx. 120,000 miles the transmission failed ($1,000). 4th year: Battery coupling ($100) There's other numerous repairs that have added up to over $5,000.These are not normal 'wear and tear' items, just poor design. The worst thing is that we paid $4800 for the car and after all the repairs we could've actually bought a good car.
Overall, I love this car! It gets great gas mileage (average about 26, though I have easily managed to get 30+). It's fairly attractive and pretty quick with available 2.5L 6-cyl. The only real problem I had was my air idle control went out at about 115k miles (Symptoms: Real low RPM idle that causes the car to shut off right after starting, but you can drive it if you hold in the gas constantly.) That was a pain, but after it was fixed it ran great again. The interior has some annoying features like no lumbar support, a real shallow passenger cup holder that renders it practically useless, and a lack of little helpful storage compartments. Controls are pretty smooth.
Gas mileage, cruise control on steering wheel, other controls, lots of pep!
Plastic body panels seem brittle, interior could use a lot of small improvements, mentioned earlier.
My mother had owned an old contour for some time. It had two things I find invaluable in any car. With gas prices now, fuel effeciency is a must and ours made it from Louisiana to Florida with-out a worry on one tank. Reliability is the other; it ran quite well until someone who had no idea how to drive a standard borrowed it. Even though it had some problems after that, it still ran fairly well. It was not until my sister ran it into a stump, that it finaly stopped running. And that was because the tire ripped everything off; the engine still runs though. The only drawback that I personally had issues with was the seat adjustment was messed up and I'm 6'.
Good on gas and simple to drive.
I've noticed that the doors have structural problems along with the seat adjustments.
I bought the Contour used in 2005 with 110,000 miles, as soon as we pulled off the lot, my power steering pump had a leak and we were unable to drive it home. It costed $350 to fix. Two months after I purchased the car, three window motors/regulators blew. It cost $150 to fix just the drivers side window. About 6 months later, my check engine light came on. O2 Sensor. Replaced it, $100. Came to find out that wasn't the problem, the wires connected to the 02 sensor were messed up, $300 to fix it. After owning the car for two years, I came across the worst problem. Computer was fried, wires to the computer were fried, Timing Belt, and tensioner. $2000 to fix, didn't do it. Just got rid of it.
I enjoyed the steering, and the A/C was good.
Design a better engine, with more kick. Different cup holders.