My 6 cyl. Contour replaced an 88 Subaru that quit at 150K (so you know how hard I am on a car). I purchased the Contour with 60K and now have 117. We have been everywhere from North Dakota to New Jersey, up to the top of the Black Hills on a dirt road and down plenty of country gravel roads as well as cities and interstates. Aside from the mediocre mileage (20-30), it has been a joy to drive, easy on the eye, and much less costly to maintain than the Subaru, though I fear those days are numbered. Only one minor oil leak (compared to the Subaru that must have had a sieve for a gasket) and various this and thats. A nice car, not the most durable out there, but still solid.
Nice looks - like a crouching cat. Sporty but practical. Smooth and powerful ride. Roomy trunk. Nice storage areas between the front seats.
A lower brake pedal would have been nice. It was almost dangerous at first, because my foot was not used to bending so high to get on top of the pedal. Under dash entry lights not real useful - ceiling light is more important, and the only one was up front.
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