I have driven my Contour SE practically every day since I bought it new in 1998. It has the 2.5 L Duratec engine and a five speed manual transmission. This car drives and handles like a quality German machine. The manual transmission also has that German response and feel. I've put 225K miles on the car and it's still going strong. The AC quit a couple of years ago, but I'm too cheap to replace it. Other than that, maintenance has been limited to fluid changes, tires, brakes, shocks, and the front ball joints. Believe it or not, I'm still on the original clutch with no signs of slippage.
This car is AMAZING! We bought it at $1500, great condition, and it only had 52,300 miles on it! I havent had any big problems with it. The biggest problem was a flex pipe falling off ($150), common problem. Runs and drives smoothly, has great gas mileage, wonderful cooling & heating system. This car gets me from point A to B and even to C. This is my first car and I love it! Large trunk, comfortable back seat, great sound quality, the fans are a bit loud but at least you know your engine won't overheat. Great first car, great turning, overall nice car. This car is small and can maneuver around large objects, but it still has great leg room.
color, trunk, wide dashboard, armrest, fabric interior, warm in the winter cool in the summer, steering, gas mileage, design.
I have always owned "Ford" vehicles but this one has to be the best one yet! I am totally impressed. The Number One tip I can share with everyone is, stay on top of your Oil Changes. I have received many cards stating it has many recalls but the way I figured it was if it isn't broken, "Why fix it!" Now if I would have had a problem then that a different story. I just traveled over 1950 miles and I only spent $87.00 in gas. No lie. So, I have no complains. My car has been everywhere and aside from a flat tire. "To be expected!" no other complains. Thanks Ford Company! I am still a committed customer.
I love the smooth feel my car has. I also like that it is great on the mileage.
I would like to see the upgrade of windows. Sense I have owned many Ford cars, trucks, I have noticed that if a little rocks hits your windshield, "There it goes!" So this would be my only suggestion.
I bought my '98 Contour (2.0 Zetec VCT, 5 sp manual) with 26,000 miles on it 8 years ago and now it has just crossed over the 100,000 mile mark. It is reliable, comfortable and economical. I've replaced a few things over the years as expected but this car has spoiled me. Sometimes I think it's time to upgrade but when I read reviews,I go running back to my Contour.
Handles like a VW, corners flat, engine has "like-new" compression, tight body, good looks.
Wife bought the car used (26,000 miles) in 2000. I commuted with it for the next 10 years, 72 miles/day for 4 years and 40 miles/day for the remainder. In 146,000 total miles, the worst problem was a/c compressor--$700-at around 50,000 miles. I've also replaced the alternator and the water pump. Gets 30 mpg all the time, no matter where or how I drive. Starting to leak a few bodily fluids, but not bad. Selling her today, but I'll never forget her.
Handles better than I would expect from a plain-jane sedan. Has been quite reliable.
Hub cap clips break off easily, leaving you with black steelies. You see a lot of Contours driving around with no hub caps.