When I bought it there were only 33,000 miles on it and it was in perfect condition. It now has over 50,000 miles on it and still runs like new. It has been in a few minor "incidents," but has come out virtually unscathed (after being involved in 2 accidents, total repair costs amounted to only $200 ... COMBINED). It's a tough little car and has great pick-up and power for it's size. The gas mileage is pretty good as well (about 17 - 20 mpg depending on how hard it is driven); the only bad part is that the tank is small (13 gallons I believe) so it needs to be filled up a bit more often than other cars. But it handles well in the snow (front wheel drive) and I wouldn't want to drive anything else.
Don't ever buy Ford! This Contour, at 6 years and 100,000 miles, was a nightmare since I bought it in '02 at 46K miles. The car's trade-in value is about $1500; that's a 6-year-old car that was $21,000 new! The BIG problem is that to get even that low trade value I have to make repairs of about $1500 (the catalytic converter, about $1200, and the oxygen sensor). Basically, that brings the value of the car as it is to $ZERO. I called Ford, they won't pay for the converter (warranty expired at 80K). The V6 engine is crammed and labor around it is VERY expensive (the alternator at 70K miles and again at 80K, A/C line at 60K, A/C clutch at 85K about $850).
V6 engine + 5-speed manual transmission, hard to beat combination. Great ergonomics, good space, at least in front. The Sport SE package is a delight to drive. Great exterior looks, especially with the alloy wheels.
Very poor RELIABILITY! Had many problems, all around the engine bay, very pricey labor for the 6 cylinder engine models.
We bought our '99 Ford Contour over a year ago with 75,000 miles on it. The only thing we had to do was regular maintenance, oil change, brakes, etc. The interior was good but the dash started warping after the first month we had it. But we do live in Las Vegas were it get from any where from 160 degrees inside a car when it's sitting there parked. It never broke down on us, and we never had any problems really. I would say this is a good car for a student, a high school kid maybe. But for a family itís really small. But itís very dependable as long as you keep up your owner duties.
Nothing really. Itís a small car. It has all the basics; air, radio, engine etc.
The dash makes a different design so it doesnít start warping. Maybe make the backseat a little bigger make more leg room for the front and back.
Please avoid this car at all costs! I have been stranded six times with this thing. I've replaced almost every part, several times. This car has no pick up and go. Interior parts are falling off of it. This is my third Ford, and will be my last. Unless you enjoy time on the side of a highway, run screaming!
The gas mileage was OK for a small car.
A trip to the scrap yard. Ford should rethink everything on this one.
All in all, I've really enjoyed this car. I buy a car primarily for the engine, and the Duratec V6 has been outstanding. You can't kill it if you shoot it, and it gives good power and mileage (25 city/30 hwy). Some things are starting to break now (the ignition lock, for example, plus some oil leakage), but I've driven it long and hard. I'm really sorry that Ford quit selling these in the US (still available in Europe as the Mondeo, for all the good that does me); I would gladly buy another.
Engine power, fuel economy, front seat comfort, reliability.
Rear seat comfort, cupholders (can't tell you how many drinks I've spilled), bland styling.