I'm writing this review hoping that it might relieve AT LEAST the tiniest bit of intense fury I have built up from 2 1/2 years of driving this disaster in engineering. This car is the embodiment of all things evil and horrible in the world. I bought the car for $3,000 in 2012. I gathered my service records last week to assess that I've spent ~$6,700 since on repairs (NOT including regular maintenance upkeep items). I've had a CONSTANT recurring oil AND tranny fluid leaks, blown head gaskets, I've rebuilt the transmission, replaced the fuel pump, replace all three engine mounts, the alternator, the radiator TWICE, the solenoid switch and more. It has only 130,000 miles & STILL HAS PROBLEMS!
Honestly, pretty much nothing. I have the 2000 Ford Contour Sport Edition, so the V6 engine gives it a little bit of a "get up and go" thrill, but the cons FAR outweigh that. That thrill was gone after a month of ownership when I first started getting problems. Who knows why I even bothered holding onto it for so long...
Everything. For starters, if you're going to make a car with a V6 engine, I would think giving it a sporty look would help. People MIGHT be a LITTLE more willing to perform the unlimited amount of repairs if they at least had a decent looking car. As for the interior, my car is in shambles. The interior is completely falling apart. The part of the dash closest to the windshield has CURLED UP from baking in the sun, limiting my view of the road...REALLY??? (I live in Utah, too. NOT Texas.) Panels are hanging from screws, both sun visors have broken off, the carpet is curling up and in shreads... it looks like I've beat it to death, yet I've done my best to maintain it. This car is a disaster.
I bought my Contour in July of 2001, it was a year old at the time. It was okay for the first few years, but just okay. Then, before I even finished paying it off, I had to have the transmission rebuilt. Then, in December of 2011, it went out AGAIN. The thing had 91,000 miles on it. It shouldn't need a new transmission every 45,000 miles, if you ask me.
Honestly, there was really nothing I liked about this car except for the engine power, the "get up and go". The steering was bad, the stability was bad, it was just a bad car.
They discontinued this car for a reason. Caveat emptor.
I bought this car new, it lasted 11 years. Fuel pump failed in weeks2. Second month, a small piece of debris smack the oil pan cracking the oil pan. (both common problems reported for this car at the time in user forums) year 1, the dash board pilled up in the summer heat. (another common issue) Year 6, the electric motors for the sun roof, left front door, right front door died and had to be replaced. Year 8, the padding in the seats became stiff. Dash board pilled again. year 11, 51,000 miles engine died 3,500 dollars repair.
Responsive steering, great acceleration, great visibility.
If your planning on buying this car, find out if the oil pan has been replaced. If it has, it's probable a good idea to avoid the car. If it hasn't, you may want to consider replacing the oil pan to protect the engine.
Keep spare bulbs for the tail lights, they go often enough to need multiple spares on hand.
The break light switches can slip out of the break. This happened to me 7 or 8 times over 11 years.
It's easy enough to put the switch back in, but you may want to consider taping the switch into place.
I bought my SE Sport new in 2000. Performance-wise, it was a fun car: great handling, a reasonably powerful engine, excellent brakes and steering, good 5-spd. I could drive this car fast and whip it around corners with ease. For $15K, it was probably the best handling four door around at the time. However, the car had way too many quality problems: brake hoses cutting themselves, the A/C failing multiple times, strange sounds from the engine, the dashboard warping. I got tired of it-- basically every year I knew something was going to go wrong. This car had a lot of promise but Ford cut too many corners for me to recommend it.
Great handling. Fun car to drive. Good breaks, steering, gearbox, etc.
Lousy build quality, plain jane dash, cheap stereo.
This vehicle has incredible performance for the price. It's fast and handles great and is comfortable inside. Most fun car I've had since an 86 Mustang SVO. Drove it on a 2000 mile trip and it got 28 MPG as well. I'm surprised there is not more of an enthusisasts aftermarket for these.