Car was purchased brand-new 17 years ago and was the first Ford product I had ever owned. Except for several build flaws from the factory, it has been trouble-free through 134,000 miles. It has been garaged the entire time and looks factory-new to this day. I do all the maintenance on the vehicle myself, including 3,000 oil/filter changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, and fluid changes. The A/C unit is powerful and efficient even in FL heat and humidity. The car gets exceptional mileage for a 150 HP engine (V-6 and auto. trans.) at Interstate speeds because of the car's high final drive ratio (about 1900 rpm's at 75 MPH), 30 mpg w/AC on and 32 with the system off. City mileage is only 15-20.
The ride is taut, compliant, and comfortable with mild oversteer at highways speeds. The 4-wheel discs stop well (original brake pads still on the vehicle),
the auto. trans. shifts smoothly, and interior noise levels are fairly quiet. The stock stereo is more than adequate; A/C, heat, and dehumidifying systems are powerful and have been trouble-free. Instrument cluster includes temp, fuel, volts, oil, speedo, tach and is clear and easy-to-read. Driver's view over the hood is excellent with power seat setting as high as possible. When in O/D, car tends to freewheel easily
The stock seats in the V-6 coupe need better side and lumbar support and the head-rests do not extend upward sufficiently. Driver's fore-aft leg room is slightly tight for 6-footers and up. The infamously defective 3.8L head gaskets blew @ approx. 100,000 miles and had to be replaced at my expense (past factory warranty). There was a major flaw in the geometry of the right front suspension that had to be corrected. The rear OEM shock/spring rear set-up allowed the rear frame to contact its snubbers even with moderate loads onboard and had to be replaced. OEM underhood panel replaced at factory expense.