Great peformance with either engine when equipped with a manual transmission. A worthwhile alternative for those who have BMW tastes, yet are restrained by a Ford wallet.
The Contour still uses Ford's, small-lettered stereo which is hard to tune without taking your eyes off the road. The back seat is inadequate for most full-size adults.
Ford spent $6 billion developing this new "world car," designed to be the best compact in every market in which it was sold. The program tested Ford's ability to utilize all of its worldwide resources to create a car that would streamline production, thereby slicing overhead and building bigger profits.
Who cares? The result is the Ford Contour, and for the average amount of a typical car purchase in the United States today, you can get one loaded up with equipment, with performance and road feel you never would have expected from a sedan made in America. Actually, the road manners of the new Contour are no mystery, given that Ford of Europe did the development work on this car.
The SE variant of the Contour comes with a 24-valve, twin-cam, 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter V6 engine that doesn't require a tune-up until the 100,000-mile mark. Also included on the SE are a sport suspension, big tires mounted on alloy wheels, and more sporting front seats. Load on air conditioning, power windows and locks, moonroof, cruise, traction control, antilock brakes and a CD player with premium sound and the sticker stays under $21,000, with lots of room for negotiation. Contour GL and LX are equipped with a four-cylinder engine, and are surprisingly zippy in feel when mated to the manual transmission. Optional on GL and LX is the Duratec V6.
Much has been made in the automotive press about the Contour's rear seat, and after spending a week with one, we found ourselves wishing for more room. Acceptable only for quick trips to the grocery store, the Contour's rear bench will squeeze most adults. The front seats in the Contour are great, offering plenty of room and very good support; not what one would expect in an American compact.
In the last two years, the Contour has won plenty of awards and has received great press from automotive critics. Thus, the 1997 Contour offers very minor changes. The most notable is the newly optional Sport Package which transforms the rather dowdy GL and LX models into attractive sport sedans with the addition of fog lights, aluminum wheels, and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The Contour looks good and handles like higher-priced German sedans. The body structure is stiff, and the ergonomically correct instrument panel features legible dials and well-placed controls. We really like the way the Contour feels, but for people who need more interior room the Dodge Stratus offers a convincing argument to shop around before buying.
The addition of a Sport Package for the GL and LX models and the inclusion of a standard trunk light are the only changes for the 1997 Contour.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Ford Contour.
Super car. Liked it so much, I bought
another one. I have been commuting 100
miles a day r/t for the past 7 yrs and
have kept extensive maintenance records
on all the cars I've owned for the past
10 yrs. When I factor in all of the
costs of ownership (incldg
depreciation), this was the hands down
winner. The one I just bought to replace
it has the V-6, sunroof, and leather
5 out of 5 stars
1997 FORD CONTOUR GL 48000 MILES FOR $2400
GL 4dr Sedan
Picked up the 1997 Ford Contour GL with only 48000 miles for $2400. Found it on Craigslist and the ad had it for $1995. It was mistake because the dealer
I spoke to said it should of been $2995. When I brought a copy of the ad they had to honor the sale of the price. The dealer said I got this for a steal and since they
didn't want to get in any legal trouble they took my cashiers check right away. The Contour runs great. The interior is in excellent condition. I am happy with my Contour. Just good luck I found this car. There lost is my gain.
4.5 out of 5 stars
SE 4dr Sedan
I bought this car for my son but decided to keep it for myself because its zippy acceleration would only have caused me much grief. I enjoyed the car while I had it, but it ultimately saved my life in a nasty head-on car crash. The car withstood a 110 mile per hour impact. After a couple weeks in the hospital and months of rehab, I can honestly say the car performed as Ford planned. Between the air bags and the engineered crush points, I'm happy to be alive to submit this review.
2.88 out of 5 stars
Fix Or Repair Daily
GL 4dr Sedan
I bought this car brand new and I had
numerous problem issues with it. The
interior cheap plastic broke on
numerous occassions, Passenger
shoulder harness housing, cuptray, etc.
Driver's window motor broke twice in 4
yrs. time. Transmission went out at
52k miles. I am an aircraft mechanic
and I maintained this car twice as
better as the recommended maintenance
intervals. I purchased a 2002 Toyota
Corolla brand new it has 62000 miles
now and still has not given me any
problems. I am convinced that if you
want a dependable transportation car
you need to buy a Japanese one. I will
never buy american junk again.
The Used 1997 Ford Contour is offered in the following submodels: Contour Sedan. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan, SE 4dr Sedan, and GL 4dr Sedan.
Pre-owned Ford Contour models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 170 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1997 Ford Contour comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
What's a good price on a Used 1997 Ford Contour?
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Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you
that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make
higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand,
can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a
new car every three years or so.