No one today "should" be buying a 2000 ANYTHING, unless it's a true collector's item. That said, I bought Homer in Feb. 2003 for $8,000 with 58,000 miles already on him. He only has 126,000 now so that's only 9000/yr put on by me. I've always liked the decent acceleration from this tiny V-6. He's always handled very well, and stops well, too. Only once have I experienced his anti-lock brakes. Following too closely on a rainy city street, I KNEW I was buying someone a bumper when all traffic stopped suddenly. I "locked" the pedal anyway, but Homer didn't. I could NOT believe that he actually stopped short of hitting the car in front! After all these years, he has not lost any compression, doesn't burn or leak oil, and the trans. still shifts well. I have had to replace 2 neutral safety switches. Fuel mileage has been good for engine size. I'm keeping Homer until replacement engine and running parts can no longer be found. Judging by other reviews here I am a RARE happy SE Sport owner.
Update August 2018: Homer is old enough to vote now, so he's registered as an Independent. A rain leak into the front passenger footwell is annoying, but hasn't rusted thru yet. This spring, a very tiny plant grew next to the door for a few weeks. I named him Groot. Alas, Groot died from the summer heat. Employer closed so Homer doesn't "go to work" anymore. I expect far fewer miles for the rest of the year. Still has good compression & no oil leaks. A/C needed recharging this spring, but is holding out well. Still love the old boy and will be sad to part with him when he dies. Been 15.5 good years so far. Never had a car longer than 6 years before Homer. I've owned cars since 1971, & motorcycles from 1966 to 1993. Licensed driver since August 1963. Wonder why I feel so old. :)
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.
What bad things can I not say about this car. I bought this car for almost $10,000 in 2008 with only 86000 miles. Within a matter or weeks of buying this car my spark plug popped out of the engine. It didn't stop there. Less than a year later my head gasket blew 100miles away from my home and luckly drove back but ate gas up all the way home. I had 3 wheel bearings replace. The car died right in the middle of the road beccause the Transmission died while in Drive. The starter died. Fuel pump died in a parking lot. A hose deteriated and made the car stall out. This car has cost me an arm and a leg for the loan but mostly in the cost of repairs. All theses probs occured b4 car could reach 150K
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.