I bought the car 11yrs. old with 34k miles. As of 7/10/08 the car has 48k miles. It's been an ideal car for me. I work in town, but commute an hour away for college. The car has been very reliable and economical. Maintenance is cheap. It sips fuel. The wagon body style has come in useful on many occasions. The car seems very well built for just being a cheap economy car. The interior is comfortable. It drives pretty nicely. Great brakes. Great steering. Very smooth, yet stable ride. The seats are firm, but seem good for my bad back. For the low initial price and dependable, affordable service that follows, this is a great choice in used economy cars of this age.
Fuel economy, driving dynamics (brakes, steering, handling, ride), affordability to buy and keep up.
Cup holders in console are completely useless. Too shallow. No in-dash CD player offered by Ford. Aftermarket units look dreadful in this car. No center armrest on the upscale LS trim? Monotone grey interior is very drab.
This car has been in our family for over 6 years. We have 154000 miles on it and it's still running pretty good. We had to clean out the engine and had mechanical issues around 150000 miles but for the age and mileage it works great.
This was the first new car I ever bought. I maintained it regularly, and at 198,000 miles, passed it to my 17 year old daughter this year. The transmission finally went out on the old darling. Except for regular, routine maintenance (brakes, oil changes, etc.), I never had a problem from my pretty Tracer. I miss it. R.I.P. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
the tracer has one problem that no one can seem to correct and that is heavy vibration when stopped at a light in drive.When taken out of gear its pretty good. Most all Auto Mech. say that it's the nature of the beast! Motor mount change out helps a little, but I guess for a little run about over all its not too bad. The vibration is bad though, it is very good on gas mileage and handles well, but if you'er tall, it is horrible getting in and out of it. remember test drive and with the A/C on and see if the Vibration doesn't chane your mind about buying it.
Center console shifting and power locks and windows, also back seat lays down.