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Even 'cattle leavings' will shine if you polish them enough..... by J on 05/27/2009. Trim: 1998 Ford Contour SE, Owned 9 years.
Pros: The styling was great for this car, especially the wheels on the trim level we had. Even for it's age people commented on what a nice looking car it was.
Cons: The biggest money pit I've ever owned. Granted, it did have around 98,000 miles on it when we bought it used, but still I've had older cars with much higher miles outlive this car (ironically, the Mercury version of the Contour, the Mystique, is often refered to as 'The Mistake' by mechanics. We had to replace the fuse block, water pump and transmission. The a/c also quit, but we never got it repaired. The final 'nail in the coffin' was the copious amounts of smoke blowing out from it's exhaust at about 150,000 miles. The Contour's sleek appearance is it's only saving grace, because I only received a $250.00 tax write-off when I recently donated it to an online car charity auction.
Overall review: Speaking from my own experience, the Contour is visually appealing for a family sedan but, has incredibly poor reliability and performance overall. For the others that love theirs, maybe the previous owners knew what a dodgy car it was and decided to pass it onto someone else. In any case, I'd rather catch the bus to work than buy another Contour.
Review ID: #539854 Is this review offensive?
Small Sedan Proves Reliable Vehicle by Jen from Kirksville on 09/17/2006. Trim: 1998 Ford Contour SE, Owned 3 years.
Pros: I have owned this vehicle for three years. It has never been in the shop for repair work to the engine, nor has it ever had a problem which caused me to run late or change plans. Its turning radius is fantastic, and even as a four-cylinder it accelerates quite nicely. The trunk is very roomy for a car of its size and there is ample head room in the cabin. Overall, it has been a very reliable vehicle that I intend to keep around for a while.
Cons: The backseat is very shallow and does not have much foot room. It would be adequate for children, however. The single cup-holder for the entire backseat is a bit of an inconvenience, as is the very shallow passenger side cup holder. Also, my dome light completely fell out of the ceiling of my vehicle because the plastic clips holding it in were cracked and broken. The console is designed in such a way that it catches every bit of lint or crumbs that are dropped near it.
Overall review: This is an easy-to-drive, reliable vehicle suitable for small families.
Review ID: #498656 Is this review offensive?
Mixed Bag by Ford Man from Cave Spring, GA on 01/02/2004. Trim: 1998 Ford Contour SE, Owned 6 years.
Pros: Nice styling, nice size, good power (V6), handles well, attractive package, the engine has performed well and has required nothing more than routine maintenance. Very good gas mileage, esp. on highway. Has the best high beam headlights I have ever experienced, really light the road.
Cons: Check engine light is on more than off; very difficult to diagnose specific problems. Lots of recalls, mostly minor, but lots of them. Transmission replaced at about 60K. Electronic trunk release died. Fuel pump died. Radio died. Speakers dying. Flimsy plastic interior trim (e.g. parking brake handle boot, tilt wheel boot, etc.). Interior trim looks nice but poor quality and falls apart and off.
Overall review: An attractive car and has good power and performance. It is not engineered to be repaired. Apparently you are supposed to throw it away and get a new on when something goes wrong. Fuel pump and transmission repairs (which shouldn't have been needed at all) were very lengthy and expensive due to difficulty of repairs. Ford was not too helpful as far assuming any responsibility for or assistance with the repairs. Lots of minor but expensive repairs like 02 sensors, etc. Don't recommend any Ford automobiles to anyone unless they are the more tried, true and tested models like Crown Vic. I believe Ford is putting all engineering and other efforts into trucks and SUVs. I am unlikely to buy another new Ford auto.
Review ID: #400697 Is this review offensive?
workhorse of Ford by diana on 04/26/2003. Trim: 1998 Ford Contour SE, Owned 3 years.
Pros: reliability, comfort, workhorse
Cons: there are no cons for this car
Overall review: best little car for the money
Review ID: #359311 Is this review offensive?
Poor Mans BMW by Michael from Lancaster, PA on 12/20/2000. Trim: 1998 Ford Contour SVT, Owned 2 years.
Pros: Poor mans BMW. Great sport sedan for the money. Excellent handling (.90g, take 35mph ramps at 75+) and stability at high speeds (Ford claims 143mph top speed, had her to 145mph with a tiny bit more to go). Very nice looking, sporty exterior, beautiful exhaust note from dual pipes. Smooth, high revving engine with good power and acceleration (0-60 7sec.). Very good brakes (10.9" vented w/ ABS) and responsive steering w/ a good feel of the road.
Cons: Could benefit from a few more horsepower and some low end torque. Typical Ford plastic interior w/ perforated leather seating surfaces. Weak transmission and clutch for spirited driving, sloppy shifter. Although it comes standard fully loaded, a few more options and gadgets would be nice such as heated seats, memory for power drivers' seat, heated mirrors, more/real gauges w/ numbers, Mach 460 stereo, etc.
Overall review: Derived from the European Ford Mondeo, the SVT Contour is an extremely capable four door sports sedan. It's no BMW but for $23,000 it can't be beat. The car is a blast to drive and begs to be pushed to the limit. It's very difficult to keep it at highway speeds and to not take curves at twice their posted speed limit. :) Back seat room is limited but enough for the kids and the trunk is much larger than you think. SVT modifications are many and well thought out and designed although fit and finish is factory Ford. Overall I find myself time and time again saying out loud 'I love this car!' and yet I still lust for that M5. Maybe I'll win the lottery this week.
Review ID: #41821 Is this review offensive?
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