1996 Ford Probe Reviews from UK and Ireland

1996 Ford Probe V6 2.5 V6

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5 V6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired106000 miles
Most recent distance112000 miles
Previous carDaihatsu Cuore

Summary:

Stay in the slow lane, cruise and smile - you're driving a Probe!

Faults:

CV boot split.

Boot struts gone.

Two front tyres.

Badly bodged stereo wiring from the previous owner.

Bit of side skirt coming off.

Tracking needs doing.

General Comments:

This is my second Probe. Had it for approx 6 months and used only as a second car.

Key's are weak on this car - get spare ones cut!

Central locking is playing up a little.

I won't bore you with all the negatives. This example is a little rough round the edges, but was a bargain in price, so imperfections forgiven. There are a few dinks on the car. However, from a distance it's still a stunner to look at.

The CV joint needs changing as it's clicky, but that aside, car drives without fault. It's got that lovely silky sound and performance to match. Lively at lower speeds, but hits a lethargic area for a while before picking up speed again.

Handles fantastic for a big car - love it!

It makes you think real hard what this car was designed for... big engine so you'd think it'd be nice and lazy on the motorway - it's not - it revs too high. But with cruise control on your don't notice it. 70mph upwards is slow compared to other cars of similar engine size.

From standstill this car feels very quick off the mark, and if you're being lazy will pull like a normal car in 5th gear at 30mph.. very good.

Handles nicely, but not on very tight bends, good for long sweepers.

So, it's not really a fast cruiser, nor a rally type experience car...

Seems to fit in well with the big Mustangs you see on the British motorways poodling at 50mph... they're quick and powerful, but no point driving it fast as it'll drain your fuel and not go that quick - so stay in the left lane and smile - you're driving a cool car!

Just needs a little extra something... maybe it's just the engine needs a few more guts to make it amazing - but think that's an okay compromise between power and handling (guess the 2 foot wide tyres help grip).

Bottom line is, it looks so cool all is forgiven. If you're after something very different from normal cars, this is it - not really been anything similar since?!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd October, 2008

8th Sep 2010, 21:09

I have a 1996 Probe V6 (GT), and other than the distributor dying (a Mitsubishi product), I've had no problems.

I have just rolled over 183,000 klms, and it's running like the day I bought it 8 years ago.

My maintenance is meticulous, I use only Mobil 1 5w-50 synthetic oil, K&N air and oil filters, NGK iridium plugs and Redline coolant additive. I change the water pump, cambelt, idlers, tensioner, fuel pump and fuel filter at every 80,000, rather than wait for something to fail, and it has paid off!

Other than the distributor, which cooks itself and eventually the module goes open circuit, so best to replace the lot (costly, but worth it), I have had no other problems whatsoever.

I am just about to get my front discs skimmed and new pads put in, but that's just on going maintenance, and if you are a car lover, it's not a problem.

The motor is Mazda k series, but its design was assisted by Porsche and Yamaha, so of course it's a good long lived engine.

Problems are always associated with poor maintenance, mineral oils (they sludge up), and a just a wait till it breaks attitude. These are good cars, you should read TOP GEAR'S TEST report on one!

28th May 2011, 09:21

My Ford Probe is a 1996 model GT. To date it's done 194,000 klms, and the only thing that went wrong, was the Mitsubishi distributor at around 165,000 klms. It appears to be the only common problem on these cars, because the whole time I've owned the car (12 years), that's the only thing that caused a problem.

I use BP ultimate fuel, Mobil 1 synthetic oil, K and N filters, and Redline water wetter in the coolant.

I have done only one major service (it's now about due for another at 200,000 klms). I replaced at the last big service, the cambelt, water pump, fuel pump, all belts for accessories, Iridium spark plugs, radiator hoses, machined the brake rotors, and just general running costs like tyres etc.

I have to say it still runs perfectly and reliably, and I still love to drive it. It still performs brilliantly, and handles like a dream, it's the best steering car I've owned! So I highly recommend the Probe... if you can find a good one!

1996 Ford Probe 24v 2.5 V6 DHOC

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5 V6 DHOC Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired81000 miles
Most recent distance116000 miles
Previous carRenault 5

Faults:

Problems when I got the car:

* Engine cutting out: A common problem with Probes up till Aug 1996. Caused by the immobilizer overloading the distributor. 97 & 98 models don't have this.

* Boot/Trunk struts don't hold up the door: Common problem. New struts cost £40. Nothing major.

* Power steering fluid leaking: Estimated to cost £400 to fix but I won't bother as it's a small leak. Only top up every 2 weeks.

* Loose window seal. Cost £65 to fix.

Problems/parts replaced with the car during my ownership.

* Thermostat: This was about £20 for parts & £20 for labour.

* Front headlamp bulbs replaced & upgraded.

* Wiper blades replaced.

General Comments:

I got this car for £750 in December 2006 it was cheap cause of the problems it came with (see above)

When I got the car I also got the wheels aligned which improved its drive.

In the 16 months I have owned the car I have done 35,000 miles mainly on motorways. I still have the original tyres that came with the car. The only unexpected problem I have found is the thermostat going. The other items I have replaced are to be expected with any car.

The oil has been changed every 5000 miles, filter every 10,000 miles. I use the UK Probe Owners web site for parts. Ford Probe Owners club (UK) for advice. Its the best £15 I have ever spent.

I have found most garages don't know a thing about the car including many Ford or Mazda garages (the engine & running gear of all Probes is by Mazda). I have also found many mechanics just not up to the job. I ask my local mechanic who is very competent about a problem that I have so that I know. I then go the other garages to ask them what the problem is & then a price to fix it. The list of garages/mechanics who have misdiagnosed problems is long. I have even found that going to a different garage within the same franchise produces different results & outcomes.

I love the car. So much so I bought a 2nd Probe which is garaged for future use. Why I love the car is because in the UK its very rare, I think it looks fantastic though not everyone agress. The look reminds me of Knight Rider, plus the insurance is surprisingly cheap for a sports car & lets not forget its very affordable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2008

6th Oct 2010, 02:25

Fortunately I haven't had any problems with window, leads and immobiliser, and mine is a 1996 V6, so either I must be lucky or I've got a good car!

I have had only 1 problem (the dreaded Mitsubishi distributor). I replaced mine at 163,000 kms,and other than doing a major service every 80-100,000 kms (twice now), I haven't had a problem. No squeaks, rattles, trim falling off, broken bits or rust... nothing I could really complain about.

I service my car every 5000 kms (religiously) and use only top quality synthetic oils and quality filters. I have done many long runs sitting around 180-200 KPH on roads prudent to do this and it seems to enjoy the blast, so I am very impressed with my Probe V6!

I still get comments about its great style, even after 14 years!

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 6 reviews