1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0 Zetec from North America


Probably the best car I've owned besides my previous foxbody Mustang


Alternator @ 130k/ can't complain still got me home when it was totally dead. Intake temp sensor went, but was cheap/easy to replace. Struts were starting to go after 150k. Car still rode fine.

General Comments:

This was a great car to me and got me everywhere I needed to go. And I drove it HARD. Drove through rain, blizzards no problems whatsoever. Never got stuck in the snow. Car handled well and was comfortable for long trips. Managed to get 35+ MPG hwy which is phenominal for a car of it's size/class even today. Basic wear and tear parts replaced/upgraded. Timing belt, ball joints, plugs, wires. NOTHING ELSE, just started it up and drove off. Sold it with over 160K (mostly highway) and the car still ran great!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2007

1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0L 4 Cylinder In-Line from North America


Great starter car, if you find one buy it!


Nothing really, car wasn't in good shape when I got it, but with a little help from my dad all that was soon fixed and fairly cheaply thanks to the local salvage yard.

Stock Speakers Sucked, but working at best buy fixed that one.

Forgot to change my fuel filter once and the engine stalled on me (my fault though)

Needs new shocks, you feel every bump no matter how fast or how slow you drive.

Clock doesn't light up any more (which is OK because my new cd deck has an illuminated clock)

Had to replace plug wires, but that was cheap and should be done anyways every so often.

General Comments:

This is a great little car its my first and it definitely kicks my friends cars butts.

Seriously, for a 4 cylinder engine this thing gets up and goes, partly due to it having 4 valves per cylinder.

The interior is comfortable.

The car handles like my dads brand new Chevy Impala, but needs new shocks (you feel every bump)

Engine is a little shaky when idling, but I probably just need to adjust the balance shaft a little.

I love the gas mileage too, especially considering gas is 3.19 a gallon here.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd May, 2007

23rd May 2007, 21:44

Why are there so many Contours in the junkyard? I was at this one by my house in Minnesota, and there were at least 20 Contours, and only a few were there from an accident.

24th May 2007, 12:32

Because Contours are complete garbage. I made the mistake of owning one and that mistake will keep me from buying anything from Ford. It shows why they are in the trouble that they are in with this mediocre quality.

1996 Ford Contour LS 4 banger from North America


Car is dependable, at least from a careful drivers perspective


The brakes wore out at 25 K and than again at 50K.

The driver side window motor REFUSES to work. Ever since 40K miles. I must have replaced it three times already. I gave up on this one.

The battery died on me at 50K

The factory fan belt needed replacing at 50K

The carpet ripped easily

The transmission is beginning to show signs of wear.

General Comments:

Other than the usual wear and tear, the car has been reliable. Its not the greatest looking car on the road, but that wasn't what I was going for... at least with this vehicle.

I drive this car delicately though, as its more just as a commuter and the "replacement" when I need a car and none of my others are around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2006

1st Dec 2006, 11:24

Looks like it is still falling apart with up most care.

2nd Dec 2006, 17:09

The ownership experience sounds pretty much like a success to me, so I don't quite understand the hostile responses of the other comments. Replacing brakes every 25,000 miles is very reasonable; the battery dying at 50,000 miles is also as expected if it was about five years old; replacing a fan belt is hardly unreasonable. None of this sounds to me as though it constitutes "falling apart." As for the transmission beginning to show signs of wear, just keep in mind that equipment needs to be maintained. Get the fluid and filter changed, and make sure the fluid is kept filled to the proper level, and you'll avoid problems. The same goes for other routine maintenance. If these are all the problems you've experienced with a 10-year-old car, then I wouldn't be afraid to recommend it.

21st Feb 2007, 09:02

After three new thermostats because of signs of overheating, my mechanic said watch the needle as it aways shows high on a Contour, but stop if it goes into red!

Several new sensors, one replacement within two weeks. They charged me an exorbitant amount even after I pointed out that they had replaced it only a couple of weeks before.

I was told I must have driven it hard over a rough road. I had actually driven it at least five hundred yards to the kids bus stop because it was raining.

All this because of the "Check Engine Light", I have learned to live with it, I have visions of taking it to a repair shop in a panic saying "Help! The check engine light has gone out!" One repair shop who had it for two weeks and could find nothing wrong came up with, "She's running a bit thin!"

11th Sep 2007, 13:41

If it's "running a bit thin" it could have adverse effects on your engine. The typical mixture is 1 part gasoline to 14 parts of air. Running thin means there are maybe 16 parts of air. In other words: there are too many oxygens per hydrocarbons. The engine will develop more heat. Didn't you say it's running a little hot?

I don't have a sure shot solution for you. I would check the fuel system for pressure, injectors for function, idle air control parts, MAF sensor and ECU (Engine Control Unit= computer). If you are lucky all it needs is a fuel injector cleaning.