1996 Ford Contour GL from North America


Seeking consumer advice


I am interested in buying a 96 Contour for commuting purposes only. I will be traveling for 45 miles at speeds between 0 and 75mph (highway commuting - need good gas mileage). I have read the reviews about this car (both good and bad). I have not found many reviews that speak specifically about the manual transmission. It appears most of the problems exist with the automatic?

I am willing pay average retail for this car. I would like to know from those who have owned a Contour for sometime, if it is reliable enough to last me two to three years, or approximately 65,000 more miles? If anyone can tell me if they experience stalling, broken springs, etc with the manual transmission, I would be very grateful - please email me at toddroe@msn.com. Thanks - Todd.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th October, 2004

10th Oct 2004, 07:11

From what I've been able to read, The Contour/Mystique quality improved in the later years, but I'd still steer far away from one. Go for an import sedan a few years older if you have to, you will not regret it. Honda Civic and Accord, Toyota Camry and Corolla, Nissan Altima and Sentra and others would be a wise choice. Don't let people dissuade you by saying the import cars are more expensive to fix. Nowadays, there's more equilibrium on repair pricing between the traditional domestic brands and the foreign cars.

1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0 from North America


It is too bad that this car is no longer built for the USA


Nothing has gone wrong with this car.

General Comments:

This is by far the best vehicle I have ever purchased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2004

2nd Oct 2006, 15:40

I bought my 1996 Ford Contour new. I loved the handling of the car for a small car. However, when it stopped, it stopped without much warning. We still keep it around as a spare, but the upkeep on this car the ten years I have owned it has been horrible. There is very little under the hood that is original. The wiring problems have been numerous. The last time it "died" on me, the dealership told me it would cost about $2000 to repair. That I was not going to do for a car 10 years old. A friend checked it out and got it repaired for $69. Keeping the car to pass inspections in my state was extremely expensive until recently. Also, when it broke down on me out of state one time, I really learned what pass the buck really meant.

1996 Ford Contour GL 2.5L from North America


I would not recommend buying a Ford Contour!


When I purchased my Contour used in October of 2001, I noticed the transmission was slipping badly while accelerating east on the I-10 freeway in southern California. The used car dealership replaced the malfunctioning transmission with a "new" rebuilt one. Since then I've only experienced some sweating around the transmission seals and now a very slow leak. The transmission does sometimes shift hard though. In the past two and one-half years, I have had to replace three water pumps that have gone prematurely bad.

General Comments:

The paint has not faded and has kept a nice shine for being an nine year old finish.

My Ford interior is in good repair and needs little attention except for routine vacuuming and dusting.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2004

1996 Ford Contour LE from North America


Great car!


Nothing much, until I had an accident in it, then it started leaking oil. I got that fixed and had no other trouble with it.

Before accident)

The gas cover would stick, and the cable pull broke because of it, but I rigged it with a stronger cable and it was okay after that.

I also had to replace brake cylinders at 80,000 miles.

There were some recalls on the car for fan switches and some other switch. I didn't have any other problems with the car other than those listed above.

The opening into the trunk was too small to get hardly anything large into the trunk.

General Comments:

I really liked my Ford. It had pretty good pickup and drove smoothly and quietly.

The seats were very comfortable, but I hated to have to roll that big wheel to let the seat back on the driver's side. That was not a good idea.

The car was always dependable to start up no matter what the weather, which is a very important factor to me.

The dash panel was laid out in a very convenient way, where everything was easy to reach and manipulate. I really loved my Contour.

Unfortunately, I lost my car in a fire which also burned my house down. The car was in the garage at the time. I tried to find another to buy, but could not, and I still would like to have my old Contour back even above the Nissan Altima I purchased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2004