Check engine light on (almost continuously) for 5 years. Sometimes goes off for a few days at a time.
O2 sensor failed at 10,000 miles. Replaced under warranty. Check engine came back on a month later after fixing this. Car continued to run fine.
Heater resistor burned out causing plastic burning smell for several months. Fan didn't work in one speed setting. Replaced under recall.
Updated engine calibration at about 10000 miles to avoid "jumpy" acceleration and hard to control engine. This helped a bunch.
Light switch replaced under recall.
Air conditioning stopped cooling due to a leak in a line at 15000 miles. Repaired under warranty.
Power steering will cut out when driving through a puddle of water on right side of car (from driving position). Very dangerous! This was a Ford Technical Service Bulletin item, but not a recall. A plastic shield was put in the wheel well which helped, but did not eliminate the problem. Water splashes on the front end accessory drive belt causing the power steering to not function. This should have been a recall. See your dealer if you have this problem.
Coil on plug inductor failed and lost a cylinder at 33,000 miles. $350 to replace.
Plastic "band" which indicates "PRNDL" selection cracked and broke at 40,000 miles. Car is always in Park regardless of gear since. $200 to replace part alone - not done yet. This one is very annoying and should be a recall item.
Brake pads replaced front and rear at 65000 and 48000 miles respectively. I consider this fine.
Firestone Fire hawk tires replaced at 40,000 miles due to wear. Replaced with Kelly Chargers which I like better for traction.
Plastic air vent grille fell apart on driver side in cabin at 50,000 miles. Not fixed. Can't aim the air on that grille.
Overdrive light occasionally will flash on the dash. This goes away on restart of car.
Car made "hooting" noise from the air intake system which would be followed by unstable engine rpm, untimately resulting in the car dying. This was also a Technical Service Bulletin and was only $100 to fix. New intake tuning resonator tube had to be installed in the air system to fix. Did it myself. See your dealer if you have this problem.
Driver side window motor died around 45000 miles with window in the DOWN position in the middle of winter. $300 to replace assembly.
Latest problem: Car speedometer suddenly went to zero on the highway going 75 mph. Car also downshifted to 3rd gear suddenly. Transmission shifts very harsh and won't go into 4th gear. No speedometer. At a service shop now. Transmission speed sensor and gear bad. I'm hoping this is all for this problem - $300 or $400 to fix if it is. Mechanic told me the only engine code that came up was the speed sensor, making me wonder if this has been the check engine light issue for 5 years now, but only now a major problem.
Major complaint with car: Transmission will stay in 4th gear way too long while trying to slow down. Trans will "decouple" from the engine when slowing down in 4th gear for fuel economy, but stay in 4th gear a long time. The car effectively will not slow down on its own without applying the brakes. It is almost like it is stuck in "cruise". No engine braking, only very slow transmission braking. People think this is due to badly working brakes, but the brakes are fine. It is the power train design which requires strong braking to slow down due to poor system design. Brakes on the contour tend to wear out soon due to this problem. I often drive in the "sport" mode with the button on the stick selector to keep it in 3rd gear when in town to make this a little better.