1998 Ford Contour SE 2.0L from North America


Good first driver, or inexpensive grocery getter


The O2 sensor needed to be replaced at around 65,000 miles. Though the repair was covered under warranty.

The passgener side front speaker went out at (approx.) 65,000 miles.

General Comments:

I honestly love this car. In the couple years we've had it it's only given us those two problems.

It handles well on the road, and for a 4 cylinder with an automatic transmission it has decent pickup.

It has been extremely reliable to us so far, and has never had any serious problems.

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

Review Date: 6th February, 2003

1998 Ford Contour LX 2.0 liter Zetec VCT from North America


The Contour LX is the best car under 20,000


Out of the whole time that I have owned this car, nothing has gone wrong with it.

General Comments:

My car has a 2.0 liter Zetec VCT engine with a custom exhaust, an aggressive body kit custom made, an AEM air intake from a 2003 Ford Focus SVT, an MSD ignition for higher revving, Nology spark plug wires, Venom spark plugs, and the intake has a HKS air filter.

Before I had the modifications done, it had 170 horsepower. It was a excellent car without the modifications, and now it is a high horsepower racer. I have never had to replace anything besides the modifications.

The last car I had was a Toyota MR2. It was small and fast, but I wanted to have a odd car instead of a Civic or Accord, or any other import, not that I have anything against them. I would highly recommend a Contour, if you want a reliable car that will not have to be fixed often.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

1998 Ford Contour SE 2.5L V6 from North America


My vanity plate should read I8A-328


A few too many recalls.

Handbrake linkage slips occasionally. Dealer won't even acknowledge this as being a problem.

Engine pinged on hot days. Dealer couldn't find the problem on three occasions and brushed me off. This problem was solved at 100,000 km when I had the plugs changed by a local mechanic.

Wheel bearings went at 115,000 km.

Replaced driver's seat at 120,000 km because it literally broke in half. Found a good seat at a scrap yard instead of paying $3,500 CDN for a dealer to part one out and assemble it for me.

Spark plug wires had to be replaced at 139,000 km.

General Comments:

Ford dealer service is absolute crap. If you approach them with a potential warranty claim, they almost treat you with contempt.

Other than the above, the car is a joy to drive. The V6 sings to red-line and pulls at any speed. This is a stoplight demon which has surprised many a BMW driver. The handling is wonderful, especially doing almost-highway speeds on short-radius cloverleaf on-ramps.

Considering the frequency of minor problems that have popped up over the life of the car, and considering the same from people I know that own domestic vehicles, I probably won't consider buying domestic for my next car (Except if it's a pickup).

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

Review Date: 29th November, 2002

3rd Nov 2003, 14:56

The '98 Contour with the V6 is rated at 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. The slowest Beemer 328i even in '98 is rated at 6.8 seconds. And the 328is does it in 6.4. I'm not trying to nitpick, but these stoplight anecdotes are really childish. BMW drivers are not looking over at you in your silly Ford Contour waiting for the light to change so they can race you.

7th Mar 2004, 14:52

Childishness aside, most BMW owners only buy one for the cachet and really have no idea what a good handling car is supposed to feel like. It has been my general experience that BMW owners are eager to show off their cars, be it at a stop light or otherwise against even a silly Contour.

Bottom line, the car feels good, drives well, rips when you need it to rip, and cost half of what the 328 cost. Besides, I have to save my money for when I buy a real BMW, a 5 series.