Best-handling front-wheel drive car I've ever driven for not much cash.
Cup holder broke, which I've been told is very common. Replaced for about 20 bucks.
I've heard that the steering pump is a problem on this car, but mine isn't very old yet.
The shifter was a little stiff, especially when the car was cold. Adding Redline MTL fluid into the transaxle fixed the problem cheaply and easily.
The temperature guage almost always reads cold, even though running engine temps are within nominal range (I've checked it manually).
This car was designed by Ford Europe, so it's no surprise that it handles better than any front-wheel drive car I've ever driven. And I'm a bit of an enthusiast, so that's a lot of cars.
The DOHC engine is very potent because of the variable-valve technology. It also generates much more low-end torque than its Japanese competitors (read: will blow them off the line!).
This car will stop or turn on a dime, and torque-steer has been dealt with admirably.
Soooo much faster and quicker than my "sport" Camry, but just as comfortable and economical.
If you get this car now, you'll miss out on the very steep initial depreciation. I feel sorry for the chump who bought it new and sold it 3 years later.
I am worried about the Contour's mixed reliability reviews, but so far so good.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st August, 2004