2000 Ford Contour SE Sport 2.5 DOHC from North America


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).

General Comments:

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

21st Nov 2004, 22:39

Designed by Ford of Europe, but built in Mexico.

With 175 HP and 165 lb/ft of torque, a V6 Contour SE is no match for a V6 Altima or Maxima, a V6 Accord, a Mazda 6, or a V6 Camry. If you've actually out-accelerated any of these rides in a Contour, were their drivers aware that you were in fact trying to race them? No matter how skillful the driver, there is no way a Contour SE could "blow them off the line". So if you beat any of these vehicles from a green light or in any other contest, it's because they didn't know you were racing them.

Some free advice: on the next trash day, park the junkbox Contour and the "sport" Camry on the street, and pray that the garbage company for your parent's house carts them off.

16th Nov 2007, 17:29

Are you sure it's built in Mexico? Ours was was assembled in Claycomo. That's in Missouri, not Mexico.

And a free piece of advise to you: Don't call anyone's vehicle junk. It just shows that you are rude and ignorant.

17th Nov 2007, 07:58

I used to own a contour and that car was complete garbage. It is so bad that if you leave the keys in it a good thief won't come near that car.

2000 Ford Contour SE from North America


An economical choice


Three days after I first bought the car I went for a short drive. I came home and parked the car and couldn't get the key out of the ignition. I had to have a new ignition installed, though this could have been the fault of the previous owner because the key was slightly bent.

General Comments:

This car has a powerful engine, for a 4 cylinder.

The sound system isn't very good, but again it could be the fault of the previous owner because one of the speakers has static in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2004

2000 Ford Contour SE 2.5L from North America


This auto is quite nice and has been a pleasure to drive overall


The timing belt failed at 73,500 miles.

The mass air flow sensor failed at 99,000 miles.

The engine seems to "starve" for gas when the gas gage reads 1/4 full -- like clockwork. Problem disappears when gas raises the level.

General Comments:

This auto was purchased through a dealer. It was a "Fleet" car with high mileage and it was purchased simply on low price.

She handles nicely, especially on corners and is really friendly to drive, however she seems underpowered (from the time I purchased her) and the transmission is exercised more than would seem normal to me. I have not taken her in for a tune-up yet since I get just under 30 mpg, but have changed fuel filter, plugs, air cleaner, oil filter etc.

The "check engine" light came on at 99,500 miles and was diagnosed as the mass air flow sensor ($120.00 plus $60.00 labor) -- Two weeks later the light came back on and I believe that the Ford dealer (different from the dealer where I purchased it) has mis-diagnosed it. The car runs fine, as it did on the initial failure) and I do not want to spend another $180.00 or more on a "trial and error" diagnosis.

The noise level is satisfactory, but I will probably install a hood pad in the hopes that some of the noise will be dampened.

I have not had a wheel alignment performed yet, but the tires are wearing evenly and I intend to simply rotate the tires in time.

She handles nicely in snow and the heater is awesome. I am quite happy overall and look forward to another 50,000 miles or so before I lose her.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2003

27th Jul 2006, 15:43

Try adding Lucas Transmission Fix to the transmission. It costs little and it did smooth the shifting in our Contour SE to some extent.

The price for a noise pad under the hood is obscene. I bought a roll of insulation material and plastic fasteners, and affixed it to the underside of the hood. It was worth the $50 and the trouble. It reduced the noise dramatically.

If the check engine light refuses to go out after replacing all these little things, you may want to try a fuel injector cleaner and engine decarbonizer. Checking for vacuum leaks could also yield success.

23rd Jul 2009, 16:06

I have a 2000 SE, and I've found that if you haven't "clicked" the gas cap properly when filling up, the Check Engine light will sometimes come on. It's a cheap fix, so try that first before more expensive diagnoses.