When I first got the car used from a Ford dealership, the water pump leaked. The accessory belt squealed and the brake pedal pressure was at the floor. The dealer was awful about these problems, but I have a great mechanic.
The pump was a warranty item, as I'm sure I could've argued the rest were as well.
My main concern the day I picked up the car was the brakes. I was told "it's normal for an old car to have lower brake pressure". I don't even feel like getting into how stupid that comment was, but I got them, after 3 hours of arguing, to write me out a 6 month warranty for the braking system, if there was something major found to be wrong. I took it apart myself, and the problems were in the assembly. Seizing sliders and sticking pads etc. I serviced them all and within a day the brakes were fine. I just figure considering how easy that was, the dealer would just do it properly.
My mechanic told me that the water pump failure on this car was rare, and that he could replace it with a performance Mazda pump that would never fail again for the same cost as a Ford OEM, so that's what I did. The water pump caused the accessories belt to fail as well as its tensioner. I paid my mechanic to do the work because it was fairly cheap, has an honoured warranty, and I didn't want to see anyone from Ford's face ever again.
That was all at the beginning. I've since had no problems, but for one well known one. The interior door handle broke. This is fairly common on this model. The Lincoln equivalent is the exact same part, so there's no upgrade. Cost about $60 CAD.
So besides the horrible dealership, I really like the car. It has adequate power with the 4 cylinder engine, good on gas, handles well and rides smooth.
Only two very minor complaints, are the engine is a little noisy, and the turning circle is wide for parking. The car feels very sporty and much higher class then it is. For what I paid vs. an Accord or Camry, the minor things I’ve had replaced over the last 2 years and 41000 km's, I’d say I did pretty well. It’s still a plain enough, car but it's great value for the money.
I didn’t really do that well purchasing it though. I did all the homework on what model to buy, but not all the homework on your rights with the dealers.
As time goes on though, the car has made up for my misfortunes with the dealer, and I’m very happy with it. I guess you often have to differentiate the car's abilities and the shabby dealership service.