Bought it as a daily/winter driver. Originally a US car.
In stock form it handles and corners better than my Maxima with suspension upgrades. I do notice that the struts are stiff as heck and you will feel every bump on the road. With an approaching 13yr old car there are bound to be some squeaks and clunks. If I plan on keeping this car I'll have the bearings and mounts inspected when I lower it.
Smooth Mazda KL03 engine. Suppose to be a very reliable non-interference engine, but has a couple of issues that I wasn't spared with: oil leaks and valve tapping. Common problems, but nothing that can't be fixed. The valve tapping only happens on cold startups and does go away. I'm thinking of switching to a thinner weight oil. These engines also prefer clean oil as the engine starts to sound a bit strained as it approaches the next OCI. I would suggest anyone who feels their engine isn't as smooth running as it should be to run Auto-Rx, an engine treatment. It is suppose to be much more thorough than seafoam. I plan on running 2 applications of this once I find out where my oil leak is coming from.
Engine is peppy once you get moving. For a V6 with matching hp/tq numbers it does not have much punch on the low end. Perhaps the automatic transmission robs it some. Regardless, it doesn't start gaining steam until 3,500rpm.
Automatic transmission is probably the weakest point on the car. Shifts aren't always smooth (sometimes with a slight jerk). Also get a slight hum when I romp on the gas. I got the same noise with my Maxima so it probably just needs a fluid change. It's a bit active in shifting. It likes to shift early and downshift. There were 3 ATXs during this generation's Probe and I apparently was lucky to get the most reliable of the 3.
I like the interior layout. Power driver's seat with lumbar and bolster adjustments are a nice touch. A bit cramped in the front. The rear seat however is strictly for looks. I wouldn't even want to let small children sit back there. Headroom is cut short with the long hatch. Huge trunk space however, even more with the rear seats folded down. Unfortunately, the tall trunk gate makes loading and unloading a pain. One thing to note are that the 93-94 models came with 2 piece door panels which were prone to separating. Mine haven't separated yet, but the passenger side is starting to. I believe the only fixes are to glue them together to make them 1 piece or swap to the 1 piece panels from the 95-97 Probes.
A few sore points. The sealed-beam headlights are pathetic. Very weak and with my non-functioning fog lamps, they don't provide adequate lighting for even dry weather night driving. One should look into swapping to a H4 setup or H.I.D. conversion.
The paint quality is clearly of the 90's Ford era. Not only is the paint thin, but so is the clearcoat. Parts of the rear hatch, spoiler and a small area on the corner of the driver's side fender is missing most of its clearcoat. I machine polished and waxed it the day I brought it home and it made a HUGE difference. I'm hoping a cut polish with a heavier polish and pad will make the biggest difference.
As with other Fords I've had in the past, I don't get good gas mileage with the Probe. So far I've been getting roughly ~16mpg all city, worse than my Maxima. The previous owner changed the oxygen sensors and I keep an eye on my tire pressure as well as maintaining normal driving habits. What's worse is that the V6 requires premium fuel.
I haven't had time to spend under the hood, but from the looks of it it'll be a pain. Ford really did it's job in shoe-horning this engine in. I'm planning to inspect (maybe replace) the timing belt and fuel filter it might be a big headache.
Amidst all my complaints most are things I can change by spending some time and money. I don't like 2dr vehicles at all, but I got this at a great price and it still looks sharp for a 13yr old car. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this after the winter, but if no unscheduled maintenance pops up I'll probably keep it and fix up all the small issues and pass it down to my brother when he gets his driver's licence.