Sexy and sophisticated
Many things have gone wrong with the car! But I love working on it.
Most recently the alternator, crank shaft pulley broke, brake booster, CV boot, transmission, and timing belt/water pump required service.
In the interior I've replaced the driver door panel and the passenger side power window switch.
I've owned 3 Probes; the V6 has what feels like a never ending power band, even with the automatic. It is a very rev happy engine, doesn't do much below 3k RPM. Since it's a 97, the last year of production, most of the defects were refined, but parts wear out and have to be replaced. I do all my own repairs, this the key.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW OR HAVE NO INTENTION OF GETTING IN THERE AND DO YOUR OWN REPAIRS, SHOPS WILL DRAIN YOUR WALLET! LABOR CHARGE IS A RIDICULOUS RATE PER HOUR.
Buy the factory shop manual on ebay, plus the Haynes manual at the auto parts store and READ it form cover to cover. Get a metric tool set and be a man!
This car has the best of Japanese mechanical engineering and Ford styling.
The GTS has the racing stripes that were only available in white or black. These are very elegantly designed, they're NOT just stripes that run the length of the car. In the front they are rounded off at the nose and frame the Ford oval like a mink coat. In the back they end short of the center reflector, with the engine "24V" "DOHC" specs stamped out. It is because of those details that the car looks expensive, and not just like YOU added the stripes to look cool. Mine is black with white stripes. It looks like a sport car wearing a tuxedo, SEXY as hell.
The interior I love. On the 97, and starting with 95, the door panels were solid. The leather interior is amazing; high quality leather all over the seating surface, sides and back seats are pleather. The driver's seat has pneumatic lumbar and the sides adjust to hold your ribcage in place. This is a lot of fun when you are taking the turns really fast, it helps you focus on the road, not on staying on the seat.
The Mazda 2.5l all aluminum V6 DOHC is smooth and quiet, but at past 3500 RPMs the sound is a thrill. It's a very sophisticated engine, all the car parts were made in Japan and shipped to Michigan for assembly.
Suspension is great; not too stiff, not to sluggish, and it corners great. The razor sharp steering has saved me from bad drivers!
Even the 16" chrome "swirlies" as they are typically described are better than you think. They are aluminum alloy dipped in chrome. This makes them lighter than regular chrome wheels that are made of steel.
I love driving on a sunny day or a neon lit strip, and seeing the "light show" the chrome swirls reflect onto the pavement.
In short this car is gorgeous, fast, razor sharp handling, and technologically and styled way ahead of its time.
Ford should have found a better name for the car. If they hadn't been using the name "Maverick" for an SUV in Australia, that would have been the perfect name for this car, because that is what is was, a Maverick. Ford's move into the small car performance left those that can appreciate it with this gift.
New car ads have no effect on me, because the perfect car was built for me in 1997.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd July, 2009