Aggressive maintenance is key to make this car GREAT!
Check engine light 70,000 - cleaned EGR passages.
Check engine light 95,000 - O2 sensors.
Alternator at 130,000 - fixed with Ford Motorcraft. Aftermarket alternators don't last more than a few weeks.
Gear in seat adjustment broke at 150,000.
Motor mounts are due for replacement. At 160,000 miles, I'm OK with that.
Most comfortable fun car I've ever owned. Bought it to replace my Contour and transferred many performance parts over. Handling is EXCELLENT, Seats are super comfortable for such a small car, and the Contour SVT exhaust sounds fantastic and fits perfectly with a passenger side exhaust hanger from a '98 Taurus.
At 160,000 miles even the A/C still works.
The key to keeping this car healthy is aggressive maintenance, just like the Contour. Perform a 4 quart drain & fill on the tranny twice a year, and keep up with the more common stuff, & you'll be fine.
I still own it & commute every day. This month my daughter is using it because the tranny in her Honda is on its way out.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th January, 2009