[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> I am considering buying a used Ford Contour SE, model 1998, and was
> wondering if anyone had experience with such a vehicle. I am not too much
> into Fords, but this one seems nice. I would particularly appreciate some
> tips about possible problems, as well as service maintenance requirements.
As others have posted, check out www.contour.org
1998 was the first year of the redesign/down-contenting. I think the
1998's still were decent inside, with most of the decontent being
interior lighting (glove box, interior door handles) and other small
items. I think the Contour and Mercury Mystique also ended up with
identical interiors and nearly identical exteriors to cut costs. By the
final year (2000 or 2001), they were pure crappy plastic, with alot of
interior and trunk trim removed entirely.
The Duratec V6 has nice power (170hp) and gave about 20-22mpg in
city/suburban driving with automatic (I had a 1995 Mystique, the Mercury
version of the Contour.) 1998 was also the first year for the Contour
SVT (195 hp at the time). A nice hidden gem of a sports car.
I think the only main 1998 issue were the headlight switch and some
related wiring that could melt. There is/was an extended warranty on it,
not a full recall. Earlier versions had some issues with the water pump
(V6 only), gas tank (1995), and catalytic converter.
The Contour/Mystique never sold very well, probably because they were
too 'European' for most Americans. The ride is somewhat firmer than most
American cars. The 95-97 Contour SE was quite firm and very sporty. They
were based on the first generation Mondeo and were never really updated
(1998 was just a styling update, not a platform update.) The Mercury
Cougar from about 1999 to 2003(?) was a 2-door coupe version of the
Check out my web site in the .sig below to see info on my '95 Mystique
(which I no longer own.)
If there is a no_junk in my address, please REMOVE it before replying!
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