"I bought mine used for $1200. It is a '98 4 cylinder with a 5 speed. I have replaced only items which wear out: brakes once, alternator, water pump, wipers, timing, and accessories belts. The water pump was still good at 125,000, but since my shop was replacing the belts, I had the pump replaced. I do this with all my vehicles at about this mileage This is a superb vehicle. 30-33 mpg, pleasant to drive, and mine has been very reliable. I love it."
Pros: "Inexpensive, economical, parts availability"
Cons: "Interior parts wear; broke window handles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Owned the '98 Contour since '01 and other than the series of recalls, have only replaced the automatic transmission at 180k miles at cost of around $1500.00 in September, 2013. Also replaced the alternator with a rebuilt unit at cost of $85.00 several years ago - and I perform all repair work myself.
The car still has the original exhaust system including the catalytic onverters. As the work / commuter car and driven mostly highway it still averages just over 30 MPG consistently."
"Bought the car with about 100k on it for my daughters first car, she put 65k on it in just over three years, never gave me any issues, except for the normal brakes, tires, battery and oil changes etc. Was very cheap and reliable to own."