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2000 Ford Contour Sedan

4dr Sdn SE Fleet

Starting at | Starting at 22 MPG City - 31 MPG Highway

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  • $16,920 original MSRP
Printable Version

2000 Ford Contour Sedan

Printable Version

2000 Ford Contour Sedan

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2000 Ford Contour

Source: New Car Test Drive

V6 puts power in this sporty sedan.

by Mitch McCullough

Base Price $16,940
As Tested $19,255

Ford Contour combines sporty driving dynamics with the comfort and practicality of a four-door sedan. The Contour comes standard with a V6 engine. Ride and handling were improved last year. It doesn't have the rear-seat space of a Taurus, but Ford improved rear legroom two years ago and revised the styling.

Contour SVT pours on the coal with a higher output version of the Duratec V6, a sports suspension and bigger brakes.

Model Lineup

Two models are available: Sport ($16,940) and SVT ($22,810).

The Sport (called the SE Sport last year) comes with Ford's 2.5-liter Duratec V6 rated at 170 horsepower. It is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional 4-speed electronically controlled automatic.

The SVT comes with a high-output version of the already powerful Duratec V6 that is rated at 195 horsepower. It only comes with a manual transmission; an automatic is not available with the SVT. Antilock brakes, which are optional on the Sport model, are standard on the SVT. The SVT interior is distinguished by black-on-white gauges, SVT logos and dark blue leather upholstery.

Walkaround

The Contour looks like a Ford with its classic jellybean styling. The organic styling of the Ford Contour is attractive. The smooth, rounded lines meld into an elegant shape that is pleasing to the eye. It's also an aerodynamic shape that contributes to lower fuel economy and reduced wind noise. It looks a bit dated at this point, however, having been introduced more than four years ago. The Contour blends easily into the traffic, so consider a yellow Mustang if you want to attract a lot of attention.

A less radical approach would be to buy an SVT Contour. It comes with a unique front fascia with round fog lamps, rear valance panel, rocker sill extensions, grille texture, and stainless steel exhaust tips. The front fascia includes ducting to improve the cooling system's performance. SVT Contour is available in Black Clearcoat, Silver Frost Clearcoat Metallic, Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic and Tropic Green Clearcoat Metallic.

Interior Features

Contour's interior design was influenced by Ford's European designers. The interior looks sculpted, cozy and warm. The dashboard flows gracefully into the door panels. The layout is practical, clean and logical. Controls are located right where you'd expect them to be. Switches have a solid, dependable feel. Gauges are more than adequate in size, well-lighted and easy to read. We give special praise to the placement of both the radio and climate control switches. You don't have to go stretching to change stations or turn the heat up on a cold winter's drive. Our only criticism is with the audio system buttons themselves, which are undersized and hard to operate when the car is moving. Also, the cupholders are shallow and don't work as well as they should. During the past five years, Ford's engineers have improved seals and other areas to reduce noise.

The front bucket seats are first rate, comfortable and supportive. They offer plenty of room, even for taller drivers, with a wide range of adjustments including height. Adjustable shoulder harnesses contribute further to comfort.

Ford increased rear legroom a couple of years ago by scooping out the front seatbacks and making subtle adjustments to the rear seat cushions. Still, rear headroom remains on the short side, due to the swooping roofline.

SVT Contour features perforated leather on all seating surfaces available in Midnight Blue or Prairie Tan. It comes with a great leather-wrapped steering wheel along with a leather-covered shifter boot and shift knob. A specially designed driver's seat features 10-way power adjustment, including power lumbar. The front seat's lateral bolstering is accentuated on both the seat cushion and the seatback. The rear seat bottom cushions have been given greater bolstering to more firmly hold the two outboard passengers.

Driving Impressions

With its powerful V6 engine and European-tuned suspension, the Ford Contour offers good acceleration and handling.

The 2.5-liter Duratec V6 puts out a spirited 170 horsepower, and develops maximum torque at relatively low engine revs. This gives it excellent off-the-line acceleration. Employing four valves per cylinder and double overhead cams, the Duratec V6 was engineered with the help of Porsche Engineering and Cosworth, which specializes in Ford racing engines. Maintenance is low. For the first 100,000 miles, you won't need to do have anything done but oil, fluid and filter changes.

The 5-speed manual gearbox works well and we prefer it. Most buyers, however, will opt for the 4-speed automatic, which offers quiet and smooth shifting.

Contour comes standard with 15-inch wheels and tires. Ride and handling were improved in 1999 with revisions to the front subframe and A-arm design, resulting in reduced friction and improved steering precision. It dampens vibration on rough, urban roads, yet maintains a spirited character when you slip out to the countryside. The Contour seems eager to challenge the highway. Body roll is subdued, steering is responsive and predictable. Still, handling response of the Contour Sport model is not as crisp as that of some of the newer models from Honda and Toyota.

Those who want high performance and responsive handling should consider the SVT Contour with its growling 200 horsepower V6. By smoothing airflow through the engine using a process called extrude honing, Ford's Special Vehicle Team has extracted 200 horsepower at 6600 rpm and 170 foot-pounds of torque at 5500.

The SVT Contour also includes some significant tweaks to the suspension along with special wheels and tires. Equipped with wet-dry performance B.F. Goodrich g-force 215/50ZR16 tires mounted on 16-inch cast aluminum-alloy wheels, the 2000 SVT Contour's lateral grip has been increased to 0.90g on a dry skid pad. SVT uses bigger vented front disc brakes from the European market Ford Mondeo ST200. ABS-equipped four-wheel vented disc brakes are capable of smooth and effective deceleration without significant fade or wheel lockup.

Final Word

The Ford Contour comes standard with a powerful V6 engine, sporty handling and a comfortable interior. Its price tag makes it one of the segment's more affordable products, even if you load it up with options.

Ford has stopped making the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, so look for deep discounts as dealers sell down the 2000 models.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2000 Ford Contour Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Opt
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

2000 Ford Contour Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Ford Contour Sedan

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