Ford Contour Engine
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The Contour and the Mystique were built to replace the long running Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz. The Tempo was more of an economy car and came standard with a 2.3 SOHC engine and an optional 3.0 liter motor. This is the 3.0 liter engine that was used in the Ford Taurus and the Ford Probe. The Tempo did not have as nice of a road feel and drove more like the car it was. The Contour was a slightly larger vehicle and was built much better. It was called” A fun four-door sedan that offered European moves at American prices” which only added to its popularity. This put the car in the same class as the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Maxima. The Maxima was a big hit for Nissan but became plagued with mechanical problems. The power rack would fail early, the power steering hoses would leak, the ac compressor would also give up before it should to name a few of the issues.
Ford offered 3 trim levels for the Contour, a base package called the GL, a more loaded model badged the LX and a sporty version called the SE. The safety board rated the Contour poor for frontal impact but got 5 stars in the NHTSA test.