The 1996 Ford Contour provides a roomy compact. It offers plenty of power and surprising zip, even in the GL and LX that sport the four-cylinder engine. The upgrades for 1996 seem sparse, but they help keep the Contour ahead of the competition. The worst thing about the Contour may be the contradictory crash-test results, even though overall safety seems high.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Ford Contour GL, Ford Contour LX, Ford Contour SE
Interior seating adjusts for additional legroom in the back seat of the 1996 Ford Contour. Ford offers five new color options. Adjustments make the Contours fitted with manual transmissions easier to shift. The chrome strip on the front and rear bumper has been removed. Engine improvements for the SE result in tune-ups needed every 100,000 miles.
The 1996 Ford Contour looks good without too much flash. It comes in eleven colors, five of which join the lineup for 1996. The SE comes standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, and the LX and GL come standard with 14-inch aluminum wheels. Tinted glass remains standard for all models. Fog lights provide standard equipment on the LX and SE and mark an available option on the GL. Available options include a keyless entry system, a moonroof, and alloy wheels for the LX and GL.
The interior of the Contour feels spacious for a compact car. The back seat of the 1996 Ford Contour provides plenty of headroom and a decent amount of legroom. Cloth seating comes standard, but leather options remain available. The GL comes with an AM/FM stereo, and the FL and SE come with an AM/FM/cassette stereo. Power windows and locks remain optional in all models.
Performance & Handling
The Ford Contour GL and LX contain the two-liter, four-cylinder engine, which provides enough power and zip to get around town with ease. The 2000 Ford Contour SE comes standard with the 2.5-liter V-6, which gives acceleration and passing power a significant boost. The SE's engine also doesn't require tune-ups as often as the four-cylinder engine. A natural gas engine also provides an option. A four-speed automatic transmission remains optional, but this dramatically decreases the power in the smaller engines.
The 1996 Ford Contour comes standard with driver and passenger front airbags. Traction control and four-wheel anti-lock brakes provide options. The Contour has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests by the NHTSA, the Contour receives four out of five stars for passenger safety. The NHTSA gives the Contour five out of five stars for driver safety. However, during the IIHS crash testing, the overall safety of the Contour gets a “Poor? rating due to data that suggest likely leg and restraint injuries in the event of a frontal collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Contour GL: 23/34 mpg city/highway
Ford Contour LX: 23/34 mpg city/highway
Ford Contour SE: 21/32 mpg city/highway
You Won't Like
- Strange seat adjustment
- Common issues harm heating and air systems
- Contradicting safety ratings
Easy on the wallet, quick on the road.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Nissan Altima
- Buick Century
- Pontiac Grand Prix
- Mitsubishi Galant
- Pontiac Grand Am