I had a 1998 Mystique for about a year and a half. Mine only had the 2.0 L 4- cyl. and a 5 speed, but I could cruise all day at 85 or 90 mph. It was very good for fuel economy also. I could get about 35 on the freeway if i kept my speed down.
But there were some problems. There were quite a few recalls for my car, and some of them were kind of scary. For a while my airbag light was on. Later I got a recall letter saying that there was a connector under the car that could crack after exposure to water and then the contacts would corrode. This would mess up the airbag operation. Nice, huh? If I had been in an accident I might have died. Dosen't Ford check connectors to see if they can handle water?? Ford shouldn't have had so many recalls for a car that made it's debut in 1995. Any carmaker should work out the bugs after a few years.
OK, I am not a big Ford fan anymore, I'll admit it. My dealer was a real pain. They left gas smelling tools in car once. They got my seats dirty several times, and once they left the bottle of their special cleaner in my back seat. I kept that. It gets grease and oil out immediately, but I have no idea what it is. They tried to fix some scratches that were in the car when I bought it by buffing it, but they just swirled the paint and then said that it was from my washing the car. Oh, the memories!!
Anyway, see http://www.contour.org/
This is the best place on the net for Contour info. The SVT is fast, but the back seat for these cars is too small for some adults. The Contour and Mystique also don't hold their value very well. Keep this in mind.
From a performance stand point the Contour is pretty impressive. However, fit and finish is typical for a Ford. A friend of mine has one and says the SVT add-ons/enhancements are great, but has some complaints about the Ford nuances <sic>.
In comparison with an Audi, you are comparing apples and oranges...