1984 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L 4 cylinder
Economical, reliable, comfortable, attractive car
The 1984 model was carbureted. This led to difficulties during extreme cold where I lived in northern Minnesota.
The cold also killed the cruise control by causing a vac line to disconnect.
The lug nuts holding the wheels were capped with stainless covers. These rusted out after about 100,000 miles and needed to be replaced.
The magnetic clutch on the A/C compressor died at 98,000 miles. (A/C was not essential in the north country; I never had it fixed.)
I really liked this car and kept it for ten years. It had 164,000 miles on it when I traded it in on a 1993 Tempo.
It was solid, had good amenities and economical to operate. I got 30 MPG @ 50 MPH, 28 @ 55, 25 @ 60. I could measure these quite closely thanks to the stopwatch in the dash and the cruise control.
The final cost figure was $25,000 to own and operate for ten years. The purchase price was $10,000, or 38% of the total. This worked out to $0.16/mile or $7.48/day.
Not bad, eh?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th October, 2010
I couldn't personally call the Tempo "attractive", but you'll get no argument on the reliability. We've owned a lot of Fords and a few imports. A well-cared-for Ford will easily last two or three times as long as any import due to the better materials, higher build quality and stronger drive trains. Even in '84 Ford build quality was higher than any import. The new ones are MUCH higher. We now own two Fords and I find them to be totally flawless in every respect. The only thing I really miss about our imports is the fact that they DID give me something to do on weekends... namely putting them back together after they fell apart!!