Ford Scorpio Reviews from Norway

1997 Ford Scorpio GLX 2.3i Cosworth

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.3i Cosworth Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 kilometres
Most recent distance143000 kilometres
Previous carFord Scorpio

Summary:

Gorgeous and practical car at a great price

Faults:

Instruments.

Front brake discs.

Rear brake discs.

Rear brake calipers.

Handbrake cable.

A couple of undercarriage bushings.

Clutch.

Booth lock seized. A typical weak spot.

General Comments:

The car had received several sets of front brake discs before I bought it. I decided to just live with the slight pulsing because it never go any worse and it often went away for months at the time. Most likely, they wore unevenly and weren't warped. The main problem is the design; they should be glued to the axle because they are only held in place by the wheel and wheel nuts. If not glued, they will come partly unstuck during wheel changes, allowing dirt to enter between the flange and disc, warping it.

Rear brake calipers are sensitive - if you do not pull the handbrake every time you park the car, you can expect the calipers to get stuck within a couple of years. Repair is not cheap. I had to replace a set on mine because they hadn't been used. This also ruined the brake discs and pads because the handbrake didn't release fully. In addition, the handbrake cable were stuck from lack of use.

A few bushings were replaced over the years in the undercarriage, but nothing worth complaining about.

The instruments had been replaced before I got the car, apparently a weak item.

The suspension was fine on the motorway, but horrible over speed bumps. The worst was going over really broken roads at a walking pace, when the car would bounce/move sideways instead of back-forth, making for a very uncomfortable ride as passengers where shaken sideways into the doors. Still, it was far better in absorbing big bumps and speed bumps than my former 1995 2.9 litre Scorpio (you can read about that in the (1995 section if you fancy).

Ground clearance was not great, but significantly better than on my 1995 model. Compared to my current 2004 Mondeo, however, the Scorpio's ride very low indeed.

I love the looks of these Scorpios and have done so since I first saw one. Particularly the rear end is appealing. The car lost some of its elegance for the 1998 facelift, however, what with a new grill and taillights, but not enough to ruin the car.

The interior held up very well and the interior looked virtually brand new after 143,000 km (about 90,000 miles).

The seats are comfy, but my lower spec car lacked the ability to adjust the angle of the seat, something I missed a little as I like to have the seat high up front and low in the back. Also, a bit more lumbar support for the lower back would have been nice on longer drives. Still, the seats are huge and well padded and excellent for most people. Rear seats are likewise very good, but only for two adults. The person forced to sit in the middle of the back seat won't be all that comfortable, and there is no headrest or proper seatbelt for this "emergency" seat.

The engine had the same top end as my 2.9 (147 hp for the 2.3 vs 150 claimed for the 2.9) but lacked the low-and midrange torque of the larger engine. And even the big donk only came fully alive at 4200 rpm, about the same point that the 2.3 started to go really well. While the rev limiter cut the fun at 5700 rpm on the big six, the smaller four kept going until 6400 rpm. And using all the revs paid off, especially in the lower two gears, in order to get a good drive in the next taller gear.

The manual gearbox and overall gearing was a better match for the power on the 2.3 than in the 2.9, which was over-geared. Only the very low first gear and subsequent big drop in revs when shifting into 2nd gear was less than ideal.

The clutch on mine was warped when I got it, but replacing it didn't do wonders. It would always drag a little and you could hear a clunk in the final drive every time you put it in gear from standstill. Also, getting underway was problematic as well as ultra-smooth shifts because engagement wasn't smooth - sitting with the car idling and gently letting out the clutch, the revs would jump up and down several 100 rpm as the clutch grabbed and released constantly. Annoying.

Fuel consumption varied from the best of 7.2 litres / 100 km to a worst of 11.5 litres / 100 km. Typical consumption in mixed driving (mostly town and suburban) was around 9.3 litres / 100 km.

Being of a DOCH design, there are still no cambelts to replace since the cams are chain driven. The chain is silent in operation. Also, hydraulic adjustment means you can ignore the valves.

Many doesn't know that the 2.3 was developed by Cosworth. It's 4-valve heads helped power and tractability - it would pull (slowly) from as low as 600 rpm in 5th gear and continue to pull all the way to a 210 kph (128 mph) top speed. And it was smooth running, too, thanks to twin balancers.

The lock button in the boot lid was completely stuck in this car, requiring a key to open. On my 1995 model, the button often became stuck or difficult to move, and lubing it is a real pain in a certain spot because you need to remove the lock to get everything clean and smooth working.

The overall build quality on my car was good, but not nearly as good as that of the 1995. It didn't seem equally well built; more interior noise, "singing" noise from the rear axle, noise from the electric windows when moving up or down and the odd rattle from the interior.

I want another late model, low-mileage Scorpio. Every time I sit in one, I feel at home. Everything fits just right. Although my 2004 Mondeo Ghia has a nice interior on its own, it doesn't come close to matching that of the Scorpios, which are almost cosier than a typical living room.

Then you have the exterior, which both my wife and I consider as one of the prettiest to ever grace a family saloon.

And we don't care what the rest of the world thinks ;)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th May, 2010

1995 Ford Scorpio GXL 2.9i 12V

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.9i 12V Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired154000 kilometres
Most recent distance244000 kilometres
Previous carFord Mondeo

Summary:

Very pretty car that's a bit costly to run

Faults:

Electronic issues never solved.

Alternator.

Automatic gearbox.

Leaky manifold gasket.

Rear wheel bearing and driveshaft.

Several sets of front brake discs.

One set of rear discs.

A few bushings in the undercarriage.

Instruments.

General Comments:

From the day I got it, the car had electronic issues; issues that got worse as the years went by. Despite spending 10 days in total at the dealer, the source was never discovered. Power would vary greatly, which also affected the gearbox, cruise control was inconsistent in every way imaginable, climate control would lead its own life and ignoring the request for a certain temperature, heated seats could get anything from uncomfortably hot to lukewarm. In the end, the heater fan would only blow when it felt like it, be it in automatic or manual mode, making the car impractical for daily use in our northern climate, forcing a sale.

Alternator was gone when I bought it, a costly repair, but I was aware of this.

Automatic gearbox was also gone when I bought it, which I didn't know about. Repair was the eqv. of 4,000 Euros back in 1999. Ouch! To avoid these failures, it makes sense to change the oil and filter every 25,000 miles and also lock it in 3rd (or even 2nd in extreme cases) when going uphill and the car fails to stay locked in top (or 3rd) gear. Failing to lock it in a lower gear will make the 'box go in and out of lock, greatly increasing wear.

The inlet manifold developed a minor leak and required new seals. Not cheap, either.

A rear wheel bearing failed completely, destroying the driveshaft with it. About 1,000 Euro to fix.

I think I replaced 6 sets of front brake discs. The problem is the design; they should be glued to the axle because they are only held in place by the wheel and wheel nuts. If not glued, they will come partly unstuck during wheel changes, allowing dirt to enter between the flange and disc, warping it. In addition to warping problems, they also tend to wear unevenly, causing a vibrating sensation similar to that of warped discs.

One set of rear discs were also required. Both front and rear discs had actually rusted so badly after just 4 years on the road that the circumference fell apart.

Rear brake calipers are sensitive - if you do not pull the handbrake every time you park the car, you can expect the calipers to get stuck within a couple of years. Repair is not cheap.

A few bushings were replaced over the years in the undercarriage, but nothing worth complaining about.

The instruments had been replaced before I got the car, apparently a weak item.

The suspension was fine on the motorway, but horrible over speed bumps. The worst was going over really broken roads at a walking pace, when the car would bounce/move sideways instead of back-forth, making for a very uncomfortable ride as passengers where shaken sideways into the doors.

Ground clearance was sportcar low, a problem over speed bumps and other bad roads. This didn't seem to be the case with later models.

Enough about the complaints. This was the first of the frog face models, which in my opinion is one of the best looking cars ever made. Ever since I first saw a picture of one on the back of a bus late in 1994, I wanted one. But they were very pricey at first. However, my particular car had dropped from the eqv. of 75,000 Euro to less than 19,000 Euro in just 4 years and 154,000 km. How great that most people found these cars ugly!

The interior held up very well save for the outer edge of the rear seat, where the material around the pinstriping wore through where trouser bottoms had scraped over every time anybody went into the car for a drive. Apart from this minor imperfection, the interior looked virtually brand new after 245,000 km (over 150,000 miles).

The seats are comfy, but my lower spec car lacked the ability to adjust the angle of the seat, something I missed a little as I like to have the seat high up front and low in the back. Also, a bit more lumbar support for the lower back would have been nice on longer drives. Still, the seats are huge and well padded and excellent for most people. Rear seats are likewise very good, but only for two adults. The person forced to sit in the middle of the back seat won't be all that comfortable, and there is no headrest or proper seatbelt for this "emergency" seat.

The engine, when it ran like it should, had good power and a satisfying sound under load while being almost silent during cruising. Fuel consumption varied from the best of 8.3 litre / 100 km to a worst of 17.5 litres / 100 km. Typical consumption in mixed driving (mostly town and suburban) was around 1.35 litre / 100 km.

Being of pushrod design, there are no cambelts to replace. Also, hydraulic adjustment means you can ignore the valves.

The gearbox, once the new unit was in pace, was wonderful. It would change down from 4th to 2nd gear instantly, without delay or the annoying visit to 3rd that is so common for automatic boxes. Being of the old design, it had no settings available (sport, economy, winter) - the only option was 2nd gear starts during winter driving if grip was poor.

I would have liked a little shorter gearing overall, because the car was totally unable to pull maximum revs in top gear. Acceleration and pulling power and top speed would all have improved with shorter gearing.

It also shifted too early into 3rd gear; 2nd gear came at 22 kph at the earliest, with 3rd following shortly at 27 kph. This lead to a lot of slurring. I usually locked the box in 2nd gear during tow driving to reduce the slurring and the amount of gearchanges.

4th gear came at an indicated 70 kph, at which point it would also lock up (like a manual) if the load was light. Set in 3rd gear, it would lock up at the same speed. It would have been better to have this lock-up at different speeds because if you were stuck in slow moving traffic, you would risk the box going in and out of lock constantly regardless of gear unless you wanted to scream away in 2nd gear.

Interestingly, the rev counter gave green light to 6300 rpm, whereas the rev limiter cut in at 5700 rpm.

The overall build quality on my car was magnificent, and only the electronic issues made me sell it in the end. I replaced it with a low-mileage 1997 2.3, which didn't seem equally well built; more interior noise, noise from the electric windows when moving up or down and the odd rattle from the interior. You can read about it in the 1997 section - if you're not bored stiff already.

Overall, this car suits me better than any other car to the point that I'm looking for a well equipped, low-mileage Scorpio to replace my much newer Mondeo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th May, 2010

1985 Ford Scorpio GL 2.8i

Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.8i Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired112000 kilometres
Most recent distance405000 kilometres

Summary:

The unknown classic

Faults:

As the car got older, naturally, more things needed to be replaced or fixed. The clutch and gearbox was replaced at 100000km, the water pump at around 300000, together with a new paint job, the passenger front door after a theft attempt, and all the other regular maintenance, as brakes, oil, etc.

General Comments:

My first car, loved it, the biggest backseats the world has ever seen, nice 6 cylinder sound, nice looking original RS body kit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th November, 2006

Average review marks: 5.2 / 10, based on 3 reviews