1997 Ford Aspire Base 1.3L Inline 4 from North America


Awesome fuel economy, and will not die!


The right rear wheel bearing was replaced.

General Comments:

I purchased the car due to the rising fuel costs, and it has been the best decision I have ever made. I purchased the car from the second owner, whom purchased it at 80,000 miles. To this date the car has had nothing but oil changes, tune-ups, and tires with the exception of a new alternator six months ago.

Personally, I think the car looks like a hot wheels, and actually drives like a golf cart, but it can cruise at 75MPH with great ease.

I am very happy with it, and with over 220000 miles on the original engine and tranny, it runs out quite well and still gets 39MPG regularly.


If you can find one, buy it. You can't go wrong. I am gonna literally drive the wheels off this thing, and glue it back together and keep on wheelin!

Don't expect anything special. It is as plain as they come, but it will beat every small car on the market today as far as fuel economy, and if you want to get any better, you will shell out a cool 30 grand on a Honda Civic Hybrid, which by the way, will not save much money if you factor in full coverage insurance, interest, and maintenance costs.

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

Review Date: 25th September, 2008

1997 Ford Aspire 1.3 from North America


Good for the money


1. After a couple of months wouldn't start in rainy weather. Replacing the high voltage wires fixed that.

2. The starter died at about 75 000. Replaced myself (an easy job).

4. Rough idle all the time I owned it.

5. The transmission wasn't completely OK from the very beginning. Approximately half a year before death a strong rattle developed (like something fell off inside of it and was hitting against the moving parts). The rattle gradually became quieter and disappeared. Finally, the transmission died. I could still get it in gear, but the car would stay still and produce a very loud and nasty rattle (the drive axles were found to be OK).

General Comments:

I bought the car for $1100 hoping that it would last a year or two and wasn't disappointed. However, keeping in mind the price of the car, replacing the transmission ($1000 estimate) wouldn't be a good idea.

This vehicle has two major pluses: price and gas mileage. On the other hand, it is rather slow, unstable on the road, uncomfortable and very noisy.

Summing up, I would recommend it to anyone who needs a cheap and relatively reliable transportation.

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

Review Date: 26th March, 2007

1997 Ford Aspire 2 Door Hatchback from North America




Master cylinder went two weeks after I purchased car. I was told it would need to be replaced before hand. So I was well aware of the issue.

Had to put on new wipers, at about 85000 miles.

Check engine light came on at 92567 miles, it turned out to be minor muffler emission problem. It cost me $68.72 to fix plus $45.00 for labor.

General Comments:

I LOVE my little red bomber!! I have traveled to and fro with her.

I've seen the Beautyful White Mountains (with no problems I might add with the ups and downs of the mountains). I've camped the gorgeous National Forest camp sites (yes in my car not in a tent as the seats lay all the way down).

I still get between 26 and 31 miles to the gallon!

I'm 48 yrs old and have had a few cars in my time, but none as good as my little red bomber!! I wouldn't trade her for any other vehicle (unless it was her brother or sister of course). She will be with me for life (that's her life).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2005

1997 Ford Aspire 2-dr Hatchback 1.3L 4-cylinder from North America


Economical, yet unsatisfactory car overall


Air conditioner belt installed incorrectly, squealed like a pig after 10,000 miles. Fixed under warranty.

Manual transmission shift linkage broke after about 15,000 miles requiring a shift pattern of 1st - Neutral - 2nd to switch into second gear without it popping back into neutral. Fixed under warranty, but required a 3-month wait for the part.

Air bag control switch broke after about 20,000 miles. Replaced under warranty.

Corroded starter wire starting at 36,001 miles (no joke, one mile past the warranty period) caused the car to not crank in wet/misty weather for the remaining time that I owned it. The problem required continual application of WD-40 in wet weather to keep moisture and corrosion off of the wire, or, when WD-40 was unavailable, required bump-starting the car in 1st gear after a push. (Quite embarrassing.)

Engine sputter surfaced in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears - intermittently - from about 45,000 miles until 80,000. Problem was never able to be diagnosed by mechanics due to the intermittent nature.

Airbag control switch broke - again - at about 50,000 miles. Never repaired.

Air conditioner condenser broke at 77,000 miles. Never fixed due to the $500 blue book value of the car at that point; became the ultimate reason to donate the car to charity.

General Comments:

An economical, yet unsatisfactory car overall.

The Aspire is what it is: a cheap, not terribly well manufactured car for college kids. In fact, that's exactly what I needed it for when I needed it!

The car wasn't terribly powerful, due to it's 63hp engine, and had a mountain of mechanical failures, though it's strengths were in low sticker price (mine was $9,100 brand-new with the A/C and rear-defrost options) and fuel economy (I saw 32mpg city and between 38 and 42mpg on the highway).

The overall vehicle experience was pretty poor due to the uncomfortable seats, cramped cabin, and extremely noisy ride on the highway. A four hour ride would leave your backside sore and numb, with your ears ringing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th June, 2005

10th Jun 2005, 18:13

Get yourself a Festiva, same engine same tranny and a lot less weight. I believe some of them even had AC.

7th Sep 2007, 08:27

He might have graduated from college now and bought himself something more substantial than that.

To all of those who consume copious amounts of WD-40 to deal with a corroded contact at the starter: I would have taken off the connection, cleaned it with a wire brush from all corrosion, put it back together and sealed it with either battery pole grease or silicone.