1997 Ford Aspire Hatchback 1.3 four cylinder from North America


A good economy car that is great for travelling


The engine seems to have a pinging noise when you accelerate sometimes. When you have the air conditioning on, the engine is horribly slow, and it takes almost forever to get up to speed when the air compressor is on. I have never had (knock on wood) any trouble with the engine. I keep my engine tuned up and the oil changed and my tires inflated properly. However, after travelling from Colorado to Texas, the air conditioner makes a noise now.

General Comments:

This car is definitely better than my old car. But, the maker of the engine could have made the motor a bit more powerful. I do understand that I have an automatic transmission (which causes it to be a bit slower and less powerful) but come on guys! Sixty-three horsepower? The only other car in the world that has the same horsepower rating is a British town car! Cars need more these days. If the car had more power, I would totally love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th July, 2001

7th Jul 2005, 19:04

What do you expect? Compare the engine to a Geo Metro or Toyota Tercel or a Fiat. You get a lot for that little horsepower - I can merge with traffic on a highway from a dead stop just fine and even pass at on a 75 mph highway. This is not the quickest car on the road, but Hondas and Toyotas from the 80s have more hp and can't keep up. The standard transmissions will give you a little more go than the automatic. If you're looking for more pick up, you're looking for more car (and more $).

1997 Ford Aspire 1.3 L from North America


Low performance, but it will fit anywhere


Had long-term low idle problem that the dealer finally fixed after 3 tries.

Had broken glove-box and passenger side mirror handle when purchased... fixed under warranty.

Check Engine light comes on and goes off periodically... dealer says I have an emissions problem, something about erratic solenoids. It would cost about $400 to fix, but they said it wouldn't hurt to drive the car that way so I have.

General Comments:

Overall, it seems to run fine, with the usual acceleration slowness encountered by other automatic Aspire drivers... especially in second gear.

I have noticed that many other Aspires experience problems with door "dimples". I have been lucky, as so far I only have one.

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

Review Date: 14th May, 2001

1997 Ford Aspire 1.3L 4 cylinder from North America


Great first car/urban combat trainer


The airbag warning light came on at 25,000 miles and the dealer (not the one I purchased from) replaced the airbag unit in 2 hours at no cost.

Rattle developed in the engine compartment at 33,000 miles. The original dealer fixed it at no cost, although it took 2 trips to the dealer and almost a week to correct.

I had to replace the windshield at 30,000 miles after the truck in front of me went off the road and kicked gravel into me. This was not my car's fault, and I went on to drive 1500 miles afterwards. There was only one long crack that did not impede vision, but what can I say, I demand an intact windshield.

This car has never stranded me (wish I could say the same for my Fiat and Toyota) in almost three years of ownership. Yes it's cheap, but after 3 years, 50,000 miles (and I drive my cars HARD), this car is the only one I've ever owned (out of 5) that I consider bulletproof. Third-world engineering may be simple, but it is also sturdy!

General Comments:

No, this car won't set the road on fire, but if driven well you just might surprise yourself. Not to mention the drivers around you. I regularly shame vastly superior automobiles in city driving. Took out a Corvette 3 days ago without even breaking any speed limits, and it cost me less gas to do so! If you are competitively-minded, this car won't let you down, BUT it will demand the best out of its driver.

On the highway, however, I swallow my pride, break the speed limit, and just get where I wanna go. If anyone wants a piece of me, there's not much I can do about it, except rest secure in the knowledge that they'll spend more on gas than I will.

Despite all my (grudging) respect for this car, nothing changes the fact that it can't handle worth a damn. Handling is on a par with the Lincoln Towncar. Suffice it to say, fine for normal, restrained driving, but if you really want to hang it out there, the lack of tactile response and squirrelly body roll will keep even the most fearless drivers from pressing the issue.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2001