1982 Ford Escort Reviews

1982 Ford Escort EXP 1.6L Gas from North America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.6L Gas Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance69000 miles


The best car I have ever owned


Water Pump

CV Shaft.

General Comments:

Well, I have to say I really like this car. It's the best 600 dollars I've ever spent! I bought this car from a friend of mine that I use to work with and he only paid 300 dollars or so for the car, and he only got rid of it because he had no room for it. The paint is a little faded with some rough spots, and the interior has no carpet making the cab a little noisy. The seats are far more comfortable than you might expect on an older car and are still in good shape. The car is not very fast, but the four banger is good on gas and its zippy enough for me. It handles surprisingly well. The parts are cheap, and easy to install, due to the fact that the power-train is all escort based. The EXP is basically a two seat Escort, or half an Escort! This car is very reliable and has never left me stranded anywhere. I give credit to the previous owner for that. I plan on keeping this car for awhile, as I have no payments and the heater works great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2008

1982 Ford Escort 1.6 from North America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 1.6 Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Chevette


Economical but crude


Cylinder head cracked at 91,000 miles.

General Comments:

Bought it for $2000 with 30K miles and ran it up to 90K with minimal repairs. It gave 25 mpg and was peppier than the Chevette that preceded it. So far, so good.

But - despite regular oil changes and maintenance, the engine head cracked at 91K miles.

And unlike other small cars, the Escort was never much fun to drive. The suspension was tuned for a soft ride, but it ended up feeling wobbly - it bottomed constantly and had lots of "bump steer" on rocky pavement. The power steering was numb, the unassisted brakes were weak, and the automatic shifted abruptly enough to raise passengers' eyebrows.

Being the base Escort - below even the "L" - its front seats didn't recline. The steering wheel was a thin plastic ring with no horn button (it was on the turn signal stalk), and the dash had no center vents.

All told, 60K miles of mostly trouble-free driving redeemed the Escort, even after it died prematurely. But it didn't make us want to go get another Ford.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th April, 2007

1982 Ford Escort EXP 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired12 miles
Most recent distance327000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Beetle


A fun Ford


Seats have minimal wear

Bearings getting wear.

General Comments:

An economical, fun Ford! I always wanted a 1957 Thunderbird, when Ford brought out the EXP two-seater, I grabbed it! Still love it 22 years later!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2004

24th Jun 2004, 20:44

You have had the car 22 years? Awesome!!! With 300k, have you had to redo the engine, tranny etc? Tell us more... I loved those cars.

10th Jul 2005, 12:22

I think it is totally outstanding that you have saved and loved an EXP since new. I owned a 1982 model from 1991 to 1994,and I miss that quirky little car! Other than normal wear items, the only trouble I had was needing a new alternator once in over 70,000 miles I put on the car. I think it'sad that the EXP is one of the most forgotten Fords of all time. Today's slammed import-tuner crowd has no idea of what a Ford EXP is. The best way I can describe one is that it was related to the Escort the same way the Karmann-Ghia was related to the Volkswagen Bug. The only complaint I ever did have about this car is that was a little under-powered. I don't care, I want another one now!

1982 Ford Escort GL 1.6 Liter 4 speed from North America

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1982
Most recent year of ownership1986
Engine and transmission 1.6 Liter 4 speed Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired15 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Malibu


A Blue Blooded FORD


Clutch cable would mysteriously fall off the self adjusting pedal.

Heater core failure.

Dead at 75,000 miles.

General Comments:

A very good handling car and good traction in the snow.

The engine was weak. Harsh sounding, especially when pushed. The manual transmission growled like a junkyard dog. The all vinyl interior and simplistic dashboard made a Datsun 310 seem plush by comparison. Overall, the car had a high noise level making the stereo inaudible unless it was blasted to the point of distortion.

At $6,500, it was more expensive than other compacts of the day. Many of these early Escorts died in carburetor fires before they were recalled by Ford. Ours died of "Old Age", right after the payment book ended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd June, 2003

15th Apr 2007, 09:14

I have a 1982 Ford Escort GL that has 79,000 miles on it and it is still almost in mint condition. I think the only way to have it die at 75,000, is if you treat it like a hillbilly vehicle!!!

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 6 reviews