1985 Ford Escort wagon 1.6L gas from North America


Cheap car, but plan your entrance into traffic!


Nothing has really gone wrong, but it is experiencing some ring blow by. With the automatic (3 speed at that) the engine really screams at highway speeds. This has worn down the rings some. It still runs good, and does not smoke, but the oil vapors are coming out every place they can find.

General Comments:

This car was a one owner with low miles. The 3 speed automatic transmission is a bad choice. The combination of 1.6L and the automatic means the acceleration is old electric car like, without that pesky electric car silence. The handling is OK, and the brakes are good, but the automatic transmission should not be offered with this car. I get about 18.5 mpg in the city, but can only squeeze 24 mpg highway if I keep it under 70 mph, and at that speed the poor little engine is spinning along at 3500 RPM. Take it to 80 mph and the tach reads 3800 and the mileage drops to 19 mpg HIGHWAY. It has not been a bad car, I just prefer something with more get-up-and-go.

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

Review Date: 2nd February, 2007

1985 Ford Escort from North America


Clutch suddenly died at 120,000 miles.

Water pump (?) needed replacing at 80,000 miles.

General Comments:

Bought brand new for advertised $5995.

"family car" definitely. Reliable, retained good looks to the end, both inside & out, not a speck of rust despite living in Minnesota and at 200,000 miles. Great gas mileage, but of course not much get up & go; you couldn't run the heater if you were going up a hill without losing momentum. Turning off the heater while climbing a hill became so automatic I still find myself doing it with my current car.

Brought a swingset home in this car once. Seriously. Opened the hatch & loaded, let the swingset extend out the back, away we go. They said it couldn't be done, which only made me more determined.

At 200,000 miles it was refused as a trade at the dealer so was sold for $200 cash through a classified ad. Poor thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2006

1985 Ford Escort XR3i 1.6 CVH from UK and Ireland


Great fun, and handles like it's on rails


Bought the car quite cheap at eight-hundred pounds and spent two-hundred on a new head gasket. Other than that, nothing major, just 'old car' loose parts etc.

General Comments:

This is a late MKIII XR3i in absolutely fantastic condition. Less rust than my previous 1999 Vectra! I absolutely love this car. It could do with a little more power at times, but still keeps up with the traffic.

By far the best handling car I have ever driven bar-none. The more modern than some cars which were built ten years after my Escort. I have used the car as a daily driver and it is as reliable as any other car I have owned - loads of fun - buy one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2006

1985 Ford Escort Laser-2 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland




The bodywork developed major rusting after just 5 years.

The diaphragm in the carb was always breaking, causing the car to stall when declutching.

The cam belt blew after 50000 miles, leaving the driver stranded in morning rush-hour traffic at a busy town junction.

It needed new dampers all round after 5 years.

Engine began to smoke like an old hack not too long after the cam belt blew. It needed valve seals, rings, and bearings. It also needed a new distributor and carburetor.

General Comments:

The car was bought from new and stayed in the family for 7 years.

It was quite a pleasant car to look at, both inside and out, and drove reasonably well. Running costs were modest, and would have continued to be if it hadn't started to fall apart at the seams.

Unfortunately, the pleasant experiences of its early years were overshadowed by the succession of failures and deterioration.

I would never have bought another Escort after this, and replaced it with a Peugeot 205.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2005

13th Dec 2006, 16:36

The 1.3 litre engine fitted to your Escort was an overhead valve unit.

It does not have a cambelt.

12th Mar 2007, 15:00

I beg to differ with the above comment. The 1.3 fitted to escorts between 1980 and 1985 were CVH overhead cam engines and DO have a cam belt, therefore the author of this review is indeed correct.

It was only 1986 onwards Mk4 escorts which were fitted with the overhead valve engine. Sorry, but the comment writer is mistaken!

27th Aug 2015, 01:41

1983 through 1985.5 were 1.6L CVH engines. In 1985.5+ they were the 1.9L CVH engines.

I believe the 1.3L engines were used in the Festivas.