1986 Ford Escort GL '86 special edition Estate 1.4 CVH petrol from UK and Ireland


Unbelievably reliable car, ideal first car / university car


Radio aerial didn't work when I bought the car.

Radiator had to be replaced at 86 000.

Distributor replaced at 94 000.

Ignition module replaced at 112 000.

Carburettor replaced at 115 000.

Had to have lots of welding done. Rust was the biggest problem with this car - as it is with any Ford of this age.

General Comments:

The car was amazingly comfortable, every passenger commented on it. I drove 700 miles, taking 14 hours in one day, and I still felt as though I could drive further.

Mechanically very reliable. Even after sitting on the drive for four weeks (after being diagnosed with terminal rust), the car started first time.

You do have to know how to start a CH engine - two quick pumps of the gas pedal before you turn the ignition over.

Very easy to maintain and work on. All parts easily accessed.

I bought the car in 2005 for £300. I had the car serviced every 6 months, and it never let me down in nearly 5 years. It was used (and dare I say abused) as my first car, and also used to transport cadets and luggage around for camps.

I was gutted to get rid of it, but £600 of welding just couldn't be justified.

If you can find one, the Mark IV Escort really is a good buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2010

1986 Ford Escort LX 1.4 CVH "lean burn" from UK and Ireland


Tinny, rattly, not very economical or reliable


Water pump failed, almost boiling engine.

Cam belt required changing far too frequently.

Wheel trims fell off on a regular basis.

Rear lights worked intermittently (known fault with poor contacts).

Rain water leaks.

Rust spots on rear wheel arches.

Front tyres wore unevenly.

Always burned some oil.

General Comments:

The 1.4 CVH lean burn engine is great, except that it could only ever manage just over 40mpg even treated with a feather foot on the motorway.

CVH stands for "constant vibration and harshness", this overhead cam engine was always very rough.

Poor handling, especially on long motorway bends where the steering requires constant fiddling to keep the car on track.

Very prone to side winds, which cause the car to twitch about from side to side, much worse than my previous Golf.

Oil change service required every 6000 miles by dealer for warranty - expensive.

Notchy gearbox.

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

Review Date: 17th September, 2009

1986 Ford Escort LX 1.9 CFI 4 from North America


A great little form -follows- function car


There were electrical problems shortly after purchase. a short in the wiring harness burned out the fuel pump, ignition module and the engine control module.

The car had considerable rust in the under body and rocker panels from sitting on a used car lot for 2.5 years. There was a wasp nest in the door when I road tested it. The rear fender wells were unexpectedly very sound.

The tachometer only works in very cold weather.

The 4 speaker factory sound system is great.


General Comments:

I drove it from Erie PA to Fremont Indiana, 411 miles on 9.8 gallons of gasoline. It is a 4 speed manual.

This spring, in view of rising gasoline prices, I decided to do renovation work to pass Pennsyllvania's strict Annual Vehicle Inspection. This required rebuilding the rocker panels and floor pans, and minor rust in the 4 doors. It needed both lower ball joints replaced even though the original Ford-scripted exhaust system passed.

The car is small, but comfortable for a smaller person (5'6") like myself. My 6 foot sons find it cramped. It rides well at highway speeds, but is also agile in the city.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2004

1986 Ford Escort EXP 1.9 from North America


Runs good cheap to fix


The Primary Problems I have had with this car, is the cooling system, first it was the heater core, than it was the water pump, but they were very easy to fix, for example, the heater core slid right out from inside the glove compartment, and the water pump took only a few hours with the right tools, also the door handles pretty much popped off and had to be replaced.

General Comments:

The car is very good in the snow, I have taken it over mountain passes in snow storms, it handled very well.

It has not broken down a lot, and when it has, it was cheap and easy to fix.

Good Fuel Mileage.

Lots of room in the back for naps on long road trips.

Good get up and go.

Looks god with a big fat guy (me) or a itty bitty blonde (my wife)

Lots of room for speakers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th February, 2003