1989 Ford Escort L 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Good economical motoring!!!


The brake pads needed changing.

It needed a new clutch!

General Comments:

Pretty good car, which is value for money to keep on the road. Does quite a few miles to the gallon, looks good considering it's 12 years old, pretty sporty.

There's lots of room for other passengers etc. The only problem really is the excessive engine noise (sounds like a tractor when it's in traffic). Oh and the really deadly boring interior!

The 1.6 and 1.8 model is definitely a better buy, although the 1.4 is economical, especially for younger drivers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2001

1989 Ford Escort Popular 1.3 from UK and Ireland


An absolute minter - HIGHLY recommended


The gate on the gearbox had slipped - This wasn't a necessary job, as the gearbox still operated fine.

New shock absorbers all round - This again wasn't completely necessary. They weren't completely worn.

Minor Welding on rear wheel arch.

General Comments:

This car has been in the family for 2 years now, and there has not been a single mechanical fault in it. The engine has always started first time.

It is seriously competitive with my friends 1.3 Ford Fiesta.

It is also not far off a Nova 1.4 Luxe, which to me is quite impressive.

It thrashes a Vauxhall Astra 1.3 with no problem.

I have recently fitted some 185/13 steel wheels to the car for improved handling, and I was surprised at just how much difference it made.

Although people argue it isn't a particularly nice looking car, I still think it has aged very well, particularly the bodywork, as there is not a patch of rust anywhere on the car.

This is an ideal first car, for insurance purposes and also for speed.

I'm not looking forward to the day I have to part with it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2001

10th Oct 2001, 03:01

Well someone very nicely ran into the back of me and caused £800 worth of damage. Insurance write off :0 (

17th Nov 2003, 14:08

Great car.

Built to last as long as you look after it, it will look after you.

Great around town.

Great on long trips.

Starts first time (cold or hot)

Great fun to drive if you have good tyres on it.


1989 Ford Escort LX 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Can I have it back please? I miss it dreadfully


Nothing much went wrong with the car. On the whole it was very reliable.

Replaced the exhaust from top to bottom.

Wiper blades needed replacing more regularly than I thought they would.

Clutch made a strange whining noise at the biting point until 50 000 miles, but I have heard this on similar models also until that mileage.

Occasionally the battery dumped its charge for no good or apparent reason, but a jump start soon had it going again.

General Comments:

For a basic car I was thoroughly impressed with it. As with any car, if you look after it and service it regularly, it will last you forever.

It was comfortable, easy to drive, reliable, economical, as good on long distance trips fully loaded as it was buzzing round town.

I regret getting rid of it now. Should have kept it. A friend's has just completed 130 000 miles and only the body work underneath is making him get rid - for another Escort.

You cannot beat them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2001

1989 Ford Escort S1 RS Turbo 1.6 turbo from UK and Ireland


High performance car, with good tuning potential, surprisingly fast



General Comments:

Seriously fast, not just an upgrade from my XR3i.

Quite comfy.

Very reliable, only let me down twice in 6 years of owning it.

The turbo was also very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2001

1989 Ford Escort Bonus 1.3 HCS from UK and Ireland


A fine budget runabout -- nothing more


Rear coil spring broken.

Rear suspension wishbone rusted through.

Throttle cable snapped.

Rotten boot floor and wheel arches.

General Comments:

Well this is my third Mk3 Escort, and this one must rank as the most reliable of them all. Even in -15C temperatures, the engine kicks into life first time. Apart from oil changes and routine maintenance, it's given me very little trouble. It is a friendly car to run around in, if a bit basic.

Performance is not much cop, and the engine sounds like a load of bolts being shaken in a tin can, but it's a Ford, and that means dirt cheap spares and low running costs, and at the end of the day that's what matters.

My main gripe is rust. This car will be heading for the scrap yard within the next year; this is the rustiest Escort I have ever had. What is it with European Fords in the late 80's? They disintegrate if the weather man even mentions rain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2001

30th Aug 2002, 06:40

I have to agree with this post. I too have an Escort Bonus, and although it is still mechanically sound the bodywork is starting to rot away.


22nd Apr 2004, 06:47

My Escort Bonus is spectacular. Mechanically sound, needs little work, only things of a routine nature. The bodywork and chassis e.t.c is fairly rust free and once it has had a wash it looks like new.

31st Dec 2004, 14:34

My 1991 Bonus has been remarkably rust free. Under the bonnet, it looks like new. 120,000 miles now and the only problem has been a leaking rear brake cylinder and an exhaust front down-pipe that cracked at the flange. Suspension seems to be rock hard and the engine has always sounded awful, but the economy has been great. A 1200 mile trip to Germany at a steady 50 mph returned 63 mpg. I like to think that the regular 5000 mile oil changes and never letting it near a garage have helped.

13th Aug 2007, 15:04

I have a 1989 Ford Escort Bonus, up until now it has been a smashing little car, but a few niggles here and there have started to crop up like a malfunctioning ignition module which although it doesn't stop the car from working, it does have an annoying habit of misfiring when not under load. I have investigated, and after changing the leads and checking the plugs, and found them to be OK, has not solved the problem at all.

Plus after changing a rear wheel bearing last Saturday due to it humming loudly, the dreaded humming sound has returned on the same wheel again.

However, all said, Escort 1.3s are brilliant motors generally speaking, giving good MPG and reliability, and the little OHV engine is virtually indestructible.