1989 Ford Escort L 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, reliable transport... no more, no less



Has only required routine servicing and a set of front brake pads.

Breathes heavily through rocker cover breather, but keep chucking the cheap oil in, and she just keeps on going.

General Comments:

57bhp of tarmac-tearing horsepower means that performance can best be described as leisurely. Best to not try and win any Grands Prix with it, and be content to cruise.

Will sit at a comfortable 65-70 all day long, and rewards you with outstanding fuel economy. Worst ever was 44mpg, best an astounding 54mpg.

Utterly utterly reliable in all weathers, and for the MOT required nothing more than a set of brake pads and three hours with the MIG welder plating up a couple of holes in the floor.

Bad points? Steering is heavy when parking being non-PAS, and the engine, being an HCS 1.3, sounds like someone dropping a bag of spanners down a stairwell. Easily mistaken for a diesel!

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

Review Date: 4th August, 2007

1989 Ford Escort 4 DR LX 1.9L from North America


A Good Value


Timing belt, gasket in transmission pan, cassette player.

General Comments:

Good for what I need it for; never breaks down and is really reliable. It gets good gas mileage which saves me at the pumps. It is also pretty fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2007

1989 Ford Escort Wagon LX 1.9 from North America


Perhaps one of the best cars Ford has ever built


I have had to replace both the starter and the alternator, as well as a ignition module. All this was replaced over the last three years (2004-2007).

When I first bought the car I replaced the timing belt, some hoses, spark plugs, distributer cap, starter, alternator and the brakes.

Blown Speakers and bad radio.

Windshield wiper fluid container was cracked; never could get the system to work right.

The problems that I could not fix was there was either a small oil leak in the car, or it burned oil; I had to put oil in it every 800-1000 miles. Also the tachometer did not work (an easy fix I'm sure).

The other thing was it started hard. The engine usually had to turn over a few times before it would start. There was probally something worn out. Nonetheless it started every time.

General Comments:

This was my first car, and I am very pleased with it. It almost never let me down. When it did, it was because something that's expected to wear out did (ie the starter).

The radio was trash when I bought the car, so I got a new one. Also the rear speakers were blown. A trip to the junk yard fixed that.

The interior was roomy enough. Not nearly as large as some of the later Escorts, but it was adequate. The wagon part was excellent for moving stuff. I put stuff in the rear section that I never thought could go in.

The cruise works, and so did the heat and A/C. The transmission worked fine.

The body was pretty straight; there were a few rust spots and some dents. The rear left bumper got hit at some point, and was cracked.

The only bad thing was it didn't accelerate very quickly, but I guess I can't expect too much from a 1.9.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2007

1989 Ford Escort Mark4 CL (5 door hatch) 1.4L from Norway


A nice reliable, cheap, yet fun car for young people


(Fixed Stuff!)

- Built in radio died.. made nice blue smoke!

- Changed rear muffler (sprung a big hole) around 130000km

- Replaced batteries 3 times (each lasted ~2 year)

- Replaced alternator at 140000km

- Minor leakage from engine, replaced small seal near distributer.

- Replaced steering rack parts to reduce dead zone.

- Place for Battery was deeply rusted.. had to fill up with rubber padding/epoxy

- Knob for heater temperature selector broke off, replaced cheaply.

(Annoying Stuff, not-fixed/fixable!)

- Water seeps (very slowly) near sunroof area.

- Trouble with battery area caused water to get in the car, still makes a lot of condensation inside.

- Some rust showing up around rear wheel arches.

General Comments:

This car is awesome! Its only 1.4L making around 80hp when new (must be down to 70-75hp now) yet it is hugely fast.

Ride quality is rather bad and car is too high so rolls a lot. Still the fully manual steering is spot-on, feedback from wheels is clear and crisp. Good value, good performance (for such small engine in a 16 years old car!) and quite good fuel economy, when I drive sensible.

For a 16 years old car, on which I learned to drive as well, it's a technical marvel. All lights work, heated seats work flawlessly, sunroof works, starts on within 3sec of turning the key even in winter. And most of all, it never broke down on side of road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2006