1989 Ford Escort LX Wagon 1.9L ohc 8v I4 EFI from North America


Useful and indestructible, the perfect short-trip carryall


The car's seats in the front leaned in, and cause the driver to sit in a fetal position. Very uncomfortable.

The hatch latch rusted open, so we couldn't close it.

The manual transmission was so worn you had to guess where a gear was.

The front CV joints and bearings went out twice.

General Comments:

Great car for economy. It took forever to get to 110 km/h, and then another eternity to get to 120 km/h, but you could go for 600 kilometers without filling the minuscule tank.

The engine was bulletproof. I don't think more than 60 or 70 of it's claimed ponies were ever working at one time.

The rear wiper, like that on most vehicles, was a disgrace, but always worked.

I put the car into a ditch going about 100 km/h (62 mph) and though I bent a few things such as the front CV joints, it was our daily driver for another 6 months, until it started spewing ball bearings from the front all over the road. It gave us plenty of warning.

The heater was pathetic. It was unable to cope with anything below -20°C. There was no A/C on our car, which I count as a blessing.

The seats were terribly uncomfortable. The front seats broke on the inward side, and forced you into a hunchback, driving stance. The rear seats showed their plastic-bucket construction even more plainly, and forced you into that same position.

The cargo room was incredible, and we used all of it many times, overloading the car by 500 pounds, one time. It always carried through, though the steering gets light with five people in the car (there are only belts for four).

We bought the car for $850, and I think that we got all of that, and more, out of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2006

23rd Sep 2009, 18:43

I'm the original poster of the piece, and there were a few more things about the car.

You couldn't see the radio. It had numbers, but they only ever showed up in direct sunlight. It's a common problem with Ford radios of this time.

I don't think that I just bent the CV joints. I think that I bent the frame, from the way the car handled after that, all skittish and such.

The seats in the back were just plastic buckets, and really started to hurt on longer trips.

The heat in winter was just pathetic.

When the car idled, the loose shifter and pretty much everything on the car would shake and rattle from the strong vibrations. I saw the engine running once, and it was shaking even harder than we felt.

A good car, but hard to service.

1989 Ford Escort LX 1.9L from North America


Great reliable starter car


Total break replacement at 150,000 miles.

CV Boot replacement at 150,000 miles.

Alternator bracket loose at 160,000 miles.

CV Boot replacement at 180,000 miles.

Battery cables corroded at 185,000 miles.

Retractable seat belt motor out at 190,000 miles (driver side only).

Left turn signal light out before I owned it.

Water pump replaced 120,000 miles (prior ownership).

General Comments:

This was my first car. It has carried me reliably for 6 years. I was very impressed with how well it handled in snow and ice... much better than my husband's Saturn. Considering the age and number of miles on this car, I am very happy with the relatively minimal repairs over the past 6 years.

With careful driving, I got 40 mpg. The gas mileage alone made it worth keeping.

I am a relatively small person and found the seats to be perfectly suited to me... which means it's probably too small to comfortably fit medium to tall people.

All in all, it was a very reliable car. Repairs were cheap, fast, and easy. And there was very little electrical equipment to break. The only think I really missed was air conditioning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2006