Rust. As is well known, Ford cars suffer badly with the dreaded tinworm, and this Mk5 Escort Encore is no exception. When I acquired it, there was already the usual rust in the rear wheel arches, but this has since spread. The NS rear sill has recently rusted right through, which will result in a definite MOT failure next March. Also at the last MOT, I had to have the bottom of the OS front wing plated, as it had rusted right through, resulting in the wing becoming detached from the body. The NS wing looks as if it could suffer the same fate, as there is corrosion there too. The car is 18 years old so I expect some rust, but I'm disappointed with the poor rust resistance of my Escort, especially the rapid rusting that seems to have occurred recently.
Lower Suspension Arms. Another weak point on the Escort, I had to have these replaced at the last MOT.
The rubber bushes in them wear rapidly, and also I had to replace a rear shock absorber that had collapsed and was leaking fluid at the last MOT too.
Rear Wheel Bearings. These are quite prone to failure on Escort and Fiestas, and in just over a year I've had to replace 2 sets. Once again I'm getting that telltale whine, so it looks like third time lucky.
This time I will replace them with genuine Ford bearings, in the hope that these last longer.
Clearly some aftermarket bearings aren't up to the job.
I have previously submitted a favourable review of this car when I acquired it from my Dad in 2005, when it had a genuine 23400 miles on the clock.
It was in very good condition back then, although even then it was 14 years old and had some rust in the o/s rear wheel arch.
It has now covered 60500 miles from new, still not a vast mileage for an 18 year old car.
However, during the last year it has become very unreliable, with the problems described above.
Whether I'll scrap after the next MOT is due remains to be seen. I would have edited my original review, but it seems this is not possible, hence this new one.
There have also been some minor electrical problems with this car, so despite it being quite trouble free for the 1st 2 or 3 years of ownership just lately it has become very troublesome and there's no way I'd buy another Escort.
If I did buy another Ford, I'd consider a Focus since these apparently suffer less with the usual Ford problems of rust and suspension wear.
The Encore was a limited edition model which was basically Ghia spec, with a custom shade of metallic blue, sunroof, central locking, tinted glass and electronic alarm/immobiliser. Alloy wheels, a car phone and even an in car CD player were also available as extra cost options - quite impressive for 1991.
Sadly, the problems I've had recently make me never want to own another Escort ever again.
Even allowing for the age of the car, the level of rust and mechanical problems I've experienced are a major disappointment for a car that's been well-maintained and kept in a garage, and which has still only covered barely 60000 miles.