1991 Ford Escort LX 1.9 from North America


Good economical transportation and fun to drive


At 120,000 km we replaced the brake lines, seat-belts, main exhaust pipe, and tires.

At 14,000 km we replaced one wheel cylinder and a tie-rod.

Changing the air filter greatly improved performance.

This vehicle has some rust due to our Canadian winters.

Soon we will replace the muffler, front pads, and rotors.

General Comments:

I bought this car for my wife to travel back and forth to College. She needed reliable transportation for one year. That year has come and gone and she loves her '91 Escort. She named it ALF.

ALF is zippy and fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2003

1991 Ford Escort LX 1.9L from North America


Still runs like a champ


Automatic front shoulder belt no longer functional. It would have been very expensive to fix, so I just disconnected it.

Gas gauge gave up at about 80,000 miles. Now I just use the trip reset on the odometer to know when to refuel.

Body rust is starting to become rather unsightly.

Factory sunroof has been leaking for a long time. It's now caulked shut.

Exhaust system torque tube rusted off at about 140,000 mile. New exhaust system cost about $100.

Water pump failed at 150,000 miles. The engine also was leaking oil at the front mail seal (near the water pump) so I had both fixed at the same time.

The car is about due for its second tune-up as the plug wires are arcing and the engine runs really rough in wet weather. A tune-up costs about $100-150.

Most of the serious problems I've had with the car didn't show up until well after 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

I got this car in 1994 as a college graduation present from my parents. I didn't expect to have it very long, as I planned to buy a more expensive vehicle when I started making money. Nine years and 115,000 miles later, this car is still going strong and is now my wife's everyday-to-work driver.

I have to admit that I haven't taken very good care of my Escort - neglected might be a good word. For the past several years, the Escort has been our "second" vehicle. A Mustang convertible and a Nissan Pathfinder have come and gone, but the Escort is still with us. We bought a brand new Saturn SL2 in 1998 and by 50,000 miles that car was starting to exhibit numerous creaks and thumps. Even at 12 years old, our Escort still feels as solid as a tank, even after being repaired from serious collision damage a few years ago.

The three-door hatchback has a surprising amount of cargo room when the back seat is folded down.

If the body holds together, I should be able to get another 50,000 miles out of my Escort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2003

1991 Ford Escort LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Crude, unreliable junk


Rust on the wheelarches, behind doors and on tailgate. Huge hole of rot on the inside below the driver-side a-pillar.

Blown engine at 86000 miles, probably big end bearings, sounded like a tractor, replace with modified EFI engine (needed special bracket to fit carb), which was quite rattly.

Rear wheel bearings a constant problem.

Blockage in carb meant car wouldn't start.

General Comments:

This car was not a patch on my previous Citroen BX 14RE.

The 1600 CVH engine is truly awful, being rough, unrefined, inflexible, sluggish and unreliable.

Seats seemed like they had been filled with cheap foam, hard and badly-shaped.

Poor build quality, centre console could be moved with the hand. Very cheap plastics. Excellent ergonomics and reasonable level of equipment (electric windows, central locking, tilt/slide sunroof, velour trim).

Supremely reliable electrics, nothing ever went wrong in that department.

Very hard ride on any surface, didn't like speed humps at all. Possibly the most unresponsive steering of any production car, with a massive 4.7 turns lock-to-lock, very vague steering and heavy at parking speeds due to the lack of power steering. Poor handling, couldn't take a corner at speed to save it's life. This is all down to a very poor suspension/steering setup. In fact I think all previous Escorts were better in this respect, but was all rectified in early '95.

Uncomfortable and unrefined, intrusive, groaning engine note at lower speeds, intrusive wind/road noise at higher speeds to the point where it was impossible to hold a conversation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2003