1991 Ford Escort S (Sport) EFi 1.6i petrol from UK and Ireland


An XR3i without the high insurance


Bought the car privately with full service history but a full service was required straight away, as were new discs and pads up front and drums and lines at the rear, and a new clutch (cost £400).

Next I needed new tyres for my Ford RS Alloys (MK5 RS2000 jobs), Yokahama A520's (Cost £160).

A few months later the battery kept draining, this was solved by a new alternator (cost £120).

A few months later the engine started to sound like a bag of nails, a new camshaft, followers and belt solved this (cost £200).

Another full service (every 6000 miles) was due as was my MOT, this revealed that a new steering rack was required, as was a new front wishbone (cost £350).

Nothing recently has gone wrong, but I should get some new rear springs as it keeps hitting its bump stops when I go over speed humps.

General Comments:

Generally this car has been fairly reliable despite all the parts required discovered during services (a good sign for anybody buying a new car, make sure it has a full service history).

The car itself has the CVH EFi (108bhp) engine from the MK4 XR3i but in the nicer looking MK5 shell (it is also only Group 8-9 insurance).

I was fairly happy with the performance when I first bought the car (a step up from an 18 year old 1.3 Escort) but to get the best from the car you have to push it hard. The top speed isn't too great either, I've only had 115mph tops although the car is often going faster than you think, it handles fairly well and with the wider tyres there is loads of grip.

The only faults I have is the very heavy steering (no PAS) and the poor fuel economy (25mpg average, partly my fault) as well as some minor electical faults.

I recommend it to anybody who wants something different and faster than a Nova, put your baseball caps away and take your blacked out windows, three spoke alloys, touring car sun stripes, shiny fuel filler caps and dodgy stickers with you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2000

25th May 2002, 14:43

I also drive a sport EFI on a h plate and I am truly in love with the cars looks (i have heavily modded it) but it could be a lot faster.

16th Jun 2002, 17:06

I too have an escort s and it is my first car and I get under half the insurance I would get with an XR3i, but can still leave them behind (thanks to a few minor mods). An induction kit and exhaust will only set you back about £150 and it makes all the difference in acceleration and the sound is ace!!

1991 Ford Escort GT from North America


Great first car


- Parking brake locked up many times - no one could fix it right.

- Visor.

- Brake calliper.

- Spark plugs often.

- Injector flush often.

- Windows hard to roll down (use silicone spray for this!)

- Bad traction in the rain! Watch out for hydroplaning.

- Coolant chamber leak.

- Timing belt broke (although this lasted 120,000 mile.s)

- New audio speakers.

General Comments:


This has been an awesome car. Everyone jokes about the "Ford Escort" but when they drive the car they realize how much power it really has! Great for rush hour traffic.

The styling still looks great today (why did they change it??). I've got electric blue and I still get comments from people - "That sure is a pretty car!" I've never had engine problems, most of the fixes have been routine.

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

Review Date: 8th August, 2000

1991 Ford Escort Popular 1.3 hcs from UK and Ireland


Absolutely awful


Engine gave up in a puff of smoke at 89,000 miles, warning signs - deafening clattering from the engine. Recon engine, same 1.3 hcs as before, valves fell out after 500 miles.

Wheel bearings, track rod ends and general bits and pieces.

General Comments:

The 1.3 hcs engine is a pathetic piece of mechanical wonder from the Eighties, if you view a car with this engine avoid it like the plague.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2000

15th Jan 2001, 06:01

An accurate review...

Ford only made the Mk 5 Escort for about 2 years, 1990-91, and quickly revised the design releasing the Mk 6 in 91/92. This is a testament to the sheer shoddyness of the Mk5 Escorts (Cosworths & RS2000's excluded).

The easy way to tell a Mk5 from a Mk6 is the rear lights - Mk 6's have curved lights that extend onto the boot lid, Mk 5's have squarer lights that don't. The MK6 has a lot of improvements, including handling, ride comfort, etc. etc.