The Ford Escort is a car that does everything it's supposed to, but doesn't actually do anything really well.
My particluar model is a 1992 k reg 1.8 normally aspirated Diesel LX.
Is it quick? Well no, with only 60bhp under the bonnet it could be embarrassed by a fully loaded HGV. Then speed wasn't what I bought it for. I'm looking to keep points off my license at least until my insurance premium comes down.
Is It refined? Nope, what's under the bonnet is a very old diesel engine. It's clattery when cold (so much so the bodywork physically shakes!) and really not that much better when warm either. But really that wasn't what I bought it for either. The engine is absolutely bullet proof and extremely reliable, it also pulls like a train (a very slow british rail one) exactly what I need!
Does it look good? Well it looks better than many of the cars on the road in it's day. It takes design cues from both it's previous model (The front end) and the latest (and last) escort model (the back end!) It even has a deceptively sporty rear wing. However it is still an escort, and no cossie at that. Oh well.
Is it spacious? It's neither the most cramped nor the most spacious car in it's class. Then again it is classed as a small family car, not an MPV. Not many cars of this class can swallow up 3 adults, a baby, a dog, a wheelchair, and a buggy, and still have enough room for a weeks worth of shopping. (Wait is that a good point? Oohh!)
How does it handle? Actually it's another plus point for the escort. With a 1.8 litre lump over the front wheels given good tyres it grips like it's on rails. It can take corners at a fairly high speed (if you can get to that speed before the corner!)
Equipment levels are also quite good for what is quite a baseline spec escort. It has electric windows, a sunroof, power steering, seat height adjustment, ford's equivalent of deadlocks, and a rather loud (if basic) alarm system.
Do I like this car? Yes actually I do. It does nothing badly and does exactly what it says on the tin. An honest and unassuming car, but likable in it's own way. Parts are cheap and easy to find (one of the advantages of owning such a hugely popular car.) I would buy another escort, but maybe a petrol or turbo-diesel model.