1993 Ford Escort LX from North America
Decent car if you buy it cheap
The Starter has to be replaced quite frequently due to the proximity to the exhaust. Because of the extreme heat, it will tend to fail more often than it should. In 4 years I had to replace it twice.
CV joints started to go after 100k miles. Not something to worry about immediately, but will need to fix in the long run. Expensive fix.
Rear springs punched their way through the trunk after 98k miles. Impossible to get a mechanic to fix. Reason for the car's demise.
Significant rusting on the body on the frame.
Latches to get out of the car broke from the inside after 10 years of use.
The car is not built to be a show stopper or a car that will last you for 15 years. If you are looking for a cheap dispensable car, then this is a good choice. The engines are farily reliable and will drive themselves to a death (if properly maintained) around 200k miles. However, be cautious of the body because it will be the source of most of problems. If you are planning on purchasing this car, do a thorough inspection of the body and of any rust, because they will be problem spots not too far down the road.
The car runs fairly efficiently, and is pretty good on gas with approximately 30mpg hwy and 26 city. However the tank is fairly small and will only hold 12 gallons.
The performance of this car leaves much to be desired. With the standard 88 horsepower engine, you won't be winning any races or getting to top speed (~85mph without serious shaking) any time in the near future. The one advantage of this car is the fact that it is absolutly tiny and does not have significant weight. It handles more like a go-kart than a car, and can easily fit in small spots which can be an advantage in city driving.
When driving, I have always felt like if I got into an accident, than I would be the one worse off. With the average size of vehicles on the road being much much larger than this car, and knowing that in 1993 this was originally a $10,000 car, I never truly felt 100% safe in it. One perk though, is that it comes with a driver air-bag.
Overall: Don't get your hopes up in buying this car. No matter what condititon it is in, the car will nickel and dime you in small (though sometimes frequent) repairs to keep it running. Quality is not its best feature.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 26th June, 2006