1995 Ford Escort LX 1.9 liter from North America


Great economical to and from work transportation


Timing Belt 80,000 miles. I was way over the service interval. Engine is non-interference type which means I didn't damage the valve train. The belt was $15, two guys got it on in about an hour.

Other than that, the ignition switch did something strange that was replaced under warranty very early on, all other things have been routine, plugs, tires, oil, air filters, and battery.

General Comments:

We bought this Escort because we had one previously that WOULD NOT DIE, it's a decision we have never regretted.

They are not exciting cars, but mine has been very dependable. Interestingly, I've considered trading for a later model, but the ones I've seen were in bad shape mechanically and cosmetically. Although mine thrives on neglect, and I feel I drive it like a maniac, I think people push these cars way too hard, and that's what causes the disappointment some have expressed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2002

1995 Ford Escort Si 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Probably the worst car in the world


Front Crank Shaft - sprayed oil every where.

Due to above problem contaminated brake pads.

Front O/S headlamp.

General Comments:

The ZETEC engine in this car is suppose to other high performance at a low cost, but this car compared too many older CVH and DOHC engines is sluggish in comparison, at some points this car would have trouble beating a Lada, this is a true lemon with exccesive fuel consumption.

The steering is to light, the brakes are poor at best and lock up at any opportunity of heavy (not excessive) breaking. This car is a death trap on wheels. I would feel safer driving a coffin.

The only good thing is that it comes with white dials and green dashboard lights as standard.

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

Review Date: 30th May, 2002

1995 Ford Escort LX 1.9 from North America


Decent basic transportation


Between 14 and 36 K miles, this car had 11 problems fixed under warranty (multiple transmission leaks, windshield molding, interior fit and finish problems, peeling paint from lower panels). All issues were fixed, except the paint, which, despite my strong disagreement, the dealer claimed was from stone damage. Paint has continued to peel.

After 36K, the car has been fairly reliable. The harmonic balancer went at 66K miles, shredding the fan belt and leaving me stranded (luckily, in my driveway).

At 98K miles, the exhaust system sheared off at the the flex pipe section.

Currently, the air bag dashboard light comes on in humid or rainy weather, and there is a slow radiator leak that will require a repair.

General Comments:

Brakes, tires, and batteries were replaced at the expected intervals. Oil changes have been every 3K. This engine continues to not burn any oil whatsoever.

This car has always had an ignition knock that I have dealt with by running premium. Mileage is typically 33 mpg commuting, 38 mpg on long interstate trips.

Power is OK over 2800 rpm, but is lacking torque below that point. With the automatic, it can take a few seconds to get the rpm up to the useful range. This makes the car run well on highways at 70-80 mph, but suffers on hills at 55-60 mph.

Overall, the car drives acceptably, and looks good for its age. The basic mechanicals seem sound, but reliability and quality trails the two Toyotas (MR2 and Tercel) that I owned before this car. Comfort in this car exceeds that of the Toyotas.

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

Review Date: 23rd May, 2002

1995 Ford Escort LX Wagon 1.9 petrol from North America


Solid and reliable, if a bit dull


Camshaft belt broke, but it was about 10,000km over the service interval so I can't blame the car.

Ignition switch failed - contacts were stuck together and engine would not turn off. I was able to replace it without pulling the steering wheel, a good thing as there is an airbag.

Rear defroster switch failed, replaced it with one from a breaker within an afternoon.

It had a bad miss for a while around 80,000km. Took a while to get sorted out - tried new plug wires, Bosch platinum spark plugs. Turns out it only runs well with original Motorcraft spark plugs.

Replaced the clutch at 90,000km - a bit early, but gearing is tall and this causes extra wear.

General Comments:

Overall, our Escort has been a reliable if unexciting performer. We have all the options, and they all work fine after seven years.

It is a comfortable car for adults or kids, front seats and back, around town and on longer trips.

Economy is good, but the car is a bit underpowered. I would think the automatics would be rather slow.

It is not too hard to do your own servicing, and it doesn't ask for much.

The biggest problem is the gearing: first is much too tall, and you have to be very careful not to slip the clutch too much. Clutch shudder and shortened life has always been a problem as a result. Every now and then I drive another manual shift car and I am reminded how it should be. Fifth could be a bit shorter too: you have to be about 15km/hr over the limit on the freeway to be in the powerband so the car holds speed on grades.

Overall, it is a good, but not perfect car. It doesn't make me smile, but it is not maddening or disappointing, either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2002