1995 Ford Escort GT 1.8 DOHC 16v I4 from North America
A worthwhile buy, if you don't mind giving up a few things
There is an unstoppable oil leak that should have made me think twice about buying this car.
My front end parts seem to have gone out all at once. That was probably from not getting the alignment done until later.
My CD player is glitching all the time.
The ride is as rough as it gets. "Sport" suspension is hard, but at least it pays dividends in cornering.
The seats are numbness-inducing after a few hundred kilometers, more so than usual.
The engine layout is awful, and even an oil change is an exciting and potentially scalding adventure.
The rear spoiler is just spoiling to rattle off the car all the time.
No sound insulation. Literally.
The high gearing makes this car zippy but not particularly economical, especially on the highway.
The air conditioning unit really decreases mileage and strains the engine.
Every part that wears out is impossible to find now, or if you can find it, said parts are expensive. The part that is causing the oil leak, an engine-oil cooler & the gasket that sticks it to the block, are absolutely unavailable to me.
The engine runs so cool that in wintertime it has no extra heat to go to the passenger compartment. NOT a winter car.
Now that I've let the air out of this car's sails, let me put some back in.
The engine is a gem, revving smoothly, running right up to the 7000 RPM redline as new. It accelerates with authority.
The rough suspension and hard seats make long trips a bit of a chore, but the cruise control helps, and it works fairly well.
The manual transmission is great, if a bit on the short side.
There is a lot more space than I expected to find in such a small car. The cargo area is capable of moving all of my stuff at once, with only minimal squeezing.
I bought the car with the oil leak, assuming I could fix it. Having found that I can't (3 silicone gaskets later), I'm resigned to the fact that I will own this cold but cool car for however long it takes until something really big breaks. It may take a very long time. At least I'll be getting good fuel economy while I own it. This car gets 400km per tank in town and 600km per tank on the open road.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th October, 2008
"The engine runs so cool that in wintertime it has no extra heat to go to the passenger compartment."
Perhaps you are running with no thermostat, or at least one that is too cool. In any event, it is not good to consistently drive an engine without allowing it to get up to full operating temperature. I would investigate this.