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.

General Comments:

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

16th Oct 2008, 08:12

"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.

1995 Ford Escort LX 1.9L from North America


Very reliable, affordable and an overall great car to own


CV Joints replaced twice.

Electric seat belt cable broke on driver's side, motor clicks when door is ajar.

Had to replace head gasket at 190000 miles.

Timing belt shredded twice ~199000 miles and again at ~250000 miles.

A/C issues, repaired but some odd months later the compressor blew at ~260000 miles.

Have replaced popcorn bulbs in dash.

Have replaced headlights and taillights once each.

Seals/o rings need to be replaced, leaks/burns oil.

Have changed oil and other fluids approx. every 4-6k miles.

Cooling fan died, some electrical issue between fan and relay.

Spark plugs and cables replaced at 280000 miles.

Had to replace sway bar straps at 287000 miles.

About to replace the clutch at 287000 miles.

General Comments:

Great car and very reliable for as far and as long as I have driven it.

Gets ~33/34 mpg so it's great on gas.

Has a great turning radius.

Interior has held up all this time and is in good condition except for the carpet.

Very roomy in the back but no so much for the driver and front passenger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2008

17th Jul 2008, 12:42

Few people really realize what great buys these tough and reliable little cars are. I'm a mechanic, and I have a handicapped friend that I have advised and assisted in several car purchases over the past 30 years. It is very important that he have a solid and reliable car.

I advised him to buy a new Escort in 1993 and the car performed flawlessly until it was totaled in an accident in 2001. He replaced it (against my advice) with a 2001 Dodge Neon. Although the Neon is still going strong with no problems at nearly 100,000 miles, I don't feel it has the quality and safety of the Escort.

The Escort is an economical and very reliable car, and can be bought for half the price of the over-rated imports that are far less reliable.