Great cheap wheels, with a practical side
Speakers were shot.
The brakes squeak.
To get it up to inspection has required about $500 worth of work and parts.
A few things still need working on.
Driving: good, but not steady on gravel or slick pavement (wet and tarry roads give it a case of the jitters). A bit tail-happy through corners, but it is easy to tell where the car is going. Very steady at high speeds. My alignment is out, but the cruise control makes up for it. My mileage is good, but not great. My gas gauges lies egregiously, telling me the car is empty when it still has better than a quarter tank left. A tank of fuel lasts about 500-650 kilometers, though.
Driveline: A gem of a screamer, the engine is always ready to rev. I have only taken it up to about 6000 RPM, but I run it regularly past 4000. The transmission is great, but I keep wishing it had another gear.
Body & Interior: An Escort never feels like a Lexus. Plastic panels abound, but what's there feels solid. There is no sound insulation in the doors (just fibreboard, and I don't count that as sound insulation). This car came with the right options. No power windows or door locks, but power windows. No power seatbelts (thank goodness). The original CD player still works, but I doubt it will last much longer. It has neat features, though: compression and AM stereo capabilities. The seats make your back feel good and your posterior feel tender after a long trip. Noise is a little high, but restrained. Cargo room is great, with enough storage for a week's camping or for a semester at university.
In the final analysis, this is a good car for short drives and cheap speed. Fuel economy isn't as good as it could be, but anyone would be happy with this car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd September, 2007