1996 Ford Escort LX 1.9L 4 cylinder from North America


The longest 13 years of my life


Master cylinder and a brake line at 55k.

Timing belt at 58k.

Alternator at 59k.

CV joints at 64k.

Engine would make a pinging sound sometimes (unknown cause).

Transmission at 75k.

The place where one of the motor mounts hooks onto was damaged so bad that it could not be replaced. Found this out at 100k after shimmying at highway speeds.

New transmission slipped in 2nd gear when it is floored and jerked occasionally.

Water pump started leaking and was replaced at 130k.

Timing belt again at 133k.

Engine seized at 133,485 miles.

General Comments:

I originally bought this car from a private party for $1,200 and thought I was getting a deal, but my guess is that the previous owner dumped this car on me.

The only reason I put up with this car for so long was due to the really good gas mileage it got in the city and on the highway. I always got over 35 MPG.

The car is very boring though and has only the basics; there is A/C but you can't turn it up too high because it heats the engine up even with both fans working. There is only a radio without a tape or CD player.

The engine is very weak, along with the transmission. They struggle to maintain 45-50 mph up a steep hill. The car was also maintained since I got it, oil changed every 3k, and spark plugs and wires at least every 40k. All fluids were good too.

All in all, I am glad that this car is finally gone, even though we have had a long memorable 13 years. Now I can buy something newer that is quicker and stronger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th June, 2015

13th Jun 2015, 23:32

Ford Escort. Bic Lighter. Same deal. Use it til it's done, then throw away.

14th Jun 2015, 13:15

You could say the same thing about a Yugo. Or a Trabant.

Yet, there are people who "restore" them, go figure.

19th Jul 2015, 21:34

Difference is, the Yugo or the Trabi were "done" the day they rolled off the assembly line, not years later.

At least the Escort could be expected to provide a few years of service before you "throw it away".

1996 Ford Escort Sapphire 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Cheap throw-away motor for journeys that don't demand more than going A to B


Rear suspension rebound dampening was non-existent.

Ignition issues after only 2 months of ownership.

Not all that comfortable on longer journeys.

General Comments:

This bog standard Ford Escort was for me a very middle of the road car. Everything it did, it did to a just about 'satisfactory' level; nothing special.

The car seemed reliable enough, though it did develop a fueling/injector issue quite soon after purchase, which made the already lack-luster engine even more gutless.

The rear suspension on this model was very poor indeed. Usually you can expect road car suspension to be pretty sloppy (Vauxhall are good at this), but the rear of this Escort bounced around more than Jennifer Lopez's bum at a concert. In the wet this made the car a little unstable unless traveling very slowly; even small undulations would have the rear of the car slipping and threatening to slide.

The interior was dull and functional, with the usual Ford level of trim; it all worked well enough, but that's about it.

This car certainly isn't a spectacular addition to any driveway, but before the fueling problem, and the rear suspension inconsistencies, I would probably own another one. It was reasonably cheap to run and seemed strong enough. The ride was bad and the interior dull, but the Escort never professed to be more than what it was; a bog standard family car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2013

11th Jan 2013, 19:29

I think you are being a little harsh on this car - it is 13 years old and it might have been used for towing, or maybe the rear shocks need replacing.