1996 Ford Escort Ghia 1.6i 16v Zetec from UK and Ireland


OK for a first time buyer, but beware as there's a lot of dogs kicking about


Power steering pump failure happened when overtaking on the motorway.

Engine keeps overheating.

Worn 2nd gear and part time reverse.

Rear of the driver's seat broke.

Electric switch for opening the tailgate is faulty.

Central locking faulty, the doors sometimes unlock and lock by themselves.

Engine idles erratically and occasionally revs itself, Ford don't seem to be interested in why this happens, they're more interested in taking my money for doing a shoddy job.

Rusty rear arches and the car is only 5 years old, and well waxed and polished.

Rusty undercarriage which Ford is also not interested in repairing, even though they say they've got an excellent body shop.

General Comments:

The comfort is good.

The performance is average for the size of the engine.

Nice looking car inside and out, just a pity they weren't made to a better quality.

The value goes down quickly on even a really good one.

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

Review Date: 23rd September, 2001

26th Nov 2001, 04:24

Reading a lot of Escort reviews, I have noticed that a lot of people have commented on the engine overheating. I have the opposite problem - it never heats up. I have been told it could be loss of pressure, but I don't know. Can anyone else help me??

19th May 2008, 11:41

Overcooling is always caused by a faulty thermostat.

1996 Ford Escort Ghia 1.6i Zetec from UK and Ireland


The luxury and performance of a BMW 316i, but without the expense


Nothing has ever gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

This is the best car I've owned yet, I've had it since new and have never had any problems.

This is my second Escort and the last Escort I had was also a really reliable car considering it wasn't started up for 9 months before I got it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2001

1996 Ford Escort GT 1.8L DOHC from North America


Quick, easy to own, and cheap to run



General Comments:

Very quick, very economical, good comfort for the size, so far I have dusted Toyotas, Hondas, Chevys, Dodges, and even a turbo Eagle Talon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th March, 2001

1996 Ford Escort LX Sport 1.9 liter 4 cylinder from North America


Real efficient, fast off the line


I think my heater coil is going... but that happens on all Fords after so many miles.

Hail damage... but all the cars except for the Volvo got it too.

General Comments:

Well it looks pretty good and it's pretty fast off the line, for a 4 cylinder.

I put in it, two 10" Pioneer subs, a Jensen amp and a Pioneer in the dash. I got the sports package which included the aluminum alloy wheels, and the spoiler. It looks pretty tight.

One thing I don't like is top speed - it's only about 115.

Overall it's pretty slick and it's best use is in town pulling fast corners.

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

Review Date: 19th December, 2000

9th Feb 2001, 02:46

True, just put a K&N in mine, know where I could find a turbo for a '96 1.9L?

3rd Sep 2002, 20:40

I have a 96 myself. i put 4 maaudio 12's in the back and built a custom interior. i love the car,but the engine and transmission setup is horrible.I've blown 2 engines and 3 trannies. pitiful isn't it.

27th Jan 2003, 08:57

I love my 96 escort. If you treat it like a 4 cylinder and not a corvette then it will last for over 200,000 miles easy.

31st Jul 2003, 17:47

I have a 1995 Ford Escort GT. I love the car expect for one thing: when I bought the car (back in 07/2000) it had a few engine problems. Now I have it in the shop. My mechanic tells me that the Head was cracked when I first bought it and now every piston exploaded and caused irreplacable damage. When it was working it was a pretty hot little L4 engine. 0-60 around 7 seconds.

Oh by the way; Garrett makes turbochargers for Escorts. It's the GT20 model. I hope that helps. :)

23rd Jan 2005, 16:34

I Have A 96 escort and I really love it. I also own a 91 and both are very reliable cars. All I can say is don't beat on it and change the oil every 3000 miles and the car will last over 200,000 miles easy! Great cars!

26th May 2006, 14:26

I blew my 1.9L Escort engine when it had 85K miles. It was injected and in good shape before it happened. A Turbocharger will cost you big bucks and you will probably end up with a blown motor pretty fast with that kind of added power.