1996 Ford Escort Wagon 1.9 from North America


If maintained, it's excellent value and economy transportation with good ride and comfort level


Rusting of body in usual place: over rear wheels. Caused by salt used on roads during winter. I had bodywork on it at 112,000 ($1,000 Cd dollars) --the two back panels replaced.

"Check engine" light came on at 112,000 km. I had it checked at a Ford dealership, who said it was a burned out sensor. Was about $300 (Cd) to fix. Ouch. Next time I'll ignore it.

Front wheel bearing at 109,000 km, probably caused by a pothole.

General Comments:

I have the 5 speed, which works very well, but it won't win many races (Ford engine). But I usually observe the speed limit anyway and drive carefully to improve gas mileage. Not much power going up hills. I drove a Suzuki Swift once (same vintage) and it seemed peppier.

Gas mileage is great. Worse in cooler temperatures. I've averaged 39 mpg for 90%/10% city/highway driving--including driving in the Canadian winter with decent snow tires.

This car was previously owned by a family and came with all service records. It had been well maintained. I had it inspected before buying.

A new clutch had been installed at about 106,000 km, just before I bought it. ($1,000 Cd).

I paid $3,500 (Cd) for it in 2004. Air conditioning was broken and I haven't fixed it. One electric door lock was broken.

Roof rack and wagon are useful for hauling stuff.

I'll continue to own it until it starts to fall apart.

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

Review Date: 18th August, 2006

30th Jan 2007, 16:46

When you say you got 39mpg, is that 39 miles per US gallon or 39 miles per imperial gallon? Just curious as I have a manual Ford Escort wagon too.

1996 Ford Escort GTi 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland


A great robust, practical and overall fun car to drive


2000 miles after buying the car I noticed the car was spluttering on acceleration in mid revs, this pointed to the Air Flow Meter on the air box, £10 later from the scrap yard and the car was running as it should. The other small thing that went were the wishbones, it appeared the rubber bushes had worn and so the car was pulling to one side when accelerating, these were only £18 each from a motor factor, easy job to do if you have a little mechanical knowledge.

General Comments:

One thing I noticed as soon as I took the car out was that it handled like a go kart round the corners, with it being a 3door the body was more rigid than my previous 5door GTi and the suspension seemed to cope through the corners great even at speed.

The Zetec engine is very robust and loves to be revved, it pulls great after around 3000rpm and the ABS works a treat.

The ride is comfortable in the half leather seats and the gear changes are tight and precise. The steering is quite sensitive and this could prove either a positive or negative depending on your driving style.

Overall the car looks great, mine is mettalic black and personally I think the side skirts and rear spats of the bodykit set it off a treat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2006

1996 Ford Escort Ghia-X 1.8 (115) from UK and Ireland


If only Ford could improve the quality


Water leaks into left side of boot, found to be bad weld in the roof/c pillar.

Fuel / temp gauge give false readings (low)

Power steering pump failed 97,000.

Air con LP pipe rubs on clutch lever £75 for new one (if you can get one!!)

Erratic idol and revs for no reason, ICV valve failed.

General Comments:

Nice car to drive (when working) good driving position.

Quiet so long as you stay under 70.

Good economy on long trips average 38mpg driving to Spain.

Engine responsive in mid rev range.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th November, 2005

1996 Ford Escort LX 1.8TD from UK and Ireland


In a sentence, it was a Ford Escort


When heater put on 1, left headlight came on, when on 2, the right one came on, and when on 3 they both came on. Ford and independant engineers looked at it, but they couldn't find the fault.

General Comments:

Though nippy, the 1.8 diesel was extremely noisy - it sounded like they had got the engine straight out of a Transit.

Nothing much else to comment on! Nothing really to complain about, but nothing interesting to write about.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th November, 2005