1997 Ford Escort LX 1.8i 16v Zetec from UK and Ireland
Neither cheap nor cheerful
Catalytic Converter collapsed at 50,000 miles.
Front wishbones replaced twice, at 55,00 miles and again at 60,000 miles.
Oil leak from sump gasket at 35,000 miles.
Oil leak from cylinder block gasket at 40,000 miles.
Air conditioning failed at 32,000 miles and 45,000 miles.
Performance is reasonable, but the revs do not increase very quickly when accelerating and it needs be to hovering around the 3500rpm to 5000rpm mark to make any real progress.
Tyres need to be replaced every 15000 miles in my experience on the front (driving) wheels.
The front seats are not at all comfortable on long journeys, with no real lumber support.
The rear seats are rock hard, with not much leg room if there are two average sized adults in the front seats.
Servicing and spare parts costs can be a real eye-widener, especially if you think (as I did) "anyone can fix a Ford for next to nothing".
Now the car is 6 years old, rust is starting to appear on the rear wheel arches and where the rear spoiler is attached to the bootlid.
On the plus side, fuel economy is reasonable (I get 350 miles out of a 35 litre fill-up).
The stereo (RDS5000) is very good despite being cassette only, with good quality speakers.
It's a nice colour! (Aubergine Metallic)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 31st May, 2003