1997 Ford Escort CL 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A cheap to buy, own and drive work horse


All external lights/indicators/dash lights failed 2 days after I got the car. Steering column switches had to be replaced - covered by the dealers warranty.

Both front brake discs replaced at 60,000 miles during a main dealer service.

New catalytic converter at 70,000 miles (UK£150).

New rear exhaust section at 75,000 miles (UK£60).

Very heavy front tyre ware, I have had to replace the front tyres every 12 months.

An undiagnosed whining from the steering column is getting worse, suspect it may need replacing soon.

The metallic paint has started peeling in a few small places - but not majorly noticeable. This is not covered by the Ford 6 year paint/rust warranty for some reason.

General Comments:

This car has been surprisingly reliable for such an old design, and not as sluggish as the price and the 1.4 engine would suggest.

Overall the handling is very good, although over-steer happens easily.

Like all Ford's the controls and switches are very clear and usable.

One niggling design fault is the ease at which the car can be broken into. Just pull at the top of the rear doors and they bend open far too easily - I have had the car broken into twice in this fashion.

Overall the car has been very reliable with only mileage related faults, but I think it is now getting to the end of its life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2002

6th Dec 2006, 16:38

I agree with the reviewer stating the ease with which to brake into the car, but is it wise stating exactly how?

1997 Ford Escort LX 2.0 from North America


I love my little, purple car!!!


The biggest problem I have had is that the seats are very uncomfortable for long-distances. I have only had this car for about 5 or 6 months and I have already put 17000 miles on it, one trip of 1500 miles one way and two of 850 miles one way... needless to say, my toosch is a bit sore in the end.

Also, during these long highway trips, the noise is uncommonly loud.

On a trip to ND (I live in GA) I was again thankful for my 400+ miles per tank however, for unknown reasons, during my stay up there (three weeks) my fuel economy dropped to about 270-300 per tank!! I changed the air filter before I left though and it eased back into its wonder 400+.

I need new struts, but that is because my travels aren't strictly limited to the highway. I love going on those mountain dirt roads... and even across the occasional creek or log.

Oh, my tape deck has went out also.

General Comments:

I love my little car!!

As I have mentioned, I drive it a LOT and I have had no major problems.

I change the oil and filter every 3-5000 miles, throw a gas treatment/fuel injection cleaner before every long trip and give a car wash every so often and it does me quite well.

I get an average of 32-37 mpg and I love it.

It has a nice, little engine that gets me where I go when I need to get there and the good handling keeps me on the road when I'm going faster than I should.

I have the wagon model and I love the room that it offers. I have more than once put the seats down and taken a little snooze. I've also had it packed slam full on a couple of moves. I had to strap some on top, but it did it!

Overall, as I have said, I love my little car. The only qualm I have about it is that it seems to nice to take it some of the places that I do... maybe I should get a truck also, but I'd never get rid of my little purple car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2002