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.
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