1997 Ford Escort GTi 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cool looking and pretty good performance


The tachometer on the car was surging between 0 and 2000 revs. After being left for more than 3-4 hours, on ignition turnover the engine would stall unless the revs were maintained at about 2000 until it got warm.

Rear windscreen heater stopped working.

Boot wouldn't shut properly.

Squeaking noise underneath car when going over bumps.

Exhaust pins rusted and creating a rattling noise.

General Comments:

In general, I love the look of the car from the side and back. From the front it can be mistaken for a standard Escort though.

Performance is reasonable, especially in 2nd and 3rd gears above 4000 revs, but I expected it to be a little quicker than it is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2001

16th Jan 2002, 16:07

Small tip buddy. Open the boot and you'll see two, maybe three metal pins that will press against a small metal plate when the boot is shut. Look to see if one of the pins has got stuck. If one of them, probably the middle one has got stuck then that cud be your heater problem - it happens all the time on my Escort. WD40 should fix that :)

1997 Ford Escort LX 2.0L spi from North America


It's too bad they quit making them in Canada


Transmission replaced at 114000 - no oil found in it when taken out - strange.

After market cruise control wiring melted due to a mechanic's mistake.

Faulty tie rod end replaced under the warranty with no questions when purchasing the car.

General Comments:

I love my car even though people constantly make fun of me for driving a "family car", but when I explain my 40 m.p.g., they shut up. Considering the fuel economy, it is a pretty peppy little car- enough to kick a Cavalier's ass. Awesome handling with good tires, looks great if you get attached.

The little problems I've had with my car are overcome by the love I have for my car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2001

1997 Ford Escort Si 1.8i 16v from UK and Ireland


An impressive, quick and relatively cheap hot hatch


The back box had a hole in the underside approximately 10cm x 7cm at the time of sale (!)

3 wheel nuts on each wheel at the time of sale (!)

Battery died at 12000 miles.

H.T. lead disintegrated due to the dealer's error of using cheaper parts.

Creaking dashboard.

Slight leak in the rear window seal.

General Comments:

The car was not that quick initially, that was until I added a K&N 57i induction kit.

The doors need a bit more of a hard push to close.

Nice cabin space and layout.

Seats are comfortable.

Dashboard presented clearly.

Car is impressive to others.

Handles great at high speeds.

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

Review Date: 9th August, 2001

5th May 2003, 09:48

The reason you only had 3 wheel nuts on each wheel was because the locking wheel nuts were taken off.

Either because the key had been lost or the owner wanted to keep them.

19th Jun 2006, 15:11

I have an escort SI 1.8 in red with only 39000 on the clock, and I have added wheels to the car, but want side skirts and K&N to give it a little more power and sound, only problem is erratic revs at the moment which is really annoying as it switches off from cold some of the time.

1997 Ford Escort Serenade (LX ish) 1.6 16v Zetec from UK and Ireland


Couldn't afford an RS, but this is cool!


Exhaust manifold broke, causing the engine to stall at low revs. Probably my fault for having a heavy right foot anyway.

General Comments:

I love this car! I'm 17, passed my driving test a couple of months ago. I live about 40 miles from my college, so getting a car was essential, but I couldn't really afford what I wanted, so my dad gave me his (he walks to work now). Compared to all my mates' cars, this is incredible, with them driving old rusty 1.1 Fiestas, this is in a different world.

The car is very quick (feels it to me anyway) and corners beautifully, the power steering is very responsive and fairly light. Clutch needs only minimal effort; after driving this, I stalled my driving instructor's Polo constantly.

Down point was the stereo, a crappy little cassette thing. I'm a DJ, and really into my music, so I spent all my money on a decent system. I've got Kenwood 6x9's and 5's in the parcel shelf, Kenwood 4's in the doors, an 800W amp in the boot, with a poor excuse for a cheap generic 10" sub in the boot. I get my thud now!

Overall, an excellent car, Big up FORD!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2001

22nd Nov 2001, 04:34

Hey mate. Your review is spot on - I'm about the same age as you with a low mileage Escort 1.6 LX Zetec and they rule! Drives like a new car, it's so good! Anyway, let me know what stuff you decide to do to the car, exterior and mechanical modifications - here's my e-mail address - BernieLad@aol.com. Look forward to your reply! Cheers mate. Mark.

26th Jan 2003, 14:19

I'm also 17 and have just got a Escort 1.6 LX. It's an R reg and cost less than £2k. Where else would you get such great value. Now want to get GTi alloys with the money I saved.

13th Apr 2007, 19:29

Right on man. I was 16 when I bought my 97 escort. It had just over 200k km. I have had few minor problems but overall it was an awesome first car. I'm selling it now (3 years later) to by buddy as his first car.

Has a bit of extra juice when you need it, rolls a bit, but all in all I have been impressed with my escort. I think the best part of my escort was that it was predictable... no surprises it always gave me back what I put in.