1999 Ford Escort SE Wagon 2.0 liter gas from North America
Excellent, well built little car
Nothing has gone wrong with this Escort.
This is a great little wagon.
I have read lots of negative feedback about the Escorts, but one has to put this car into proper perspective. We were looking at Toyota Corolla wagons as well prior to buying, but the Corollas were about $2-3,000 more for the same year with less options.
Domestic cars definately depreciate faster, but this means that you can buy one at a very good price used. It also has to be remembered that most Domestics are not rated as highly initially as the Imports - given this, the new or used buyer must be aware of the reasons behind the less favourable ratings ans accept this with less expectations in terms of overall performance.
I owned a 1992 Escort LX-E sedan a few years back, and it too, was a great little car.
Prior to purchasing this wagon, we owned a 1984 Volvo 240 wagon. About as solid of a car that you can buy. I was concerned that the 99 Escort would not measure up in thel laest. I thought that it would feel cheap and would be of poor build quality... not so!
The Escort is built very well indeed. A nice, comfortable interior, good quality materials with an excellent fit and finish. The ride is quite smooth, and the car handles quite well in the twisties.
The exterior lines are attractive and the body is well constructed. I admit that I do like Toyota vehicles (having owned a number of them over the years), so we test drove a 2005 Echo. Nice little car, but the doors sounds very thin and tinny when shut. The Escort on the other had, close with a solid and tight sounding thud.
Fuel economy is quite good as well. I see that the ratings on the internet state 41 MPG highway and 34 MPG city (Canadian gallon). I am achieving 36 MPG and 30 MPG. Not as high as the ratings, but then again, most cars do not achieve the rated economies. 30 and 36 MPG is pretty good in my opinion for a 2.0 liter automotic that is quite peppy and responsive.
We have only owned this car for a month and have only put 1,000 KM on the vehicle. But so far it is a pleasure to own and drive, and we are very pleased with this little Escort in every way.
I will write another review in one year's time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th October, 2005
I mentioned that I would update my review of our little Ford wagon after one year... well, here's the update. We have now owned the Escort for 16 months, and have driven a total of 33,000 KM (20,500 miles) in that time. The mileage on the clock is now 99,700 KM (62,000 miles).
The car has performed very well in that time and we have had no problems at all. Fuel efficiency has held very consistent and steady at 30.5 MPG city and 36 MPG highway (imperial gallon). Still very good for a 2.0 liter automatic I believe.
The maintenance schedule does not call for a tune up until 160,000 KM (100,000 miles), but I had the plugs, PCV valve, plug wires, etc replaced at 86,000 KM just to keep the car running in top condition. I also changed all the fluids (including transmission) and replaced the transmission filter. I also replaced the original battery after starting the car reliably for 7 years.
The interior has held up very well indeed. No wear is evident on the upholstery, no cracks or fading on the panels or dash. This is quite something given that we have a 3 year old toddler climbing all over the car's interior and an 11 month old baby throwing food on the seats. The body is perfect with no corrosion signs (we live beside the ocean). After a wash, wax and vacuum, the little Escort shines and looks almost like new in and out.
This continues to be an extremely reliable little Ford that was cheap to buy, and continues to be cheap to operate. The car has never let us down in any way. As in all vehicles, the key to longevity is proper maintenance, especially running with clean lubricants all around.
I still recommend this car to all those looking for basic, no frills budget buy transportation. If you keep your expectations realistic and in line with what this car is, you will be very happy.