1989 Ford Festiva LX 1.3 from North America
Closest I've ever come to driving for free
When I purchased the car, I replaced the rear wheel bearings, muffler, and front brakes. Since that time, nothing.
At the time I bought this car gas was over $4.00 a gallon and I was looking for a motorcycle for fuel economy. Came across this little beauty with an EPA rating of over 30 MPG and a $500 price tag. I couldn't pass it up. It was the proverbial little old lady's, drive it to church on Sunday, car.
Since I've owned the vehicle, it has performed flawlessly. I live in an area that sees temps of -10 degrees and a 100" of snow in the winter and it has never failed to start or got stuck on me. I was simply amazed at how well this little piece goes through the snow.
The only things I've changed on the car were to swap out the 12" wheels that came on it with some 13"ers that came off a '97 Geo Metro, and take out the rear seats. 12" tires are hard to find now, and I was worried about blowing a tire somewhere and being stuck while the local tire shop tried to find a replacement. The 13s also helped the ride comfort quite a bit and made the speedometer pretty much dead on. I removed the rear seat because it was useless to begin with, and I wanted the extra cargo space. With the seat out, you can carry tons of stuff in the back of this thing. It's like a two seater wagon or a mini minivan.
The only draw back I've found with the car is it's not very good on the interstate. It loves expressways around town at 55 to 65 MPH, but it's not quite as happy on the highway at 65 to 75 MPH. Even getting 34 MPG as I do, the 10 gal. tank doesn't give enough range, and the seats are only good for maybe 3 hours before you need to hit the rest area. Noise levels are also high out on the road, but it was built as an economy car and is 20 years old.
To sum up, the car is reliable, roomy, cheap to own and operate, and fits in all those tight parking spots. I might add that the insurance on it is dirt cheap too.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th November, 2009
12th May 2010, 11:11
I've put on another 5,000 miles since this review was written, and haven't had to do anything to it other than change oil. Gas is back up to $3.00 a gallon again, so I'll be keeping her a while yet.
19th Aug 2011, 16:52
Update # 2:
Have now put 50,000 miles on this car. Had to replace the front crank seal at 125,000. $10.00 part, but required the removal of everything on the front of the engine, including the timing belt and gears. Replaced the belt as long as I was there for $24.00. That's it.
After more than 20 years since this car was built, auto manufacturers are now building cars with fuel economy in mind, and vehicles that get 30-40 mpg and run for up to 250,000 miles are becoming common. The question is, why did it take so long to get back to where we were in '89?