1989 Ford Festiva L 1.3L EFI from North America


Cheap, reliable and no frills


Replaced fan temp sensor, coolant bypass hose, headliner, and a headlight bulb.

Starter is beginning to go out.

Stalled out when put into Park or Reverse due to dirty battery terminals.

General Comments:

This one tough little car. I paid $500 for it and maybe invested $50 total in parts. So far it has given me zero trouble - all work I have done was preventative maintenance.

It's really peppy, gets decent gas mileage, and was a great buy for the money. And it still looks great after 20 years.

My only real complaints are that it's noisy and the transmission could really use an overdrive gear. But what can you expect from an economy car?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2009

27th Aug 2009, 21:32

This the person who wrote the review. Here is a followup:

I ended up taking out the starter, only to discover that it was fine and the flywheel was missing some teeth. I guess that's just an annoyance I'll have to live with.

The radiator has started to leak coolant. However, it looks like a rubber plug has gone bad and will need replacing. Should be an easy fix.

After about a year of ownership and 10,000 miles, I still have no real complaints about my car. I'm confident that it will keep on running reliably as long as I take care of it.

1989 Ford Festiva L from North America


Pass this car up


Body has 223K on it.

Engine has 40K.

Break lines rotted through.

Gas lines and tank rotted through.

Under body of this car is shot.

Exhaust is shot muffler flakes huge pieces of metal.

Slow acceleration.

Heater core is shot.

Car runs hot and Idles high.

Scrapers do not even want it, too light and to much of a pain to drop gas tank as I have found out through personal experience.

General Comments:

Good on gas but rot away fast.

Sad to see it die after 2 monthes of ownership 600 down the drain.

Sits in driveway jacked up.

Old engine died with 195K which is decent, but the cars rot out terrible and are not worth a dime to any one.

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

Review Date: 22nd April, 2008

10th Nov 2011, 18:36

I live in an area that uses a lot of salt on the roads in winter, and know the problem of which you speak. My LX started life as a southern car, and therefore doesn't have the rust issues you experienced. Would like to add that 20 some year old Toyotas, Hondas, Fords, or what have you all have rust issues here. People are amazed at the condition of my little '89 when told how old it is. Think the problem with yours is the environment and not the vehicle. True, I paste wax it once a year, including under the rockers and flush the wheel wells out every so often when the temp gets above freezing in the winter, but I've had her for four winters now, and she shows no sign of rot. Just something you have to do if you want it to live, and no less important than changing the oil.

1989 Ford Festiva L 1.9L from North America


It looks funny, but is a great car


I have had to replace the fuel pump, gas tank, and control arms.

General Comments:

It is a great car. Good on gas and reliable.

My father in law gave me the car 7 years ago because he hit a deer and the ac stopped working. Since then I have done a little maintenance and drove the heck out of it and it seems to be a great reliable car. It is rusting out, and due to the shape that it is I won't be able to keep it much longer, but it still runs great. I have nothing, but good things to say about this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2006

23rd Feb 2006, 18:59

When this one dies, save the engine and tranny, then look for a Festiva body needing a drive train. Festiva rolling chassis usually go for real cheap, and sometimes you can get 'em free. Just check out www.fordfestiva.com and see if anyone is getting rid of a Festiva body.

27th Jun 2006, 01:05

I purchased my Festiva (1989) in 1993 (73000 km), and now I am considering buying a Protege 5. However, after reading the comments by these Festiva owners, probably, I can drive my Festiva (now 142000 km) a few more years, and I will.