1991 Ford Festiva GL 1.3 from North America

Summary:

I would love to own another one

Faults:

Went though 4 alternators.

The water pump seal went, and the car lost all its coolant once. But the car also had 288,000 miles on it by then.

The jump wires had rotted away for the charging system, and caused the car to stop running once.

General Comments:

The car was roomy for such a small car.

The car was faster than most people would expect it to be.

Took all of the abuse, and just kept going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2009

1991 Ford Festiva L 1.3 from North America

Summary:

Worthless piece of junk

Faults:

Transmission broke - 3 times!

CV axle failed.

Windshield washer broken.

Battery died.

Rear brakes stick.

Driver's door doesn't open or close right.

Windows don't open properly.

Exhaust rusted out.

Light switch/turn signal arm messed up.

General Comments:

I bought this $700 piece of junk from a dealer in early 2006. I was told Festivas get 40 mpg and gas prices were going up at the time, so I forked over my hard earned cash and drove off in my very own Ford Festiva.

Within a week I had to spend as much as I paid for the stupid car to replace the muffler, which conveniently rusted out, the transmission, which conveniently seized up 400 miles from home, the battery, which conveniently died on the day I bought the car, and the window mechanism, which conveniently broke.

For the last year it ran OK, and I got the advertised gas mileage, but a lot of little things went wrong - the driver's side door developed issues with the handles, lock mechanism, and window crank, the back brakes started to drag, and the control arms by the steering wheel stopped working properly. It also made strange rattling noises at highway speeds, and the new transmission made a kind of whirring noise at speeds over 35.

Finally the new transmission blew and I replaced it, only to have a CV axle go bad and 4th gear stop working at the same time.

That was the last straw, so I dumped the car on my brother who is now the proud owner of a car worse than the Yugo I drove before.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2007

13th May 2007, 21:23

Wow, you must be very hard on vehicles, or had very bad luck. My Festiva served me for over 150,000 miles, with 100,000 miles put on her before I got it, and I never had to replace anything (except brakes, and routine maintenance). Sorry to hear about your bad luck, I found mine to be the most reliable car I have ever owned.

24th May 2008, 14:58

I agree with the other commenter - sorry for your luck! I've been the proud owner of a second-hand '90 Festiva for nearly 7 years now, and used it for my move from Indiana to Oregon two years ago with no incident! I love the gas mileage- all my friends are jealous - and the parts are really cheap so the few repairs I've had to do (normal things like replacing the timing belt, the clutch, the master cylinder) all tend to run at a maximum of $200 a pop. It's so worth it... best $600 ever spent, and it's going on 200,000 miles!

19th Aug 2008, 16:00

I bought mine this past April before the gas prices jumped up for $500. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with yours, I love mine! The only wrong with mine is a small hole in the top part of the gas tank (so I can't fill the tank) and it needs a new exhaust, had to replace the front brake pads. All this I knew before I bought it. With the great gas mileage I get, I can still afford to go places. I hope mine lasts a long time, and I would get another in a heartbeat. It had 142,000 miles on it when I bought it.

17th Jan 2010, 15:24

You must be really hard on cars then. I have a 1991 ford Festiva I got for free back in Aug. It had 179k when I got it, and now it has about 189,500 miles and the engine just started ticking. Other than that, the car runs great, still gets great gas mileage and still starts every day. I even managed to drive the car through 8 inches of snow! I love this car, and it is probably the best car ever made.