1992 Ford Festiva GL 1.3 from North America


Greatest car ever owned


Replaced all wheel bearings at 150,000 miles.

General Comments:

I saw this car at a Ford dealership for $995. Needed some major body work done. Talked to the business person, who I knew, & told him I had $250 cash for the car. Bought it for $250, & with the cost of paper work, tax, regs., the total came to $444.50. Drove it for two years with no problems at all.

At 150,000, replaced wheel bearings.

Now have 220,000 on the car & it's still going strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2014

30th May 2014, 08:35

It needed "major body work", but you've been driving around in it for two years?

4th Jun 2014, 04:22

Some people don't care about appearances... if it runs, it runs.

1992 Ford Festiva GL 1.3 liter from North America


Economic and practical, but no quiet or comfort


Replaced the radiator (twice due to mechanic error, see below) and water pump shortly after purchase at ~200,000 miles. The last owner had used it for pizza delivery with a leaky radiator, and drove around with a fuel can of water in the back for years.

It took over a month to get the radiator replaced because my mechanic couldn't find a radiator, then couldn't get the replacement to squeeze between the metal fan shield. I bought the radiator off eBay and a universal electric fan. The mechanic then installed the fan mounts backwards, which resulted in the fan coming loose in the motor compartment on the highway and knocking a hole in the new radiator...

Next was rear wheel bearings (needed since I bought the car, but I drove around for two years with bad bearings)...

Then just regular maintenance. Brakes, tires, oil, trans, etc on schedule.

I had to swap out the 12" rims for 13" after the tires became too had to find in stores...

I also installed a new stereo and speakers, and don't know exactly when the original paper speakers disintegrated...

General Comments:

I love this car. I use about five gallons in gas a week and drive it all over the place. I'd say it averages around 44-50 MPG. The insurance and taxes are dirt cheap (my insurance is less than $200/year)...

The back area of this subcompact is huge. I've carried two full sized motorcycles in the trunk before! Recently, thieves broke out my hatch glass, so I taped on a sheet of plastic (hope to replace it soon with tent window vinyl on a rubber hinge) and now can haul long lumber in the back.

Now for the bad, worst first, and most of which is because I'm not a mechanic and there are no good ones where I live:

1: The hydraulic valve lash adjusters on the car randomly tick, and no mechanic I've asked knows how to replace them. So, every few weeks I sound like a sewing machine going down the road.

2: On first start, the car seriously lacks power for around twenty minutes... I don't know why...

3: The ignition switch randomly has to be wiggled to crank, and the key can come out while the car is running...

4:: My transmission seems to be slippery at times, but it's got over 300,000 miles on the original and still going...

Overall: This is the first car I've ever owned that always sounds and feels like parts are literally flying off the car behind you while you are driving, yet always cranks and always gets you to your destination... It shakes (likely time for motor mounts), it vibrates, it ticks, it clunks, it bounces, etc.

It's one of the scariest and least comfortable rides a person can own... (which also adds a bit to the fun of driving it)

But, despite its shortcomings, it runs! It's durable! It hauls a lot! And it's incredibly cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up getting over 500,000 miles out of this car...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2013