1988 Ford Laser Ghia 1.6 Efi from Australia and New Zealand


A lot of car for $1400


Needed new Air Filter $14.98.

Needed new Oil Filter $14.49.

Needed new Rocker Cover Gasket $13.24.

Needed New Spark Plugs $28.30.

Battery wasn't in a healthy state after buying car, went flat very easily and wouldn't start car making it unreliable. Have bought a new battery now costing $99.95 with 2 year warranty.

For Warranty of Fitness needed new Rear Disk Brakes $50.00, old ones were completely worn out!!

And Rear Number Plate Light needed replacing. Got a 2nd hand one off an old Mazda in junk yard. $15.00.

General Comments:

This is the very exact car that I wanted for my first car. I've had it for about 6 months now and it has been trouble free apart from the repairs and parts that were needed because of how bad it had been treated by previous owners.

Because it's a *Gear* model it has the things I can't live without in a car. Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Central Locking, Power Steering, Alloy Wheels, Velour Seats!!!

Plus I was lucky the previous owner left the Cd Player he had installed for me!

In New Zealand Ford Lasers rate as one of the most reliable cars among the likes of Corollas so I expect this car to last a long time considering it's reasonably low mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2003

19th May 2008, 23:25

Awesome car.

1988 Ford Laser KE GL Hatch 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Look after one of these and it will look after you


Top radiator tank ruptured at 175,000km.

Indicator stalk came loose at 190,000km.

Thermostat housing corroded, needed replacement.

Front spoiler came loose at 210,000km.

Rear wiper stopped working at 180,000km.

Air conditioner fan developed noise at 215,000km and died at 235,000km.

Driver's seat backrest collapsed at 225,000km.

General Comments:

The Good:

Classic 'bubble-back' shape, still looks pretty spiffy after almost 15 years on the road.

Has a lot of pep for an engine of its size.

Bulletproof engine and drive train that is an absolute doddle to work on.

Is happy to take the occasional thrashing provided that you keep it well maintained.

Drives like a go-kart: you sit very low to the ground, the steering is very direct and well weighted.

Excellent handling and reasonable ride.

Air-conditioning is very effective, however the constant cutting in and out of the compressor in economy mode takes some getting used to.

Excellent fuel economy, even when hampered by a 3 speed automatic and someone who drives with considerable enthusiasm.

Copious quantities of this model and its sedan, wagon and convertible (Mercury Capri) brothers in Australia make for a lifetime of cheap secondhand parts.

The Bad:

Irritating little component failures (switchgear, electrics etc.

Most parts are cheap, but there is the occasional high-priced part (AUD$320 for a new indicator/wiper stalk set installed by my local Ford dealer!)

Works a LOT better as a manual than as an auto.

The ugly:

Those god-awful pink graphic decals the dealer inflicted on this particular example.

The sharp depreciation that occurred as a glut of 2 and 3 year old Hyundais hit the Australian used car market about 6 months after I bought the Laser. :/

To summarise:

This example probably had a hard life before I got my hands on it and has probably had more component failures than most KE series Lasers.

Even if the occasional piece of cabin hardware goes pear shaped, the fundamentals will just keep going.

Find one that has been cherished, keep the maintenance up, and it will be a faithful companion for many years to come.

Just like a Mazda 323, only crunchy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2002

2nd Mar 2002, 04:28

OK, 1989 model, only dealer serviced ONCE, had about 3 more services since then, and 250,000 kilometres later, as well as three major crashes, I'm thinking of finally sending my laser to the big junkyard in the sky.

The only problem I've had was that the distributor relay (I think) was playing up everytime it got hot. So car ran fine until it got up to normal temps, then it would conk out. Apart from that, not a thing wrong. Fuel consumption is a little high for a 1.6 SOHC 5spd manual, but that's probably because mine is on the original pistons and rings.

If I could buy a brand new one today I certainly would. Perfect first car and I'm happy that it got hand passed on to me.