1989 Ford Laser KE Wagon 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Nice compact wagon


- Ignition

- door locks

- Front seats warp and break... apparently a common problem

- head warped

- Brakes, front and back.

General Comments:

It's fairly economical, but I've had a few problems with it. It's a nice compact wagon though, which I was looking for to cart around my band gear.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2002

1989 Ford Laser GL 1.8 Carb from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, Cheerful and Ultra-Reliable


The transmition is wearing out with considerable slack in the diff and second gear syncromesh not doing its job properly when cold.

General Comments:

The first and biggest point I want to make is that the KE Laser simply has to be one of the most reliable cars around. Nearing 300,000km and the engine has never had to be opened up. Of this I am certain as I have known the car since it was a wee whipper snapper.

Its economical too, averaging around 9l/100km. While being by no means a slouch around town. Keeping up with modern traffic is no problem.

The fact that it has IRS (the rear struts are the same as the fronts) helps handling, but when it comes time to replace the strut inserts (also known as shocks) there may be some bill rage. Approximately $1000 will cover it. That's one quarter the value of the car. Luckily they last for a long time.

The occasional expensive part aside, my laser has served me extremely well, it doesn't complain when deprived of oil or driven hard, or loaded to the roof and driven non stop through 40C heat for 2500km (during my interstate move).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2002

3rd Dec 2002, 05:05

Was the ford laser ke built in 1989 as well.

9th Sep 2003, 05:26

KE ran from 1986 till mid 1989 I think the sedan and hatch were replaced by the KF, but the Wagon kept going till 1994.

14th Jul 2008, 07:00

The car looks nice, but does the 1989 hatch model have power steering, if not is it easy to drive?

20th Jun 2011, 23:10

No power steering. I have a manual and it's easy to drive.

1989 Ford Laser GL Hatch 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Economical and comfortable family car


Automatic gears would not shift easily ie sometimes upper gears would not engage even at 80km/h.

Brake disc were worn out causing brake pedal to be spongy.

Fortunately, car was still under dealer warranty - brakes and gearbox replaced at no charge.

Engine a bit noisy at higher speeds.

Vinyl on sides of front seat starting to crack and peel away.

Dashboard rattles a bit when driving.

Original cassette player does not sound very good anymore. Radio still excellent.

Inconvenient child harness anchor points.

General Comments:

Seats very comfortable for driver and passengers.

Easy to drive and handles very well.

Good pick up for a 3-speed.

Body, interior and original paint in excellent shape for 13 year old car - looks almost new.

Engine still in good condition despite age and mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2002

1989 Ford Laser GL 1.6 single over head cam from Australia and New Zealand


One of the best cars of the 1980's


The radiator became blocked around six months ago and was replaced for 100 dollars (trade price).

The clutch slips after being driven hard or if it's fully loaded, but then again it's the original clutch so I shouldn't complain.

Petrol consumption has gotten higher as the kilometres have risen, but I can't complain as the car's still on its original pistons and rings.

General Comments:

Fantastic car.

Tyre wear is unreal. 60,000 k's plus from a front set of tyres is not unusual. It's fast, the gear change is a dream, it's so easy to work on and there are Ford parts available just about everywhere.

Some parts are very expensive to replace since they are made by Mazda and are imported, but apart from that, I cannot complain.

Oh, and it keeps up with a supercharged V6 VT in a drag race too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2002

9th Sep 2003, 05:39

Id like to know what brand of tyres you have. 60000kms and it is raced too!

27th Sep 2003, 18:18

My 1988 Laser was also pretty easy on tyres. I got something like 70,000km on a pair of Hankooks on the front wheels - without rotation. The only reason I didn't get more out of the tyres was because I then sold the car!

As for the rear tyres, I'm guessing they lasted something like 90,000km or so...

1989 Ford Laser 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A really good run about


Rear brake shoes needed replacing.

Electronic ignition module failed.

General Comments:

This is a good run about that can get up and move if it has to, the fifth gear makes it very economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2001