1990 Ford Laser Ghia 1.8 16v petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Reliable, predictable, comfortable
Alternator voltage regulator failed, cost $28 in 1994.
Drive shafts began rattling at about 100,000km, replaced about a year later.
The passenger door lock did not always lock itself for about 18 months in 1994-5, but it got better by itself, never looked at it.
Air-conditioner condenser failed in about 2001, before and since then the AC has always worked fine.
The alternator failing is the only time this car has let me down. The only other times it's not started is when the battery has died completely. It's on the third battery, the first two lasted 6 and 5 years.
It's not really quick acceleration-wise, but cruises well on highways and is not bad at overtaking when you make it kick down and rev hard. The 4 speed auto is reasonably good.
I have had 600km from the 45 litre tank, over 500 is easy in country driving. Doing many short trips around town you're lucky to get 400km.
Handling is comfortable rather than sporty. Brakes are not really too fantastic, descending a mountain they almost died, my one fright in this car, engine braking is not very effective due to the high gearing.
Good radio too, good reception, the 4-speaker joystick control is nifty.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th May, 2005
16th Jul 2006, 18:53
I wrote the above, I still own the above car, now 16 years old and in family since new. It has rarely been garaged. The only rust spots are near rear bumper where it was reversed into a tree (not by me) and more seriously, around the windscreen. The windscreen has been replaced twice and I believe the paintwork was probably damaged and has allowed the rust to get in. The interior still looks reasonably good, much better than most cars that have sat outside in the sun for 16 years. There are a few squeaking noises under the engine bay, I think the engine also leaks a small amount of oil (it doesn't drop any on ground), but there is a burning smell after driving a while. Mostly it does short trips, my theory is the oil doesn't get hot enough to burn on short trips, builds up, then smells after a longer trip. The drive-shaft joints were replaced a few years ago, the rubber covers failed, then a clunking noise became worse.