1984 Ford Orion GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A solidly-built, reliable car which seemed to go on forever, a bit like the Queen Mother!


I bought an 84B Orion 1.6 GL in September 1990 for £2,000. It was a good car from day one and I owned it until December 2001. The engine was still running as smoothly as ever, but the bodywork was starting to rust. It's now a pool car and can be seen driving around Dudley and Tipton in the West Midlands.

The bodywork, like I said, starting rusting by the time the car was 15 years old and the once comfortable seats started to wear away so bad I needed to replace them. All the brake fluid leaked out after 16 years, but the engine marched on and I sold it to a 17-year-old (the same age as the car) for £25.

The insurance was about £250 a year when I bought it, but I stopped paying insurance in 1997 because I'd lost my job and realised that the insurance was more expensive than my car. For 4 years I drove with no insurance!

General Comments:

The Orion was an extremely reliable car and it was only after about 15 years that the bodywork started to show its age. The engine lasted though.

The ride and handling were both excellent when I bought it and they still match the standards of the new Ford Focus. The build quality was good in its day, but of course it started to show its age in the end. The interior was hardly a style statement, but it did the job.

When I sold the Orion I bought a 95N Renault Clio 1.2 RT for £1,000. It lasted 18 months before the engine blew up and I sold it to a mate for £75. It's now in a scrapyard in Walsall because a gang of joyriders smashed it into a lamp post.

I'm now driving a 99T Vauxhall Astra 1.6 LS which I bought for £2,500. It's a great deal better than the wash-out of a Renault I had just sold, but the mechanicals are really rattly and it's no match for the brillaint Orion. The insurance is good value - £200 per year. Well worth the money because it's about 10% the car's value, not 10 times more than the car's value like the insurance they want me to pay on some cars!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2004

20th Feb 2004, 03:57

Sir, you are a very selfish individual. When you buy car insurance, you are not buying it for yourself, nor to repair your vehicle if it is damaged. You are buying it to financially cover the damage you represent to the life of another human being. If you can't afford insurance, do not drive a car; it is as simple as that.

If your details on file are legitimate, the owner of this site ought to inform the police so that you may be prosecuted for your crime.

20th Feb 2004, 05:38

Driving without insurance is nothing to boast about!!!

18th Jun 2009, 08:46

I also have an Orion 1600 GL, but mine is an 83 build being built in Germany in September of that year..

I have owned the car for 11 years and have just replaced the engine, which was still running after 175000 miles..

I paid £200.00 for my Orion, and the funny thing is that all my friends thought it an old banger at the time.. They have had around 5 cars or more in the last 11 years and still my Orion goes on..

She is completely original and is not a poxy Escort MK3 as most people believe.. Finding parts for her is almost impossible, as being one of the first off line, a lot of changes were then made.. Mine still has the original chrome banding around windows and grille which soon vanished.. And yes.. I have been offered a lot more than £200.00 for her and still receive offers every time I take her out.. Now that's value, yes???

1984 Ford Orion Ghia Injection 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Fast, economical, reliable!


Fuel pump relay (twice), ignition amplifier (twice), new radiator, brake shudder for last two years, so far unsolved!

General Comments:

The things that have failed on this car are nothing really, considering it still has the original engine (valve stem oil seals replaced). Even the clutch and clutch cable are original!

Unbelievable! The car is still very fast and economical, returning over 40 mpg on a run.

Any ideas on how to cure the brake shudder though!?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2002

13th Jan 2002, 14:55

Try some new brake pads and disks, go for some good quality ones though!! Try Halfords: disks £20 each and pads are approx. £15. If you spend over £50 in one go they'll give you £10 off!! I've had mine for about 1.5 years and both pads and disks are almost as new!! And no I don't work for Halfords.

Mine's a G-reg 1.6 EFi, what can I say.. paid £440 for it over two years ago, covered over 20k with no probs. Now got a full free flow manifold and system and it's LOUD and quick (ish). OK, so I had the same brake problem for ages, just couldn't part with the cash to solve it, looking back though it's definitely worth it!!

25th Jan 2002, 16:51


Original poster of message here!

I have had the discs & pads changed three times already and the problem returned after about a month, with Ford & Lockheed discs... I have now changed for Red Dot racing discs, Ferodo pads, and thoroughly cleaned the hub this time in case that wasn't done properly at the other changes! Fingers crossed!

1984 Ford Orion GL 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Buy one if skint!!!


No problems with the car except in the past year I have gone through 3 starter motor's, the car is currently being fixed now due to the starter motor failing on me again and it was only 4 weeks ago since I changed it. All the starter motors have been re-coned though so it might be just bad luck!!!

Sluggish when cold.

4 speed gearbox makes the petrol consumption very high.

General Comments:

For a family car it handles very well round corners.

Steering very light considering there is no power steering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2001

18th Dec 2008, 11:37

The reason the starter keeps going is because one of the starter motors have eaten the flywheel.

1984 Ford Orion GL 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A cheap, reliable, car for all people


Carburettor needed replacing (replaced with twin-choke Webber, much better!)

Engine mounting.

Wear and tear eg. brakes, wheel bearings.

General Comments:

Great car all round, good for families, great for young people, easy to modify. Mine has wheels, lowered suspension, exhaust (twin 3"), performance filters. It may not go like a rocket but it certainly looks and sounds the part, however silly high insurance for a family saloon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2000

1984 Ford Orion GL 1.6 CVH petrol from UK and Ireland


Good, dependable family car with good sized boot and guaranteed niggling faults


Blocked manifold/rocker breather. This causes oil to enter the air cleaner housing and drip onto the rocker cover. What a mess!

A current oil leak of as yet undetermined origin. Could be sump gasket, crankcase oil seal or sump plug.

Hot starting in warm weather can be a problem.

Loss of power after driving more than 20-25 miles at night and in winter. Why?

General Comments:

Generally a reliable car and relatively cheap to maintain. Heavy clutch, oil leaks and some starting and running problems caused by meteorological conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2000

1984 Ford Orion HC FI 1.6 injection petrol from UK and Ireland


Had to change gearbox after ~150.000km, el. mirror. Nothing serious..

General Comments:

Don't know about other models, but mine has a damn low chassis. Good for the first car, comfortable, fast. Nice thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 1998