1988 Ford Sierra GLSi 2.0 injection from UK and Ireland


I love it to pieces!


Not much, fortunately.

Rust is a common problem in Sierras, especially on the doors, and mine suffered so badly the doors had to be replaced.

Oh well.

General Comments:

This is my first car. I love it.

Therefore I'm biased in my opinion of it. I wish it wouldn't rust so much, but it has always been reliable and it's not particularly slow for a 14 year old family car.

Plus, they're so cheap now anyone can get one. I actively encourage everyone to do so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2002

1988 Ford Sierra LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Simple and reliable motoring


It came with a manual choke conversion. I was glad because the choke on my previous model was unreliable.

New exhaust through normal wear and tear.

Warped front brake discs. They have been changed twice in six months. The reason is currently unknown. This is an on-going problem.

Starter motor failed soon after I bought it, but a cheap second-hand replacement works perfectly.

Compliance brushes and a track control arm. This may be linked to the braking problem.

Rev counter.

Leaking sunroof in heavy rain.

It ran at a high temperature when I first got it. Removed the thermostat and now it runs at a perfect temperature. Cabin does get a bit cold though in winter.

General Comments:

Well, it sounds like I've had quite a bit of trouble with this car, but it doesn't seem that way to me.

There is very little rust - absolutely none around the doors, which is where Sierras are prone to crumble.

Inside it's immaculate.

This is my second Sierra Sapphire. The first was my previous car, a 1.8 GL. Although this model is more basic, it means that less can go wrong with it. I transposed some GL parts to this LX before selling the former.

My Cossie wanna-be - top speed at present is 110mph - is a solid and reliable car, big and comfortable, and easy to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2002

1988 Ford Sierra L Estate 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


An extremely reliable workhorse


Alternator motor bearing failed at 162000 miles. Cost £91.60 to replace (parts and labour) at my local garage.

The accelerator grommet wore out at 143,000 miles (a rubber ring that connects the accelerator cable to the engine). Trivial to replace, but a bit alarming in traffic when the accelerator pedal suddenly drops to the floor. Fortunately there were enough revs on idle to get onto the pavement.

Needed a new clutch cable at 112,000 miles. The plastic sleeve where the cable passed through the body from the driver to the engine compartment wore out causing excessive friction and eventually made it very difficult to engage the clutch.

The car needed a new distributor cap and rotor arm at 100,000 and 124,000 miles. This "need" seems to have gone away since I changed garages and the car is running far better.

The heater matrix (box behind dashboard that transfers hot water from the engine cooling system to the car heating system) failed at 98,000 miles. I noticed that it had gone when the heating failed and my feet were in a pool of glycolated water. This has by far been the most expensive repair to the car. £27 for the part and £160 for labour.

The dashboard clock just shows some random LCD elements. It has never worked. I replaced the radio after a break-in a few years ago and we use the radio clock.

The bodywork is beginning to rust. The rear wheel arches and sills show it worst, although there are rust spots on the doors and one big spot at the rear driver's side corner of the roof. The sunroof is also starting to rust. Rust progress is slow, however, and cosmetically the car still looks well.

Other minor, and more usual, things are:

Rear shocks at 82,000 and 155,000 miles.

Front shocks at 114,000 miles.

Rear exhaust silencer at 106,000 and 148,000 miles.

Intermediate exhaust silencer baffle at 112,000 miles.

General Comments:

I switched to Magnatec oil at 127,000 miles and noticed an immediate improvement in performance.

The car is incredibly reliable and apart from a dead battery at 136,000 miles and some odd fuel-related problems (caused the car to stall temporarily) it has never let us down. It starts first time, every time.

The interior has worn extremely well and belies the car's mileage. The six-speaker sound system is excellent.

I'm probably tempting fate with this, but the car is still on the clutch that was in it when I bought it (the car came with some service history, but there is a gap between 52,000 and 65,000 miles).

We do a lot of European driving and the car will do 90 MPH all day on the autobahn. Despite its size (4 m long and 1 tonne) and relatively small engine, it is enjoyable to drive. My wife finds the lack of power steering a shortcoming when manoeuvring in tight spaces.

I manage to get 32-34 miles per gallon in normal driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2002