1993 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 liter from North America


Reliable; more so than our Toyota.


The horn pad on the steering wheel has failed twice.

The master cylinder and metering valves have failed.

The air conditioning pump has become noisy.

General Comments:

A very reliable car.

An excellent engine; the 2.3L is actually the old Falcon straight 6 from the 1960's, with two cylinders lopped off, so it is a very strong 4 cylinder. It has a chain, instead of the usual Japanese timing belt (that needs to be replaced every 80,000 km.)

The seats are so, so fine.

The performance is fine.

The gas mileage is around 28 mpg average.

I like it.

It has cost much less (for repairs) than our Toyota of the same year.

There is no timing belt to replace, a-la the Japanese.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2008

1993 Ford Tempo GL V6 3Ltr from North America


Tough, reliable and inexpensive


Nothing that caused a breakdown.

General Comments:

I used to have a courier company and we had a few Tempo’s in the fleet. An unusual choice of vehicle for this type of work perhaps, bet they had just come off lease and we got a good deal on them. The Tempo’s proved to be the most reliable, most cost efficient of all other types including VW’s and Toyotas. I still have one, a 93 V6 auto. It has a quarter of a million miles on it and has never failed to start, not once! Obviously it’s had parts replaced such as brakes, steering gear and shocks etc, but the engine and transmission are original and still perform well. Fuel consumption average is 25MPG / 10Lts/100 Kms. What amazes me the most is that there is virtually no rust on the car and this is in Canada.

The exhaust emissions testing centre where I get my emissions test done told me that the V6 Tempo/Topaz has one of the cleanest burning engines. They have never had one fail the test!

If anyone is looking for cheap, basic transportation and comes across a decent Tempo/Topaz for sale, grab it!

No, I am not a Ford Tempo freak lol, my main ride and first love is a BMW 325, but I do believe in singing the praise of a job well done and Ford got it right on these cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st March, 2007

12th Jul 2008, 18:14

You are so right!

The Tempo is an absolutely amazing little car that is under rated.

Part of the reason is the great little engine. Did you know that it is the old 1960s Ford Falcon straight 6 (200 cid) with two cylinders removed (140 cid)? That old design demonstrated that new technology is not necessarily better. GM did the same with the famous 3.8l v6, actually a 1960 olds v-8 with two cylinders lopped off.

We have had several Tempos, and they are more reliable than our Toyotas.

14th Jul 2008, 04:01

I would like to second the above comment about old technology being more durable/reliable than new. The older push-rod all-cast-iron engines are far better than the new overhead-cam aluminum ones. The slight increase in mpg and power per liter isn't worth the added complexity.

1993 Ford Tempo GL Sedan 2dr 2.3L 4 cylinder. from North America


A looker? no. A performer? Indeed


I live out of my car (not literally, but sometimes it feels like it), so wear and tear is inevitable.

Over the last 5+ years:

-new tires (twice)

-automatic seat belt motors failed (driver and passenger side). Considering that it was kind of a dumb design to start, I think the motors died out of mercy for the car's owners.

-exhaust rusts somewhat quickly, but I do live in Upper Michigan where we get 300+ inches of snow per year and a lot of salt on the roads to take care of the ice.

-driver's side seat "snapped" about 6 months ago. Yes, the heavy steel frame of the seat fatigued and snapped. This was most likely due to the fact that I throw myself at the seat 7-20 times a day - living out of this car.

-climate control box has a tendency to melt, usually causing the blower to quit. Easy fix, though.

-brake cylinders were in rough shape when I got the car, a relatively cheap and easy fix, though.

-spark plugs seize to engine block if you don't apply some type of anti-seize when installing them.

-body dents easily.

-ultra heavy doors have worn out the hinge pins and can cause them to bore out the hinge holes, causing the door to drop, and therefore be hard to close.

-water pump went at around 195000 miles (a pretty good record)

General Comments:

It may be ugly as sin, but I have to say that this is one of the most reliable cars I have ever owned. I was looking for a cheap "transition" car after my Buick Century blew up suddenly and, being a college student, needed to save up for the car I really wanted. I looked for something under $800 to drive for 12 months or so, and 5 years later, I still have the Tempo.

The pick-up of the 4 cylinder engine is actually pretty good. I live in a really hilly area, and we get a lot of snow, and this car has given me no trouble getting around.

The best part of this car is the simplicity of the repairs. The engine is easy to work around, the brakes and exhaust were easy to replace. And because so many of these cars were made (practically identically) there is a TON of junkyard parts readily available. Even on the few occasions that I have had to bring it the shop, I've never spent more than $175 (that's parts AND labor).

The gas mileage is great as long as you keep all the bearings and joints lubed (with every oil change, every 3000 miles - seriously, do it or this car will not love you). I'm running an average of 26.5 miles per gallon. It would be higher, but I run a lot of deliveries in town with this car. It would be interesting to find out its current highway MPG.

Though it looks small on the outside, the car is actually pretty roomy inside, and least my two-door version is. Just got done with a 1400 Thanksgiving trip to see family, and it was safe, reliable, comfortable, and chugged along without a hitch.

All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2006

30th Nov 2006, 10:54

I love reading reviews on these older cars. Thank you for sharing your story with us. In '95 I went back to school to get my degree in counselling, and I wanted an old "beater" to drive due to the high incidence of vandalism and theft of vehicles at the university I was attending. I bought a '79 Ford Pinto that had 180,000 miles on it for $300. It had no carpets (they'd been ripped out), a rear window had been smashed and was covered with plywood, and there was a big rust hole in the right door. The little Oriental lady I bought it from told me the engine knocked. I replied "That's OK, I'm hearing impaired (true) and won't hear it". I literally drove the guts out of that little car for three years. I didn't have a single mechanical problem with it. I sold it for twice what I paid for it and bought a Dodge Omni that had 180,000 miles on it (I drove it to 240,000 before selling it for exactly what I paid for it). Gee, and I thought American cars were supposed to be unreliable!!