Very Reliable and Cheap to Maintain
Failed at 70K miles:
Driver's Side Window Motor
Rear Axle Seals Leaking
Climate Control Panel vacuum leak
Driver's Side Seatbelt non-operative, pin switch inside door on striker replaced.
Rotors and Front Pads.
Failed After 100K miles
Upper Control Arms
Lower Ball Joints
Sway Bar Links
Driver's Side Seatbelt track stripped, never bothered repairing, just disconnected motor... problem solved.
Rocker panels starting to rot from inside out. Poor design on Ford's part.
Front pads and rotors.
Failed after 200K miles
Head Gasket at 206K $987
Tension Strut bushings.
Overall this has been a very reliable car in the 8 years I had owned it. Aside from the head gaskets letting go, it had never left me stranded. Always started and got me where I needed to go. Great gas mileage...24-25mpg. Geared way too tall, always shifted too early into 3rd gear, which I suspect is why I kept having front rotors warp on me. The rust problem with the rockers on these cars is a design flaw by Ford. I wash and wax my car religiously, but moisture and condensation has no way to escape a sealed rocker panel... therefore it eats it's way out.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd April, 2003