Bought 8/07 w/94k miles. Only had to replace the MAF sensor when I bought it as the previous owner put tape over the check engine light. Use it for commuting (35 mi/day) mostly. Great AC, fun to drive, cheap on gas (better than my 72 Bronco). No oil leaks. This is my 2nd Escort SW, first being an 84 diesel. Both have been great.
I recently had to give up my Escort for a newer vehicle, but not without some reluctance. I purchased my Escort 4D Hatchback in September of 2003 and it proved to be one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. I drive some serious miles for work and recreation, and aside from a few minor problems over the three and a half years I owned it, it was always reliable and got me to where I needed to go. I did have some problems with the tires and tie rods (which I've heard is a common Escort problem) and anti-freeze would leak from time to time (also another common Escort problem), but I never had to deal with any major mechanical problems.
It handled well and always started-up for me, no matter how cold it was. It never gave me any serious problems and required very little maintenenace.
There were some problems with the rear door locks jamming and the automatic front drivers-side seatbelt stopped working.
I bought my 93 sedan with 65k on the clock and now have 76k+. I get 40 mpg around town and 48 on the hwy. It is a manual! I'm 6'1" and find the car adequately comfortable for 500+ mile trips to VA from NY state. Plan a trip to see friends in San Antonio TX this winter. The car feels brand new, smells new and the body is sharp. That is great considering all the salt on NY state roads in winter. It handles great in snow with care. Cold or hot weather no problem. Never owned a ford but love this car. My 70 year old mother loves it too. The fold down seats are handy. The insurance rates are great on it. Not flashy but I don't need to prove anything to anyone. I just need to think of a name for her. RUBY?
I love the reliability and great fuel mileage. Dealers rave about 30mpg on newer cars. Can't beat my Escort's 40-48mpg. Sound system is very nice. I love the trunk size and fold down seats. The roll down windows please me...less to go wrong. Handles well and acceleration is fun. Driver seat is comfy.
Wish you still made them. Sometimes placing into reverse gear is stiff. I believe there is no synchromesh. That would benefit the driver greatly. The AC sometimes drains the get up and go. Glove box latch doesn't always catch. Odd size mug holders, though with a manual transmission drinking coffee can be hard!
I just bought the car for $700 about two months ago and did I ever get a deal! It had 129k on it but it drove like a dream, heck the air even worked (at first anyway). I drive it everywhere although I really wish my air hadn't died. But other than that the car is rust free, clean and everything else works; it's a good running car with no problems and there's about 132k on it now. Great gas mileage which is good since gas is nearly $4 a gallon. I recommend it for anyone who is looking for something cheap to grip.
Handling, and gas mileage. Plus it's not too shabby when it comes to acceleration. I lucked out and was able to get one with a sports cluster.
Well...can't really think of any. Should've kept making the car.
This has got to be the best car I have ever owned. Phenomenal reliability and durability, especially for an American made car in the early 90's. Other than brakes and exhaust, this baby has everything else original, and I can't ever remember a time it has refused to start, drive, or generally perform like I wanted it to. Too bad they don't make the Escort any more, as the Focus appears constantly plagued by a slew of problems, both cosmetic and mechanical. If you can find a used Escort anywhere between '92-'99, grab it & hold on to it; you won't regret it.
No question about it, besides the rock solid reliability, the GAS MILEAGE pays dividends these days - I get about 35-40 mpg on a regular basis, mixed highway and city driving.
Can't really think of any - everything you need, nothing you don't. Not much to look at, but who cares, really, as long as you got wheels that keep on rolling.