The Escort LX 2dr is a nice small car for a beginner or anyone. I was surprised how well it kept up with rush hour traffic. The 1.9 liter may be a small motor but it will move. The Escort is tight in steering which is good because it handles the corners well and it's very fun and easy to drive. It's easy to park. An Escort may not be like a real high performance sports car but it's still a nice dependable car. I currently drive my car to school and work and I'm happy to say that it's a good running car. Hard acceleration is zippy. It may not be as fast as some other cars but it'll do. Now I see so many Escorts around now it's like it's a popular compact car.
Sporty looking exterior, gas mileage, trunk space, quiet at idle. Can be purchased with a power moonroof and windows along with speed control and ABS brakes.
Bought in 2002 with 105K miles while in school. Was well maintained by previous owner. It currently has 155K miles and had to replace Alternator, Clutch, Tie rod ends, Rear Suspension, Front brakes, Cooling Fan and Thermostat so far. The last maintenance was at 130K miles and never had to do anything after that. I still consider this a extremely reliable car and still gives me 38mpg highway! The engine is rough and noisy, but will start in one try even on coldest days. Have made many long distance trips, a couple of them over 1500 miles one way, and this car has never ever left me stranded. Too bad have to sell it now, am sure the next owner will put another 50K miles easily on it!
This is the third Escort I have owned. I have kept all for a long, long time. And this will be the last. Each seems to have taken a step down in quality. Strange engine creaks and rattles still plague this car. There was missing weatherstripping from day one, so the window leaks. And now, the exterior trim is peeling. There's no lip on the edge of the windshield, so when you use the washers it sprays in the driver's window. I've replaced most of the parts (including a FUEL TANK!) and hope the car lasts a few more months till I gather the cash to buy a new one. After this experience (and with another Ford) it will NOT be a Ford. Quality like this, no wonder they're in trouble.
Improve fit and finish. Even for an economy car, it stinks.
My family has owned this car since '97 and have had very few problems with it. We've had no major problems. The mileage is excellent, even after 11 years. I always get at least 22 mpg, and when I drive on the highway I get 35 mpg. For this class of car I can't think of anything that I don't like about the car. Everything is set up to be user friendly by the driver. Easily viewable gauges, plenty of trunk space. There's about twice as much trunk space as many other 2 door coupes. I've never been in an accident, so I don't know how the car handles in these situations (knock on wood).
Cruise control on an Escort is very nice on those long highway drives.
I think they've made a few since this car was released...well actually they stopped making this car...now the Focus.