I bought my Escort brand new over 10 years ago. It had a whopping 76 miles on it. After the initial nit picking during the warranty period, it has done well. It still gets over 30 mpg. I have replaced the struts, heater core, radiator, and the timing belt (twice). All these repairs happened after the warranty and I did the work myself. Parts are cheap for this car. I have never balked at its reliability during its now 172,000 miles. This car has seen a lot of my life, it's almost sentimental. My main regret is that I got the sunset red (pink) color. It was cool at the time, but not so now.
Factory freon is still in the a/c and it still is cold. Fuel economy is still good. Parts are cheap.
The Escort is now extinct. I wish that it had about 20 more horses. A shorter shift throw. And more value.
I got my 96 Escort new 10 years ago. This car just wont die. I now have 131,000 miles on it and it still drives and looks like a new car. I have looked at new cars but I cant find any as nice as my Escort. I have had few problems and the oil is still at the full mark when I change the oil every 7000 miles. The body is rust free even after 10 Wisconsin winters. I still have cold ac. I keep it washed and waxed and the paint still looks like a new car. This has been the best car I have ever owned and I only hope my future cars are as good as this one (the car that keeps going and going and going).
I vowed never to own another Ford after owning a Tempo. HA! Bought this Escort because of its style and drive. Only had 100,000 miles when bought at 9 years old. The only major problem was I had to replace the harmonic balancer because it threw the timing off and made the car literally not want to move. Got it fixed and that 1.9L gets up and goes. Gets great gas mileage. And roomy for a small compact car. This was a good pick from someone who hates Fords. This one has helped change my mind although my wife still says CHEVY!
Economic. Gas mileage and just enough room for me.
Lose the auto seat belts and put real cup holders in it ... not ones just for looks.
My Escort has 129,00 miles and is still going strong. My friends wanted me to purchase a new car years ago, but I am glad I didn't. Beside normal maintenance (oil, belts, brakes, spark plugs), I replaced the water pump and radiator. Sure those last two repairs costs a few bucks, but it is a lot cheaper than a new car payment. The car has always started (even in the MN cold). The car has plenty of power, but I don't believe in going over 65 miles/hour. If you want a car to do 90 on the interstate, this car isn't for you; Small cars do not handle the road vibrations and noise at high speeds. My only real complaint is that the speedometer went out in year three.
Lots of space in the back trunk with the back seats down.
Move the parking brake from the middle console to the floor. It gets in the way.
I bought my '96 escort in 10/04 with 50,300 miles on it from an older man that couldn't drive it anymore. Reliability has been ok i guess. Needed 4 new springs and various emissions sensors when I bought it, but now it needs a new sway bar, a new blower motor and a/c repair. The 1.9L is peppy if you aren't trying to pass on the expressway; then it's dangerous but I have the auto which may explain that. I love how well it takes corners and how easy it is to zip in and out of tight places. It's also a beast in the snow minus the lack of ABS which you have to be careful about. Also, fuel economy rocks! I put 15 bucks in it and it lasts 2 weeks; it's so amazing with gas being as much as it is.