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.