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.