by brendan12090 on Jun 26, 2013 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort LX 4dr Wagon
Have had this escort for a little less than a year and it has just been terrible. Everything has had to of been replaced including, all four struts, both lower ball joints, full exhaust, and little repairs along the way, I should have just bought a new car! Although it has many problems, it refuses to die and for that I gave it a 4 in reliability. Moving on to a Toyota because of their reliability. But for cheap temporary transportation it's a good car and gets relatively good gas mileage. Cheap to repair but nothing is extremely cheap. Engines aren't too bad and the transmissions aren't terrible either, but the body style is absolutely ugly and it rusts so quickly!
by brendan12090 on Jun 20, 2013 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort LX 4dr Wagon
I have had 3 escort models in my life span, so far the 96 wagon was the better of them all, I have a 98 escort wagon now and I've had to replace everything, except for the engine. I love the gas mileage but the cost of repairs is starting to go through the roof and about to just junk it because the unibody is rotted and will not pass inspection and to think it's 2013 and it barely has 95000 miles on it, amazing, anyways if you want reliability go foreign stay away from fords
by madcarpenter on Mar 1, 2012 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort LX 4dr Sedan
Our '97 Escort, 2.0 SPI engine recently succumbed at 121k miles to the well known, dreaded 'Dropped #4 Valve Seat' fatal engine defect particular to this poorly designed powerplant.
ALL '97-'04 Ford vehicles using this engine are at risk of this happening as they approach 100k miles. Most consumer reviews of this problem claim it happened abruptly between 100k and 130k. It even afflicts vehicles that have been meticulously maintained by their owners!
The steel valve seats pressed into the aluminum head of these engines expand and contract at different rates, eventually loosening. WHEN (not if) this happens, it's like dropping a grenade into your engine!
Shame on you, Ford!!!
The Ford Escort is totally redesigned this year with improvements across the board. The most noticeable improvements are in the powertrain and ride quality. New sheet metal gives the Escort a rounder, more aerodynamic appearance as well. The GT hatchback version is dropped.