1997 Ford Escort Base Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Ford Escort - Consumer Reviews

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1997 Escort Consumer Reviews

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My dream car!!!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By amadisily
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this car in '99 after my previous one was totaled. It was a great value. At the time it only had 36K miles. Now it is at 308.6K! It still drives well but must retire. It has a tiny oil leak, but just started leaking radiator fluid from the engine and just sprung a gas leak. All in the past 4 months (3K miles). So, I'd say this car is AH-MAZING! I keep routine maintenance on the car, but I drive it like the sport car it is. It has held up royally! I still see them all over town, so I know they are great cars. But it's time to retire it and move on to a newer car. *sniff*


Favorite Features

I love that everything still works on the car after 17 years. The power locks and windows, the lights, the radio....everything.


Suggested Improvements

The interior ceiling fabric was coming down at the back window when I bought the car. I pinned it up and it has stayed. But now the rest is falling in. However, the car is old and this might be normal.


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Ticking Bomb. Avoid !!!
8 of 39 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By madcarpenter
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

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! Google it! Shame on you, Ford!!!


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Plenty Left at 150,000 Miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bisjoe
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

My '97 just got a new clutch, just before that a new serpentine belt. Other than those recent jobs only brakes, tires and oil changes and it's still getting me to work every day at 32 mpg. For a cheap little car the quality has been surprisingly good, even great.


Favorite Features

Fun to drive, great gas mileage, easy to park and very small turn radius.


Suggested Improvements

OK, so it's a little cramped inside if you are close to 6 feet but it is after all a small car. I wish they'd make those clear polycarbonate headlight covers last longer without getting so foggy looking.


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Great 1st Car!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By LizzyLouBorne
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

My mom bought this car for me in January, when I turned 17. She paid $1,500 it only had 123,000 miles on it. It was from an older couple. The interior is in perfect condition. I can't say much about how it runs because I finally went take my driving test yesterday, and I passed. I drove it all day long. The only problem I have is there is no AC. I am getting that fixed very soon, though. The only set backs are I have read about shaking when it idles low or something, and there is no tape or cd player. It's good for me though because I don't need it. I am having a problem with it shaking when I am parked, but other than that it runs like a champ.


Favorite Features

The interior is great and its a go getter.


Suggested Improvements

The steering wheel should be able to move.


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Wish Ford still made them!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Loving It Still
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I've driven BMW, MG, Healey, and the German-designed '97 Ford Escort is as much pleasure and fun as all of those. The car is an uber-reliable and sound vehicle if proper care and maintenance is taken and no stupid-loud stereos installed to shake it to bits. Most of the performance issues are readily deal with by installing sportier tires and with very few minor modifications, the sportier handling is that much more. This is an in-city sport-commuter crossover, not a sports car and not a luxury road boat, so don't bash it for not being what it wasn't designed to be or for user failure to maintain.


Favorite Features

The Ford Escort at home and abroad has a long rally racing history. They went through a few iffy years until the new designs found on the '97s and later, when the sportier build was returned and a few comfort items thrown in. An excellent car tops of its class; essentially a 4-door Miata sports car.


Suggested Improvements

Don't be dumb and slap a loud stereo or "tune" the thing. It stands on its own. Sportier tires, slightly stiffer suspension pieces, minor upgrades, and a Magnaflow catalytic converter and you'll really see its sports heritage begin to shine. Loud stereos and idiotic mods only tear the car up.


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what do you expect?
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By joe
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

lets be real its a escort. If I had more money Id drive a benz but im a broke loser who flips burgers. If you talk great things about your escort your a loser. It does the job go to work and maybe you can buy a nicer car down the road.


Favorite Features

the cost of tires


Suggested Improvements

nothing its a piece even when its new what do you expect for 13000 new


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First Car Is Always Best!!!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By leia
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan 4dr Sedan


Review

Got this as my first car. I purchased it with 81,000 miles and 6 years old for $1200!!! A steal!!! The only things it has ever needed is basic wear and tear items. 175,000 miles now and the water pump and timing are still original. Still run conventional oil with no leaks. AT does not slip and has no leaks as well! This has been my greatest purchase ever!! I wish Ford would make another one. I would buy another one in a heartbeat!!!


Favorite Features

Manual everything except trans. Great for first time drivers!!!


Suggested Improvements

Make cup holders deeper so carpet doesn't get ruined and a little more leg room in the back seats.


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Just had to rebuff
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Matt
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I had to say something when I saw the posts bashing the sedan's performance. The Escort line has a long rally racing heritage and our other cars were BMW 3 and 5 series--there was practically no difference between them and our little Escort when it came to driving fun and handling. We're 12 years and 132,000 miles and the only repairs came from someone hitting us and two recalls that involved the air bags and seat belts. If Ford still made these, we'd be buying another one as an added vehicle, but sadly they want to focus on the Festiva instead.


Favorite Features

Reliability. Fun to drive. Good fuel economy. Sporty seats and driver positioning that hold you in place for good maneuverability.


Suggested Improvements

Get rid of the stock tires and go with a good set of sport touring tires that grip the road better. Massive improvement in handling, especially in wet weather, otherwise it can feel "loose". WANT European version that has all-wheel drive and 5-speed auto-transmission instead of 2/4 like USA got.


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Bullet proof
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By John
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I hope I don't jinx myself, but my Escort seems indestructible. I bought it with 72,000 miles and it just turned over 237000! It runs like a champ and gets 33-34mpg consistently. It still has the original clutch, struts, and even exhaust system! I would not hesitate to drive it cross-country. I typically change the oil at around 4K- 5K miles (most of my miles are pretty easy, few city miles) and it is never more than 1/2 quart low on oil. I love my Escort and will be very sad when I finally have to replace it. I'm shooting for 300,000 miles!


Favorite Features

Good basic transportation, cold AC, warm heat. Nothing fancy, but dependable as all get out.


Suggested Improvements

Moot point as they haven't made them in 8 years, but I am continuously perplexed by the decision to put a driver's door only keyless entry. Put it on all four doors or none at all...it seems pointless.


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Just OK
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Matt
on

Vehicle

1997 Ford Escort Sedan LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I have no complaints about the car other than the fact that the performance is basically non-existent. But for a 2L four, what can you expect. The mileage is ok, I usually get around 26 combined city/highway. Over the years its just been routine maintenance: oil, filters, belts, and the water-pump.


Favorite Features

Gas mileage is pretty good. Not a bad car just to get around town.


Suggested Improvements

Improve the final gear ratio to drop the RPMs while on the highway.


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