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.
Reliability. Fun to drive. Good fuel economy. Sporty seats and driver positioning that hold you in place for good maneuverability.
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.
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!
Good basic transportation, cold AC, warm heat. Nothing fancy, but dependable as all get out.
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.
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.
Gas mileage is pretty good. Not a bad car just to get around town.
Improve the final gear ratio to drop the RPMs while on the highway.
I bought this last year sometime. Paid 600 bucks for it. Small hole from rust in the transmission line under the radiator but easy fix. It was so cold that the rest of the family's vehicles did not start at all. This little ford fired up no problems. It has over 179,000 miles and still running on factory parts. Am looking for another.
Basic radio, no cd/cassette. I like that cause that is one less distraction for Youth drivers. AC gets me cold in the summer, Heat gets me hot in the winter. Cant ask for much more.
I am in the process of installing a Hydrogen fuel generator to improve my gas mileage about 40%. It would be the greatest Budget car if I can break 40 mpg