In 1903 Ford started off building reliable, easy to drive, inexpensive to buy, and reliable cars...the Model A. The Ford Escort and newer Ford Focus prove that Ford never lost sight of their heritage! (except briefly with the Pinto!) We bought this 1997 Escort new off the lot in 1996, when they first came out with the new generation Escort. It was improved in every way over the older Escort that I traded in. 150,000 miles later, I can honestly say that it beat every Honda and Toyota I ever owned, dating back to 1971! Reliable to a fault, great mileage, durability, easy to drive. Just about the perfect transportation car.
My son had driven it for a couple of years after turning 17, and my daughter will also drive it when she gets her license. Simple car, but it has the heart of a mule!
All of the issues have been addressed with the replacement of the Escort with the newer Focus!