This Escort is my first and only car I have ever owned, and it has been amazingly reliable. In 6 years, I have only had to get new tires and replace the battery; there have been no major mechanical problems. I paid it off 3 years ago, but will probably drive it for one more year before replacing it.
I like the turning radius - I can get in and out of any tight position with ease. The seats are comfortable, cruise control has been perfect, heating and cooling always worked well too.
Front cup holders are way too small to fit any size cup. My model doesn't have power windows or locks - that would be a nice improvement.