I have a metalic green (love the color) 1997 Ford Escort LX and it has been the best investment I have ever made. I have owned this car over 11 1/2 years and have had only small issues with the vehicle outside the routine maintanance up until recently 145,000 miles(starting to burn oil). First of all; the cup holders were to shallow to hold big cups which triggered spilled drinks if making quick turns. The rear stock springs cracked shortly after I had the car but drove it for 9 years anyway. The front tie rods are a stress point which wear out quick if you do a lot of quick radius turning. I guess I can't complain about 40,000 miles when the replacement parts are less than $100.00.
Ice cold air conditioning in summer and warm air in winter. My 5 speed handles like a sports car for an econobox with 30+ mpg around town. I have never had any mechanical or electical issues with my Ford Escort beside routine mantanance changing battery, spark plugs, oil changes.
Bring back the next generation Ford Escort ASAP or you might not have a repeat customer. The replacement Focus was ok but too boxy and not as sleek or economical as the Escort. Better lumbar support in the seats and no cheesy plastic on the doors. How about a hybrid Escort or plug in Escort.