I purchased my 1998 Ford Escort LX back in Sept. of 2005 and this car has been nothing but a great little ride. It is very reliable, has peppy performance with the 5-speed, drives very well, the interior is very functional, and the body is in excellent shape. It provides me with great all-around transportation. It had 121,000 miles when I purchased it and the motor continues to run strong like new. It gets excellent gas mileage. All around, it has been a great car to own. The only things I have had to replace was a thermostat and a new battery. Other than that, it just keeps running and running.
Peppy engine, interior layout, roomy trunk, easy accessibility, fun 5-speed manual transmission, and cute look.
Suspension feels "loose" and not solid like some imports with similar mileage, brakes squeak too much, and back seat is a little cramped for passengers.