I've driven my 98 Escort since I turned 16 (8 years ago), it has never required any more than routine repair. It's got 147,000 miles on it now and still has alot of life left in it. Gets good fuel mileage although does have small spot of rust on the door. I added a CD player since it came with AM/FM radio only. It's been a great little car for me, I would highly recommend.
Roomy interior despite small size, reliablity, fuel mileage,
Cup holder doesn't fit large drink while car is in park. Rear cup holder isn't deep enough: drink spills when going around turns. CD player should be standard. Rear defrost.