This is a great car.I bought it in 2004 with 17k and currently has 106k.I'm not a FORD lover,I only bought it cause it was in my price range and got good reviews.Ive fixed only brakes, rotors, belt, tie rod and flex pipe piece ($1050).Just moved cross country with almost 900lbs of stuff.No problems handling it at 85 mph. Does display the common rough idle which most escorts do just due to the type of engine.So far it beat the life of my parents chevy malibu and dodge intrepid, which blew head gaskets and transmissions before 100k.I'm not a car guy,dont prefer one brand over another,but this car doesn't die, starts every time. Not much to look at. Gets you from A to B with no problems at all.
Don't have to replace timing belt till 125k unlike most cars at 60k to 100k. No fancy features to drive up the price, just has the basic necessities. I like that cause to many makers focus on extras rather than quality of the vehicle itself. Great paint jobs, still shines like new and zero rust.
For some reason all Escorts engines rough Idle. The engines have been proven to run 200k easy from what I read, but for some reason they idle which does get annoying from time to time.