At first I loved this car. But it can only handle so much. It is an econobox. I replaced the wheel bearings, the head, one of the cams and tie rods. This car is great but it isn't made "Ford tough". It lacks power when needed and there is only one place to get "performance" parts for it. But still you'll never get this car to go faster than most imports of the same class.
I love the window design but the weather striping would whistle constantly. dealership said it was a common problem.
Rough idle needs to be fixed on this car. Cheesy spoiler should be removed. Stock S/R ecu impossible to tune. Brakes are too small. S/R transmission will fall sooner or later no matter how you drive. Speakers are 6x8s and a hassle to replace. Everything on this car is an 10mm socket ... believe me.
During the time that I have had this car, I have had no problems what-so-ever. This is the best car out of all the cars that I have ever owned, it is so fun to drive because it is small and quick. Only because I am moving out of country am I going to be getting rid of it. Love the car, if you get the opportunity to buy one, do so. I feel that this is a great starter car, and a great commuter car.
Handling. I have driven many higher end cars that don't have the responsiveness that the Escort has.
The complaint most heard is the back seat is too small. That is because it is a 2 door car. Other than that, I also wish that it had cruise control. Many do, but not mine.
I bought this car off the lot (with 15 miles on it); it was fully loaded with options (power locks and windows, moon roof, 6 CD player). So far, it's been great to drive and very reliable, with only routine maintenance (tires, oil change, etc) needed.
Interior organization works well or me. Air, heat and defrost system excellent. Really good sound system. With manual transmission great fun to drive.
Exterior finish shows every nick, ding and brush. Really disappointed with that. Light on the road in inclement conditions, despite front wheel drive.
This car was the first car I ever purchased. It is great for anyone who just needs to go from point A to point B. This car is great for single or family use. Its great on gas mileage and needs little maintenance. I bought it used with only 10,000 miles and have only replaced the tires, battery, and brake pads after hitting 50,000. This car shakes a lot while idle, though it isn't anything serious. It is so easy to drive as well. You can literally make turns with one hand since the car is so easy to maneuver.
The stereo system for this car is nice. It is not flashy or anything, but it has a great sound system for internal use. The trunk is very spacious for the size.
More horsepower and higher seats. The seats are too comfortable, similar to a recliner. Also it should have an option to disable the seat belt and key warning sound. It is annoying if you have the keys in the car and just want to listen to the radio or have the door open.