This is my second Escort. The 1st one I had (1991) finally died after 265,000 miles on it (Nnver changed engine or tranny). This one has been dependable so far, but is noisier inside. I think the interior is not as plush since it was a fleet car. So ... on long rides it can get pretty loud. But the fuel economy makes up for this.
Fold down back seat allows you to haul very large items in a very small car. I'm often watched closely by people at Home Depots and lumberyards! It fits!
Insulate the cabin to buffer noise. Put higher quality tires on vehicle. I replaced these after 35,000 miles.