Used 1997 Ford Aspire

1997 Ford Aspire
List price range
1997 Ford Aspire


  • Fuel efficient, reliable transportation with a three year warranty for less than most three year old used cars.


  • The 1.3-liter engine is despairingly weak
  • this isn't the car to buy if your daily commute involves climbing many hills.
Ford Aspire years

Used 1997 Ford Aspire for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Commonly known among Ford salespeople as the "Expire" because of its asthmatic acceleration, the Aspire replaced Ford's spunky Festiva in 1994. Originally, the Aspire was the only subcompact available with standard dual airbags and optional antilock brakes. Now, all subcompacts on the market offer standard dual airbags and optional antilock brakes.

The Aspire is available in three- or five-door hatchback body styles, in a single trim level. A torquey 63-horsepower engine motivates the Aspire, but the optional automatic transmission effectively severs what little power it is able to transmit to the front wheels. We have received considerable mail from people who have rented the Aspire when on budget vacations or cheap business trips who were horrified to discover that the car was unable to maintain freeway speeds when confronted with the most innocuous of inclines.

Aspire is surprisingly roomy inside, and the dashboard houses easy-to-read, if basic, instrumentation. Base prices start at just under $8,600 and can climb to a maximum of just over $14,000 for a fully loaded five-door hatch.

This year Ford limits revisions to interior/exterior color changes, new wheel covers, and a higher final drive ratio on models equipped with an automatic transmission .

Aspires are affordable and reliable, but there are other models in this class that offer the same with much more go power. We can only recommend the base three-door model with a manual transmission, because prices escalate quickly once the options are added, pushing the Aspire into Hyundai Accent territory. Pile the options on and you might as well buy the bigger, more powerful Ford Escort. Stick to the basics, and the Aspire is a good value, especially when the local Ford dealer offers them up for a big discount in price. Beware of inexpensive program cars, though, chances are that they have been driven at or near redline by Hertz renters in Orlando for all of their 20,000-30,000 miles.

1997 Highlights

This Kia-built entry-level Ford gets a higher final drive ratio on models equipped with an automatic transmission. New wheel covers, paint choices and interior trim are the only other changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Ford Aspire.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

My Prim is growing up!
I received my '97 Aspire about six months ago as a gift from my fantastic grandparents, and immediately named her Primrose. Prim had 38,000 miles when I got her, and the previous owner kept detailed records of all maintanence. She's been a fantastic little car with amazing gas milage and small, inexpensive repairs. I certainly plan to keep her for as long as she'll hold up to my busy lifestyle!
Ok first car
I bought my ford aspire last December as my first car. I paid Five hundred dollars for it. Since than i have put at least eight hundred dollars in repairs into the darn thing. From Bad motor mounts to tires, I've replaced it. I don't blame the car itself because the previous owners never even changed the oil in the car. It took four oil changes to finally get it cleaned out! I have to tell you for what this car been through I'm surprised it still goes, the engine is good condition just everything around it is what's wrong. If I'm gentle with the throttle i will get 35 mpg city and 35 mpg highway it has the 3 speed automatic. The transmission requires you to floor it to shift down.
Misunderstood Vehicle
K.C. Courier,10/22/2006
I am a courier and have used this vehicle for 7 years. Upkeep has been low for a very heavy demand car. Gas mileage is still very close to 40mpg on mainly a city driving route. AC is excellent but has required upkeep. Visibility is excellent with higher clearance. Speed to 70 mph is comfortable but gets rough past that. The Aspire is cheap to purchase and operate. You must maintain this vehicle with proper care - if you do it will take good care of you. Do not allow transmission fluid or engine oil to get low. Front axles are cheap and should be maintained. At 198,000 I have not had to do any major engine work. This little car still hums and with the 5 speed my acceleration is fine.
I have loved this car for 21 years!
Dawn Shuler,02/10/2016
I bought my 97 Ford Aspire brand new with 25 miles 20 years ago. It now has 98,000 miles. I have loved this car for the most part. The only issue I had was a cracked distributor cap the 1st year I had it and Ford wouldn't pay for it. It cost 900.00. I live in the North so we have horrible winters with salt on the streets. It is starting to rust a little but it always turns over and gets me where I need to go. Great gas mileage! It is bigger inside than it seems from the outside. I have moved several times and it has plenty of room inside. You sit up high in your seat and all the windows are large which is good since I am only 5'4''.I will be sad when I have to buy another car. I wish they still sold them because I would buy another! I have had to have some front end work done because the streets are full of potholes. But this is about it. If you can still find one, buy it! You wouldn't be disappointed! It is 2018 and she is still in my garage! I am taking her in tomorrow to see about a oil leak. Hopefully it isn't anything major. She is a like member of the family!
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Features & Specs

29 city / 38 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
63 hp @ 5000 rpm
29 city / 38 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
63 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Ford Aspire features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Ford Aspire
Used 1997 Ford Aspire Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Aspire is offered in the following submodels: Aspire Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback, and 2dr Hatchback.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Ford Aspire?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Ford Aspires are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Ford Aspire for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Ford Aspire.

Can't find a used 1997 Ford Aspires you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Aspire for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $18,911.

Find a used Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $10,756.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Aspire for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,316.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $25,437.

Compare prices on the Used Ford Aspire for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Ford Aspire?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Aspire lease specials