Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan

1998 Ford Escort
List price range
1998 Ford Escort


  • Economical, reliable transportation in a package that is vastly improved over the previous model.


  • Poor resale value.

Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The Escort has been Ford's bread-and-butter car for the last 14 years. Think of it as the car that brings consumers into the Ford family. The Escort's low price, decent reliability and above average crash test scores have consistently offered recent college grads and young families an attractive set of American wheels. Recently, however, a rash of excellent cars from Dodge, Honda and Geo really put the Escort on the defensive. Why buy an 88-horsepower Escort LX, when the Dodge Neon offered 132 horsepower? Why get an Escort covered in poor-fitting plastic that is a bit too shiny, when the immensely refined Geo Prizm was available? Why get the noisy, vibrating Escort when the smooth quietness of a Honda Civic beckoned? Apparently enough people were asking these questions that the gang at the Blue Oval decided to update their entry-level offering.

In 1997, Ford updated their entry-level car by addressing three major areas. The first was power. The old 1.9-liter four-banger just wasn't getting the job done against the newer cars. Heck, the lowly Hyundai Accent and Suzuki Esteem had more power available than the base 1996 Escort. To tackle this, Ford replaced the old powerplant with a 2.0-liter overhead-cam engine that produces 20 percent more horsepower and 14 percent more torque than the 1996 motor. This difference in engines is most readily noticed under hard acceleration; what was once a noisy, bumpy affair is now a smooth, quite one. Coupe versions of the Escort are available with an even more potent engine: a 2.0-liter ZETEC powerplant taken from the Contour. This engine provides 130 eager ponies and 127 foot-pounds of torque.

Ford's second area of concern was with body stiffness and vibration. Previous Escorts are notoriously wiggly over rough surfaces. The Escort's tendency to shake, which leads to a lot of rattle-and-roll, can really punish passengers on long commutes. One-piece body construction, a cross-car beam and firmer stabilizer bars solve this problem by radically improving the Escort's torsional stiffness.

Fit and finish, the Escort's third problem area, are also refined by the one-piece body construction; windows and doors fit better and are less likely to let in the weather. The instrument panel, a long-standing sore spot among Escort owners, has been brought up to speed by the introduction of Ford's Integrated Control Panel, first seen on the 1996 Taurus. The ICP reduces dashboard clutter by combining the stereo and climate controls. The single-unit ICP is very easy to use and allows eyes-on-the-road operation of its systems. Further interior improvements include rear-seat heater ducts, an upgraded six-speaker audio system and nicer upholstery and dashboard materials.

Of lesser importance is the Escort's new sheetmetal. Striking a maturer chord, the new Escort has fewer cut-lines and a more polished demeanor than previous models. The obvious exception here is the Gen-X-directed ZX2 coupes, which are definitely not meant to attract a mature audience. In the end we feel that Escort is a real winner: no more increased blood pressure when merging with freeway traffic, no more shaking like a willow when driving over uneven pavement. Ford has done a fine job of updating the Escort.

1998 Highlights

Packages are reshuffled on Ford's entry-level cars. Available this year as sedans, wagons or stylish coupes, the Ford Escort now qualifies as a low emissions vehicle, thanks to the car's split-port induction 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Ford Escort.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

I really love my Escort
This is my second Escort. I purchased my first 98 escort new and drove it to well over 300k miles. It was sadly taken out by a tractor trailer while parked, but was still running strong. I am on my second 98 escort (took me months to find one) and it's also great. Purchased it with 108k and have taken it all over the country since. Just like my first escort, this one just keeps going and going. I like dependability and economy in my vehicles and this car serves them both up with a smile.
After having this car for a couple of years, we decided she deserved a name, Loretta. We bought her when she was already 12 years old but she only had 63,000 miles on her. Now she's got almost 150,000 and still going strong. The fuel pump has been replaced and a couple of other things, but she's never left me stranded. All of those were things that I needed to do, but she gave me the time to save the money and never quit on me. We love this car. She is now being passed down to my daughter who loves her just as much as I do.
Bought this car back in 2005, have had it almost 6 years and have put close to 50,000 miles on it. This car has been through snow storms, and near floods. Has never left me stranded or broken down on me. Has never had a day where it didn't start. This has been the most low maintenance car I've ever had. Over the past 6 years I can't say that I've spend more than $1,200 on my car. Which is like an average of $300 a year including oil changes and tire replacements etc. Love this car, and at 140,000 its tickin' like it just left the dealer's lot.
Got me around
One of Ford's best for basic trasportation. Purch from original owner with 111k mi after sitting in yard for 2yr. Have driven it 65k miles since. Never left me stranded, only normal maint. items; i.e. timing belt, brakes, tires, muffler. New England winters & excessive road salt have taken a toll on the body. Engine still runs strong and uses less that 1qt. of oil per 2k miles.
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Features & Specs

24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
110 hp @ 5000 rpm
24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
110 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • 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 1998 Ford Escort
Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan Overview

The Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan is offered in the following styles: SE 4dr Sedan, and LX 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan?

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Which used 1998 Ford Escort Sedans are available in my area?

Used 1998 Ford Escort Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO 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 1998 Ford Escort Sedan.

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Can't find a used 1998 Ford Escort Escort Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Escort for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $13,822.

Find a used Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,013.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Escort for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $11,871.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $23,193.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Ford Escort?

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 Escort lease specials