I have had my 1989 Tempo AWD for a single year now. It has never had a problem. And I know the previous owners well, and they have never had any major problems either. It has always started for me, and its very reliable. I would go to say its the most reliable model made in the 1980's. I left it for eleven months. It sat untouched for that time. I went back to it, turned the key, started right away. Thats quality. Excellent first car and general daily driver. Fuel economy is average, reliability outstanding, durability outstanding, styling is good - average, power is slightly below average and quality is too great for words.
My very first car was a 1990 Ford Tempo, It was the worst thing ever. The car broke down constintly and was always leaking something. It was bad in the summer because the a/c was broke, and Horrible for the winter because the car took half an hour to warm up and it had ZERO traction. One good thing about the car in the winter, it did not over heat because of the cold. Well most of the time it didn't over heat. When I got a new car they gave me $500 for it and they were being nice. Check out my car review of the 1997 Honda Civic HX!
I love this car!!! With just routine maintenance (although it does use more than average front suspension parts), this car is unbeatable. It is an absolute "bear" in the snow. It now has over 173,000 miles and is beginning to show some surface rust, so I'm looking for a replacement vehicle. If it were economically feasible to replace the body and keep the car, I'd do it!
This was my first car. I wanted a tempo after my mom walked out of a 60mph head on accident with a very minor temporary injury. I purchased mine for $400 from my aunt at 105k miles. Engine is very strong, and tranny is responsive. in 13 years the car has been towed once for a dead battery, and left me on the side of the road once when the engine block heater fell out becuase of an overtightned bolt (bad mechanic?). I took the car off the road when it was due for CV Joints, Boots, and body work. Total parts for this car in 13 years costed $400. I purchased a 1996 Taurus SE as a replacement...I miss my tempo though...