Cons: "Flaky Auto transmission; rusty rocker panels"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've had 2 of these: a Manual and an automatic. The Automatic transmission control wires were insulated with a plastic that is not resistant to transmission fluid or heat. The control wires will fail, leading to costly repairs, and to be truthful, more of these cars are in junkyards due to failed Automatic transmissions than wrecks. Most people faced with a $1700 repair bill on a $1500 car will opt to scrap the car.
My manual transmission car was in a collision, and I swapped the transmissions out and basically got a brand new car. This is not really economical for most people, but since I had the other car and all the components readily available, it worked for me.
The biggest problem aside from the automatic transmission is the ease with which the rocker panels rot out from the inside. Especially in salt-spreading states, there are very few of these with intact panels. Only option is to cut out and weld new - again a high cost-to-value ratio of the repair, as this is typically $800 to fix.
This car is a blast to drive, and is very comfortable on the interior. Very roomy for a compact car - I am 6'2" and fit (albeit not comfortably) in the rear seat. The back seats fold down to increase the cargo area, which is already very generous for a compact car."
Pros: "Spacious, roomy, comfortable seats, and it drives."
Cons: "Almost everything else. Unreliable, and the noises"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I've owned this car now for awhile, and I've got to say that it's actually quite terrible. The road noise is horrific, the rattles, the break-downs, the obnoxious way it steers and handles. BUT that being said, it's spacious and worth every penny I spent on it (being as it was only $700). Can't complain much for a vehicle that has gotten me to work every day. The interior lacks a lot, along with the obnoxious oval and rounded out EVERYTHING. Both the heat and air conditioning pulls power from the engine and it can barely make it up hills. Oh, and the car shakes and rattles going on the freeway. Don't expect a quiet ride... On the bright side, it'll get you to where you'll need to go? That's all that matters, honestly. I've dumped more money into repairs than what the car was worth but it hasn't died at 210,000 miles which is nice."
"I got this car when I was in college with about 230,000 miles and 3 years later it has 262,000. I have never taken it to the shop. It never gave me any problems. Great gas mileage, it is very easy and comfortable to maneuver. You feel in control when driving it. It has a quick start. This car is under-priced and for sure it is a lot better than a Toyota Carolla. Carrolla is very awkward to drive in comparison to this Escort."
Pros: "Easy handling, lots of space, reliable, good mpg"
Cons: "wagon opening and closing wears out wires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have had this car for a couple of months, great for carrying friends and cargo. Had to do a little work on the electrical but hey, it's a 16 year old car what do you expect? Good for getting you there reliably."