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I have a Ford Escort 1.6 16v LX which basically has all the electrical toys plus I have remote locking too. (very useful, a must have, especailly good as a safety feature for women in car parks!)
This car started its life as a company car & now has 140,000 miles on it & is still breezing through MOTs.(although I do have an annoying rattle from the Cat, but if it's passing emissions....) It's 6 years old now but will do a ton up the motorway (not that I do of course!!) no problem & It's pretty good on fuel too! Even if you really push it hard your only talkin 11p a mile.
The engine is a 90bhp twin cam fuel injection, the cam belt is a pain to change but it's only every 60,000 miles. Ford has the usual main dealer expense problem (ie a horrendous hourly rate!!) so make sure you shop around once they're out of warranty!! Service interval is every 10,000 miles & plugs air filter etc evry 30,000 miles.
One thing I have found is that if changing oil yourself & you don't have a pit, it is necessary to remove the front off-side wheel in order to get to the oil filter; even then it's a bit fiddly! This seems to be a thing with fords, A fiesta I worked on had a filter right tucked up under the back of the engine...
The seats in the escort are OK but I don't find them as comfortable as the mark 2 Astra I had before, they seem to wear better than the Vauxhall though, mine have no marks or thin patches despite the mileage.
Driving position can seem a bit low & there is no height adjustment on the seat, you can adjust the rake of the swab though which is useful to some.
One of the other things I have noticed with the Escort is the length of gear lever, it's abnormally long & really restricts access to the buttons on the radio when in 5th - a pain on the motorway as you can imagine! I kepp meaning to cut mine down...
The escort handles ok, considering it is an Estate, not as well as the newer Mondeos I have driven & not a patch on the focus either....
The Escort is not too expensive to insure (Group 5 or 6 I think) & comes a standard with an alarm & a Thatcham 2 immobiliser which is worked on a pats system (I.E. through the key).
I paid £ 1500 for this car with 6 months MOT & 9 months Tax on it last July, so it really has been low cost motoring for me!
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