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What Car? says

1 out of 5 stars

For It's super-cheap to buy and run

Against Getting old now, not very reliable and likely to be rusty

Verdict Aim for one of the last cars if you’re determined to buy one

Go for… 1.6 Finesse

Avoid… 1.8 Tdi Flight

Ford Escort Hatchback
  • 1. Watch out for the rust that can eat through rear chassis rails and rear wheelarches
  • 2. Check the shock absorbers and suspension bushes, as they can wear after 50,000 miles and cause MoT test failure
  • 3. All models have driver's airbags but anti-lock brakes were optional, so you may need to hunt hard for a used car with them fitted
  • 4. Rust can start at the bottom of the fuse box and under the battery, and fixing it can cost more than the car's worth
  • 5. Only buy a car with a full service history because the engines corrode and blow head gaskets if oil and coolant changes are missed
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