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Ford Escort (1990 - 2000)

1
reviewed by ned zeppelin on 5 February 2013
4
reviewed by James FB on 24 April 2012
4

Calypso 1.6i Cabriolet

reviewed by devman on 11 August 2011
4
Overall rating
4
How it drives
3
Fuel economy
3
Running costs
5
Cost of maintenance and repairs
3
Experience at the garage or specialist
3
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
4
Overall reliability

Cheap topless motoring

A lot of people slate the Escort. In fact, a lot of people slate Ford in general, but someone here has to stand up for the humble Escort. Being a 'Ford Man', i'm probably slightly biased. (being a lond standing Ford fan I mean, not an employee!). The Escort ran for 7 shapes, so it's been around for a bit. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster, some being better than others, some models being better than others too. By this, the MK6/7 stage, they'd almost cracked it.

The Zetec lump that Ford developed was a bit late in coming, ideally it should've been stuck in the MK5a shape, which was a bit of a disaster for them. It was rushed out to compete with the new Rover 214 and 216, which had the new K series engine and Honda lumps respectively. (Although it would later emerge the K series had a pretty major cooling system flaw, nonetheless, it was a smooth torquey engine). The MK5a got lumbered with the same pushrod and CVH lumps of the 80's, and a bland facelift from the popular MK4.

After a rethink, Ford got the Zetec lump in the MK5b facelift eventually, and ironed out a lot of the creases. By the time they got to the MK6 stage, they had a pretty decent car on their hands.

Yeah it had its faults. Rust. Lots of rust. Wheel arches, chassis rails, sills, seatbelt anchorage points. Its the main killer of these cars. But those Zetec lumps will go on and on, if the servicing is kept up. And with these Fords, everything can be done yourself, its everymans car. Parts are stupidly cheap - £8 for a wishbone? £13 for a service kit?

As for the Calypso. It was my second Mk6/7 Escort, and I doubt it'll be my last. (First one was a 5 door 1.6 Cabaret, which I begrudgingly sold). It set me back £600 in the summer 2 years ago, and I put 16,000 miles on it in a year. I think in that time I put 2 wishbones on it, New discs and pads and serviced it.

I broke up a GTI variant and added the alloys, stainless exhaust, white dials, half leather seats to jazz it up (set me back about £25 once i'd weighed the shell in for scrap!), and there it stands. What other four seater convertible car can you pick up for £600, with an electric mohair hood, that you can use every day? Even through winter it was used in all conditions, and the hood didn't let in a single speck of water.

Only thing i'd criticise is probably fuel consumption, not bad on a run but got about 25 around town. Unfortunately most of my driving was around town! To summarise, if you're going to get one...make sure it's Zetec, and a convertible one if you're a poser!

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1
reviewed by GTiDog on 3 January 2011

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