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How Reliable are used Ford Festiva/Aspire?



  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Does everyone who owns an Elantra have a past history with a Festiva? Personally, I put 120,000 miles of pizza delivery (no highway miles to speak of) on my '88 Festiva. After all of that abuse, I paid out a total of $14.95 for non-maintenance item repairs (an oil pressure sender). If my '02 GT treats me even half as well, I'll be ecstatic!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    is that Kia was far better quality wise in the 80's than either Hyundai or Daewoo. I think in some ways the brands have flipped since then, although Daewoo is certainly getting long in tooth.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Here's an article from Edmunds' Write & Drive that you may find interesting: Five Good Cheap Cars, by Christian Wardlaw.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Actually, most of the praise was reserved for the German made Ford Fiesta, not the Korean made Ford Festiva ... that said however, the little Festiva was a damn good bare-bones type automobile!
  • rgarrorgarro Posts: 2
    The people say me that the Ford Aspire and the Kia avella is the same car !. I had an accident and the front of my car is very damaged. The original PArt is very expensive. Does I can use the parts of Kia avella for my car ?
    Please sendme your comments to
    Thanks for your help !
  • rgarrorgarro Posts: 2
    The people say me that the Ford Aspire and the Kia avella is the same car !. I had an accident and the front of my car is very damaged. The original PArt is very expensive. Does I can use the parts of Kia avella for my car ?
    Please sendme your comments to
    Thanks for your help !
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I just got a Hyundai GT last month, and I too had a festiva (92 L). Very basic, but I loved the car for it's go-cart like handeling. It was small, "spunky", and GREAT on gas! Covered with dents (it seemed if you looked at it funny it would dent), but it had 109k hard miles on it when I sold it (for a profit, no less!).
    I'm hoping my new hyundai will give me as many trouble free miles. It sure is night and day to drive!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    I recently went on vacation to Panama, Central America and saw sedan and coupe versions of the Ford Festiva being sold as the original Kia. The model there is called the "PRIDE". I would love to bring one back to the States to replace the 1993 Festiva LX that I could kick myself for selling. Since the Pride hasn't got airbags I imagine that it would not make it past a U.S. inspection.

    I noticed in Central America that things like airbags are an option. That's really not a bad idea. I found Toyota Echoes being sold as the Toyota "Yaris" with a/c and manual transmission for only $ 7,500. This is well below the price of the U.S. version.

    A previous poster (Costa Rica?) wanted to know if the Aspire and the Avella are the same car. Since the Aspire was discontinued in 1997 I would imagine that the Avella has some cosmetic differences that would make the two vehicles not identical in parts. But it never hurts to compare.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    Just don't get into an accident with either car. The Festiva was one of the top five cars to be involved in fatal accidents when sold. The others were sports cars (which probably ment they hit trees, etc), but the Festiva is just small. Not much there to keep an Expedition from driving through you!
    The Aspire has airbag's, but not much else.
    Of course no one wants to be in an accident, but they happen. If you drive one of these cars (or most any sub-compact) you learn to drive a little more defensivly (maybe a lot more)!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    You are right about the small car defensive driving, jofficer. I drive 80 miles a day for work and an additional 70 miles a night when I have night school, so I really have had a few close calls on the road. I am 6'5" but have always driven tiny cars--Datsun 310, Protege, Festiva, Aspire, little Nissan trucks. I cannot even imagine paying for gas in an Explorer or an Excursion for that matter.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I could almost call the fill up to a tenth of a addition to the 320,800 miles on the original engine and clutch on my 88 Festiva LX with rear wiper!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    As a former owner of a new 1993 Festiva GL, I always envied the 1988 and 1989 LX models with the stock power mirrors and a trunk light, too.

    Strangely enough, I bought my 1993 new in February of 1994 on a promotion to clear the way for the Aspire which I also bought a year later. It was bright green with A/C, manual, standard radio, painted bumpers and moulding, and the alloy wheels--the price was only $ 7,600 before negotiations began. What a deal! The earlier models were more expensive in many cases.
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    About every week or so you can find a couple of Festivas on Ebay and they get many bids. They are typically beaters,however. What I would do for a mint-condition Festiva...
  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1
    I bought my '91 red GL in April 1994, while I was a 16 year-old junior in high school. It had only 34K on the odometer when I bought it, for $3,400. I drove this car all the way through college and grad school, and took about 10 cross-country drives in it. I finally gave her up in March of last year, when I celebrated graduating by buying a 2001 Miata. It had 188,000 miles on the odometer, with the original engine. In 7 years and 150,000 miles, the only major replacements were the muffler(three times), the CV joints, the rotors and calipers, the timing belts(twice), and the clutch(once). This car was way too good to be a Ford. I honestly don't know why Mazda didn't sell it under their own brand name. One question though; why are Kias so bad now, when they used to be so good?
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Kia did a fine job putting together Fords and Mazdas using Japanese technology and under Japanese management. On their own, however, Kia uses sub-par materials and half-baked technology. The best of Kias still feel cheap and have a multitude of problems.

    I cringed when I heard that Ford would be producing the new engines in the 2001 and above Mazda Proteges. I guess that I am a purist and feel lucky to have a near 100% pure Japanese 2000 Protege with the 1.6 engine. The Mazda truck (Ford Ranger) has been a disappointment from the start--they did so much better when they where built in Japan before 1993.
  • ford has to put its dirty hands into everything.i own 2 fords and i have to say they stink.nothing but heater core and transmission problems.they look funny, run funny, and start funny.the new 2002 models have the same seems to think this is perfectly normal.maybe for fords!give kia,daewoo,hyundai a break,at least they try and dont continue to make cars with the same defects like ford does.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I do miss that car (would buy another for fun if I could find one(5sp)). My neighbor is a gluten for punishment. He sunk thousands into a windstar, and replaces it with a 2001 focus.
    I'm not crazy about the style, and from my own experience they are crap! The newspaper I worked for used Festiva's and Aspires for 10 years. Those cars were beat on bad, and ran well into 100k miles! The three focus's they bought have been in the shop for more recalls/repairs to count!!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Well, no luck on a search for a Festiva this week. Auto Trader online had no Festivas listed within a 200 mile radius of South Alabama and eBay has none for sale at this moment either. Maybe one day...
  • curlingcurling Posts: 1
    My Aspire has 80,000 and has been a pain in the butt. Replacement parts are expensive and hard to get at times.

    Now I've blown a head gasget....OH JOY.
  • i live in the the north east and i see alot of the little festivas running around.the one i saw today did not have any rust on it.the paint was a little faded but that was it.the guy who owned it really took care of the way my mother owns a new 2002 focus and these cars are junk!it even has the ford engine coolant smell on the inside of the car just like my two fords.good job ford!i still stand by my word that ill never own a ford again.
This discussion has been closed.