Ford Escort Wagon

kjkroutkjkrout Member Posts: 4
How is the fuel mileage?
I'm looking to buy a 1994, is that year good?


  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Welcome to the Station Wagons Conference, kjkrout.

    I am the host here, but I just started so I'm still stumbling around a bit. Have you looked for information in "Used Vehicles"? Also, have you owned other station wagons or is this your first?
  • kjkroutkjkrout Member Posts: 4
    I've never owned a station wagon before. I just started looking in the used vehicles section.
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    Having previously owned a 93' Escort LX wagon,
    with 5 spd. and amenities, I can attest to the robust nature of the car. I traded mine in with
    almost 94,000 miles on a 97' Nissan Sentra GLE.
    I miss the versatility the most. Be warned that
    the 1.9 liter is hardy, reasonably reliable, but
    noisy even at highway speeds. The fit and finish
    are not (or never were) comparable to most foreign
    makes. However, despite these flaws you can
    probably pick one up for about 3 grand less, used
    than a used Corolla wagon.
    If you can afford new, I'd check out the Subaru
    Impreza or Suzuki Esteem wagon which is getting favorable reviews. The Esteem wagon is a bit
    underpowered but more refined than the Ford
    wagon. By the way, repair parts for the Escort
    can be gotten from just about any AUTOZONE, NAPA,
    Etc. not so with some foreign makes. Good Luck.
  • kjkroutkjkrout Member Posts: 4
    Thank for your help.
    Is it possible to tell if the Escort has went over 100,000 miles, since the odometer only has 5 digits?
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    A good mechanic should be able to tell whether
    a car has been used but not abused, i.e. the
    odometer. Also, if it looks to good to be true,
    then it probably is. A comaparable 1994 Escort
    wagon, driven let's say 18,000 miles a year,
    should only have about 72,000 miles total. If
    there's more ask why. If less then you may assume
    that the owner(s) possibly drove less or worse
    case, the cars odometer was tampered with. My
    advice is, get a good mechanic to give it the once
    over before purchasing. The ownwer(s) shouldn't
    have a problem with that if they've nothing to hide.
  • ollieollie Member Posts: 1
    I read with interest about the '93 Escort Wagon. I'm looking at the '95 Escort LX wagon. Any info about this one - is it much improved over the '93? I'm wondering if it is reliable, expensive/inexpensive for repairs, mileage good?, etc. Is there a reason the odometer doesn't go over the 100,000 mark?
  • jfsjfs Member Posts: 1
    I am interested in the new Escort Wagon. HAs anyone seen a review about it?
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    To my knowledge the line of Escort wagons from redesign circa 1992
    to 1996 had improvements with each consecutive year. For instance,
    the 1994 Escort wagon had, I believe, a driver's side airbag, the 1995
    both driver's and passenger's airbags and an interior upgrade.
    Each year, most automotive engineers will tweak a couple of little
    things even though reviews will mention a 'no changes' year.
    I don't think, if this the car you are looking for, you can go
    wrong if it's been reasonably well taken care of. Parts are relatively
    cheap (except alternators). Alot of the regular service items can
    be bought, at savings, from Wal-Mart, Target, etc. I believe, it's safe to assume that the car progressively was made safer and somewhat better each year until the most recent redesign in late 1996 which
    is quantumly, for an Escort, better than 91-96 models. Used Escorts
    typically do not retain value so beware at trade-in time.
    Even though my Escort was running well for a car with 95,000 miles
    on it, no-runs, no-drips, no-errors, I only got 75% of what I wanted
    for trade-in. Apparently, nobody wants good higher mileage cars.
    As a prologue, I have a friend who has a 1988 Mercury Lynx (same as
    Escort wagon). His wife has a 1994 Escort wagon. He prefers driving
    his 1988 over the newer model, go figure. His little machine, with
    regular maintenance just keeps plugging along.
  • GeorgGeorg Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how well the Escort Wagons hold up in an accident? I'm thinking of buying one but the sheetmetal seems very flimsy; like you can easily bend it with your fingers. Is the whole car this flimsy?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Welcome to the SW Conference!

    I went searching for an answer to your question, but couldn't find much info. I did find in the Used Car listings that a 1996 Escort had a 6.6 rating for Safety and the Crash Test Results for the Escort are driver=average, passenger=good.

    Of course this doesn't really answer your question, does it.? But stick around, I'm sure someone with the info will offer you some advice.

    KarenS/SW Conference Host
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    Unfortunately, I was in two separate accidents
    in my 93' Ford Escort which I recently traded in.
    One was more serious than the other, but both
    involved front end damage. I rear-ended a guy
    on the freeway at a sudden stop. The damage to
    the front of the Escort totalled about $ 2500.00
    the crumple zones worked as the damage did not
    move past the radiator at the speed I hit the guy.
    About 20 mph, I believe. There was no permanent
    damage to the engine/drivetrain, etc. The other
    accident involved a front bumper/hood shear in
    a parking lot. Not my fault this time. Another
    $ 1500.00 later and the damage again was repaired.
    No problems that I could see. I kept the car another 4 years and 65000 miles after that. The
    metal may seem flimsy, but it's not much better
    in any other car. Also, no rust spots at any time.
    on the Escort. It seems true protection vis-a-vis
    accidents comes from pure mass, i.e., larger cars
    or is left to physics, dependent on numerous
    other criteria. Still again, I felt reasonably safe in the Escort. If I had it to do now, I'd buy
    a Subaru Legacy, Impreza Outback, or check into
    other wagon entrants.
  • kjkroutkjkrout Member Posts: 4
    If any one is interested.
    Well, I just bought me an 95 escort wagon.
    It had 13,000 miles and 7 months before the MF warranty expires. I paid $6,500 from a private owner. So far I like the ford escort. I drive 45 highway miles one way to work, it get about 33 mpg.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Congratulations on your purchase! Are you considering getting an extended warranty?

    KarenS/SW Conference
  • liskeeliskee Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I've just joined this conference and want to know if anyone has experienced that same as I have. In Sept. '97 I leased a 1997 Ford Escort LX Wagon and traded in my 1985 Ford LTD mid-size wagon, which I had used to pull a small light-weight trailer. I did not take advantage of the sound and rust proof package as it was $1,000 at the time. I would like to hear from others regarding: 1) Should I do the sound & rust proof protection? Is it too late to make a difference? 2) Also I find that the engine makes a lot of noise when acclerating - does anyone else agree this is excessive? 3) Has anyone use the Escort Wagon to haul a small trailer or camper? Any information would be appreciated.
  • ltaizltaiz Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm really appreciating the discussion of Escort Wagons. In the past I owned a 1978 Corolla wagon which I LOVED, it took a licken and kept on ticken. Back in the 1970s I owned Fords (1960s Fairlanes and an Econoline Van) both of which I also found to be very reliable. Right now I need to buy a run-about-town wagon and I want to stay under $3500. In looking at the ads I see that I can see that the latest model escort wagon I can afford is 1993 but the Toyotas (mostly Tercel Wagons) are in my price range are 1986-87. Any opinions on which would be a better choice, given my limitations. Thanks.
  • SputnikSputnik Member Posts: 2
    I'm considering the purchase of a'91 escort wagon.
    The proverbial little-old-lady-driven-only-on-Sundays car. 66,000 mi auto, air, the whole shebang. $2700.00! Wow! The only problem is the trans. I've had an '87 Mazda 626 and a '91 Escort 2 door (both with the same trans), and they were nothing but trouble. Loved the cars, hated the transmission. Is the automatic transmission different on the wagon? (Please tell me yes.)
  • SputnikSputnik Member Posts: 2
    By the way, I've had a couple of accidents in my '91 2 door escort in its long 217,000 mile lifespan (the last one killed it) and in each of them it did exactly what it was supposed to do: Crumple up like an accordian. Car looks like hell, everybody fine. What more can you ask for? I don't know how much you can extrapolate this onto a wagon,
    but hey.
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Member Posts: 128
    My 1993 Escort has been great since I bought it used 1.5 years ago with under 50,000 miles. I drive 120 miles a day and now have 86k miles on it. I'm surprized at how reliable it is, but Consumer Reports reliability gives it an average rating.

    I have towed a small trailer with it. The vehicle came with a hitch. No problem, though I would not think about towing over 1,500 lbs.

    I'm looking for a newer vehicle that has good utility and a quieter ride. The Escort is no Civic, but Honda doesn't make a Civic wagon!

    Does anyone have any experience with the 97' wagon? Is it significantly better. I'd be interested in one at the right price. Given their depreciation, a new one is not an option. I'd even take a 5-speed, which no one seems to like in these cars.
  • lylejlylej Member Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a new 98 escort wagon. I can drive on out of the lot for around $17,500 Cdn. Can anyone who has recently purchased a new wagon, send me their comments?


  • restifo2restifo2 Member Posts: 1
    I, too, would be interested in someone's experience with the newer Escort wagon. I bought a 93 wagon, and the only problem I ever had with it was a bad alternator that was replaced under warranty. That thing started at 25 below in cold up-state New York winters, and has always run reliably. My wife drives it now and has never had any problems. I think the only work I've done on it (besides having the front quarter panel repaired from an accident) has been replacing light bulbs for the brake/reverse lights.

    It'd be really nice if the newer models had the same reliability. Depreciation isn't a concern for me since I like to keep cars until they die. (Unless, of course, they're problem ridden 95 Neons.....;^)

  • billdeanebilldeane Member Posts: 1
    We have both these wagons; the 95 with 55k miles the 97 with 10k.They were both trouble free and both had 2 drivers--regular oil changes help but after Honda's and VWs their reliability was better than expected.We paid $11600. for the 95 (new) and $13475.for the 97 in Sept 97.The latter included a $1000.Ford rebate.The 97 has a much more power than the 95 but both are Ok on the highway and great in the city stop and go, where speed and acceleration are less important.
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    If you are going to or have paid $ 17,500 for
    a 1998 Escort Wagon, that's way!!!! too much.
    I'd only pay about $ 15,000 Max. with all the options you can think of. With the rebates that
    Ford has going just about all the time and about
    $ 100 - $ 200 over invoice for the
    Escort you should be out the door. The salesmen
    should've only had to spend about 1-2 hrs.
    deciding on color, etc. Fast and efficient for you. Quick money for the dealership. Check out
    any and all avenues for cheaper pricing before
    purchasing. When I had my 1993 Escort wagon, I
    was out the door within two (2) hours at the
    dealership. Pretty painless overall. Good luck.

    I'd pay an extra $ 1,000 extra if Ford could
    develop a comparable, efficient, reliable AWD
    system for the Escort Wagon to compete with
    Subaru AWD systems. Imagine leaving the Ford
    dealership in an AWD Escort Wagon w/Duratec
    engine (125 H.P.) and Sport Pkg.., etc. for about
    $ 17,000. I believe the market share to be there.
    I'll bet, Ford, if desired could have this out in
    18 mos. and sell as many of those as regular FWD
  • ejwalshejwalsh Member Posts: 1
    $200 over invoice for a new Escort--I don't think so. I just bought my new 97 Escort wagon for $2,600 UNDER invoice. The deals are out there, especially if you are willing to talk to a lot of sales folks at several dealerships.
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47
    I agree wholeheartedly. Under invoice good....
    Over invoice bad. Speaking from experience on
    the recently traded 93' Escort: $ 100.00 over
    invoice with a $ 300.00 rebate to boot. Kind'uv
    redundant, but turned out to be a good deal at
    the time.
    The deals are out there, just look. Particularly
    with slower selling models.
  • kmboothkmbooth Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I'm new to this thing and am considering buying a 1998 Escort wagon. I want manual trans--anybody got one and want to comment on how it's working out? Also, any real reason to buy a 1998 over a 1997 that is also new? I'd like anti-lock brakes but I'm not sure if a 97 has such a thing.
  • sullisulli Member Posts: 1
    I'd like to hear from owners of 93 escort LX wagon. How's it doing? Any trouble? rust, mechanical, etc.? asap, please!
  • nrcotenrcote Member Posts: 2
    To: kmbooth (message 25) especially

    Hi. I bought a 98 wagon with manual transmission last December. It now has about 11,000 kilometers (about 7,000 miles) and runs fine. The only problem I got, and still have, is the variable intermittent wipers (the delay changes by itself). This is my third Escort (a 91 wagon, a 95 hatchback GT, this 98 wagon). The 95 GT was more fun to drive but the ABS brakes stopped working after 18 months and the dealer wasn't able to fix them after almost a year of repeated visits. My new 98 is loaded, _without_ the optional ABS brakes... Differences between the 1997 and 1998? As far as I know, the choice of colors and the unavailability of a tachometer. I didn't like the idea of getting a manual transmission without the tach, but I got used to it. Would I buy it again? Yes. Good luck.
  • kmboothkmbooth Member Posts: 2
    To nrcote: thanks for your info. Can I ask how much you paid for a "loaded" 98 in December?
    Do you have any idea if this is a typical problem with ABS on Fords? Anybody else know? I don't want to spend the dough on them if they are sure to break!
    thanks again.
  • nrcotenrcote Member Posts: 2
    To Karen (kmbooth; message 28)

    I paid $16,500 Canadian before taxes but including dealer prep, in December 97. The car has all the options _except_ automatic transmission, mags, baby seat (built in the rear seat), premium stereo and, of course, ABS. It has the regular AM-FM Cassette with 4 speakers, air, power group (mirrors, windows, locks), remote lock/unlock, alarm system, wagon group (roof rack and rear window wiper), tilt, cruise, cargo cover, carpets, smoker pack (an ashtray and a lighter!) and light group.

    The price I paid is low (at least in Canada) because Ford agreed to sell me the car at dealer's cost when they couldn't fix the ABS on my 95 GT. Ford bought my car back for a little over $10,000 Canadian.

    When I checked with the CAA (the Canadian AAA), before accepting Ford's offer, I was told the price of the new 98 was very close to the dealer's cost (a difference of $50) and the price of the old 95 was fair (the 95 cost me $17,000 and I got $10,000, or almost 60%, for a 40% depreciation in 3 years.) In the end, I feel I was treated fairly. Going to court would have been costly and painful (yes, I spoke to a lawyer).

    Regarding ABS problems on the Escort, it seemed so few of them were equipped with it that it made the problem worse (in 95, only the GT could be ordered with ABS). And it's not because Ford didn't try to fix them. Sensors were replaced, master pump was replaced, central module was replaced, in some cases more than once. Even the wiring was checked and replaced: I saw my car stripped of all its inside (seats, dashboard, carpets, etc.) and parts of the engine (air conditioning, braking system, etc.) twice! To think it takes you 4 years to pay for it and to see it on blocks with half the parts missing isn't something I will remember with great pleasure!

    A last good word for Ford: all the time my car was in the shop (once for two months), I got a loaner for free. I got to drive a Taurus (with which I was rear ended on the freeway: solid car), a few Escorts (of course) and a Windstar (for more than a month; I just loved that van).

    That's about it. Sorry for the long message. NRC.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Don't apologize for the long message! Thanks for taking the time to tell about your experience. It's nice to hear something good came out of a painful situation.

    KarenS/SW Host
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    Well, I've got a post about a '97 Escort with manual transmission, except mine is a sedan, not a wagon. But, since the engine and trans are the same, I figured I'd post it anyway.

    Bought '97 Escort LX with 5-speed in Feb 97 for wife - she commutes 40 miles a day to work and back. She prefers a stick - before the Escort she owned an '86 Tempo LX with stick that had 98K miles on it.

    So far, we've put 18,000 miles on the car, with no problems at all - just oil changes. No, it's not a hot rod (not with 110HP), but it's satisfactory for us. As mentioned above, I wouldn't own a stick w/o a tach - fortunately, the one we decided on had a tach as an option.

    We've been talking about an Escort Wagon when the lease on my car comes due (Feb 99), but I've heard that the Escort is being replaced with the Focus in Aug 99 - no wagon planned ! What does anyone know about this? Not sure I want to purchase a car that is being discontinued 6 months later.
  • restiforestifo Member Posts: 2
    this is for sulli (message #26):

    i bought a 93 LX wagon in sept. of 93. it went from florida to upstate new york to michigan to pittsburgh and then to bloomington, IN. my wife and I have put about 65K miles on it, and it worked in 100 degree orlando days. it's also started in new york at 25 below. the only thing i have ever had done to it was to replace the alternator (and that was under warranty). (well, i did have some body work done because of an accident, but that doesn't count.)

    i have noticed some minor rust near the back doors, but given the winters it's been through and the road salt it has seen, it's done pretty well.

    i've been fairly religious about changing the oil, but i've let other maintenance items slip. we can still get 40 to 42 mpg on the freeway (max was 46). the only thing i've noticed is the stick is little stiff, but that's probably due to the fact that my personal car has a much easier stick.

    overall, i'd say it's held up great. heck, it beats out my piece of crap 95 dodge neon sport coupe. if you're looking to buy one and can find a good one at a good price, i'd say it's worth it. on the other hand, the 94's had airbags and the CFC-free a/c systems, which is something you might want to consider.

  • medioblancmedioblanc Member Posts: 1
    Own a 93 escort station wagon with 85 thousand miles. Live in upstate NY. No problems except brake rotors and drums go out of true and round prematurely it seemed to me, however ford took care of that problem when the car was under warranty. No rust, always starts, good mileage. I am looking to buy a 98 if anyone knows of good deals
  • tgallustgallus Member Posts: 1

    I live in Toronto, Canada and am thinking of buying a Ford Escort wagon with an automatic transmission. I would appreciate any advice as to what the best price is for this car (not including rebates, taxes and delivery charges).
  • DaiveDaive Member Posts: 1
  • emathisemathis Member Posts: 3
    Hi. I am looking for a wagon. Looking at '97 Escort w/ 12,000 miles and a new Saturn SW1. Any thoughts on which one might be the better buy? The Escort I am looking at is a program car and they are asking 12,400 for it with auto, air, and stereo cassette. I haven't started negotiating yet? Does this seem like a good price?

  • shelleykshelleyk Member Posts: 1
    I have shifted from considering a 1994 Subaru Legacy to searching for a 1995-1997 Ford Escort. I wasn't impressed with the Legacy after driving a VW Passat. Since I can't afford the Passat, I decided to go for the efficient Escort. However, I am worried about safety in a lighter, smaller wagon. Does anyone have any recent information on how the newer Escorts hold up in crashes? Thanks
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    <<Does anyone have any recent information on
    how the newer Escorts hold up in crashes?>>

    Below are two links that may help you find this information.

    Insurance Institute of Highway Safety

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    KarenS/SW Host
  • mckee4mckee4 Member Posts: 47

    Was in two (2) accidents in a 93' Escort wagon.
    Repaired twice and driven for an additional
    75,000 miles and four years. No noticable problems. 'No' light vehicle will fair too good in
    accidents. However, I came out of both, albeit not
    serious, accidents with only minor injuries.
    I would venture to guess that 95'-97' Escort wgns.
    are even safer d/t airbags and stronger, more
    rigid bodies.
    However, if you'd like a larger wagon, consider
    a used Subaru Legacy or Honda Accord wgn. Both
    seem to hold value and reliability well.
  • goldbergergoldberger Member Posts: 58
    Although it's being a "program" car with low miles helps, all should note that the '97 model year Escort was produced for something like 20 months. In other words, a '97 could already be pushing 3 years old!

    As for it's being a "program" car, remember the difference between a used car and a rental. The rental has been ruined by being driven by dozens of different drivers, while the used car has been ruined by only one or two drivers ;-).
  • scotty2scotty2 Member Posts: 1
    Hi! I'm new to this wonderful site, so please bear with me. I'm going to be buying a new wagon in the near future and am considering the following: Escort, Saturn, Subaru wagon or Forester. As a fan of Escorts based on owning three of them going back to 1985, I still lean in their direction. Maybe blind faith..I don't know, except they have been exceptionally dependable, low maintenance wagons. Does anyone out there have any input regarding these choices? Thanks.
  • venkatksvenkatks Member Posts: 1
    Hi! I am shopping for a stn wgn. any opinion on
    the mercury sable GS stn wagn vs Ford Taurus Stn
    wgn? which has lower maintenance?

    I test drove both of them and wondering what was different.

    Do anyone have any inputs on these choices or any other?

  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Check out Topic #40 and Topic #83 here in Station Wagons for opinions on the Sable and Taurus.

    KarenS/SW Host
  • TruckHunterTruckHunter Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1997 Ford Escort Wagon LX, which I purchased in 1996. It's my first wagon and I love it. Unfortunately, for a family of 4 (which includes two carseats) there isn't much elbow room, especially with talk of more children in the near future. We are looking into purchasing either a minivan or conversion van. So if anyone in Michigan wants to buy a great wagon please contact Sheri at [email protected]
  • rdeschenerdeschene Member Posts: 331
    mckee. As has already been pointed out, the previous poster's prices were Cdn$ (Canuck bucks).

    jfs. The Sept. 1997 Consumer Reports had a review of 5 wagons: Ford Escort, Subaru Legacy, Ford Taurus, Subaru Impreza, Volvo V70. An eclectic mix to say the least.

    The average car has fewer "sample defects" (i.e. obvious ones, right from the factory) and better reliability than the average car of 10-15 years ago. So, yes indeed, even owning a newer car, with average reliability can be a step up.
    [email protected]
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Edmund's info and review for the 1999 Ford Escort Wagon is now available!


    1999 Ford Escort SE Wagon

    KarenS/SW host
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    #0 of 1: TAHURD (tahurd) Mon 26 Oct '98 (08:20 PM)
    We've had our 94' Escort for about 5 months now
    and I'm pretty happy, but maybe you can help with
    these two strange things: The vehicle BEEPS at me
    whenever I open a door. No key in the ignition,
    she just beeps until all the doors are
    rear passenger doors. Does yours work this way?
    Also, the AC works beautifully (altho a power
    drain), but I can't seem to locate a setting for
    airflow that is not chilled. I'd just like air
    blown in and not run the AC. Isn't this doable?
    Something's not workin', eh? Any
    suggestions/comments greatly appreciated.

    Tom Hurd
  • joanna1joanna1 Member Posts: 1
    I wonder, along with Shelleyk, about the escort wagon....I loved the passat, but realistically, both the car, and insurance are far more costly with the vw than the ford. Big Bummer.

    I thnik there is probably no real way to compare these two cars, however, does the escort seem like it will be a reliable...not in the shop, tough car. We are good about the regular maintainence stuff.....

    also, if buying from a fleet saleman, and buying a new '98 (big rebate...supposedly no updates from to the '99 besides new colors maybe-is this true?) what would a good price be approx....for a manual?

    thanks for any help!
  • abc4abc4 Member Posts: 5
    We own a 1993 Ford Escort LX wagon. We bought It new. It has been very reliable. It has always started during our cold New England winters and is a very versitle little wagon. I agree with Mckee4 about the idea of the Escort having AWD like the Subuarus. Maybe the new Focus will have that as an option. Has anybody heard any news about Ford putting AWD on their cars? Thanks.
  • djherrdjherr Member Posts: 1
    Im starting the process of replacing my 96 Escort
    Wagon because of collision damage.
    What other wagons are comparable in
    terms of size , performance , safety and price ?
    Would appreciate inputs.
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