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How Reliable are used Ford Festiva/Aspire?



  • 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.
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    I had a 1995 Aspire that I bought because of my good fortune with the Festiva. I also regret selling it (the Aspire) since it was a faithful little car. It lacked the coolness of the Festiva but it felt more car-like than the Festiva.

    I kept my Aspire for 4 years and traded it in on a new 2000 Kia Sephia--I really moved down the food chain on that one. I kept the Kia only 10 months and moved on to a Mazda. Anyway, the Aspire had close to 70,000 on it and was never a problem.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    It's an auto, but might be a good resalable car..... looks good, runs great! 200k miles!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    Good luck with the 1990 Festiva. I believe that the 1990 model has fuel injection. It should prove to be reliable well into the 300,000 mile range.
  • rakerake Posts: 2
    just bought a '90 LX w/ auto but no air. Has 82M mi. Needed something easy on gas to get me to work (18 mi of backroads) and around running kids to softball. Needs front end aligned and brakes checked. Hopefully will serve me well.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    A major national publication is looking for a consumer who is buying or just bought a vehicle and has considered a Ford, but is worried about their recent quality lapses. If you are have a story to share, please send your phone number and some basic information about your experience no later than Wednesday, May 29 to [email protected] or [email protected]


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I owned a 1989 Festiva and drove it till I got my Aspire. I have over 100 thousand miles on my Aspire, and I have just recently experienced my first "problem". It acts like something is clogging the fuel system, it will idle, but dies when I push the accelerator. Does anyone have any idea where I can find a web page or discussion on this type of problem?

    Anyone else had this type problem with theirs?
  • soqrbradsoqrbrad Posts: 1
    I am a 16 yr. old almost 17 looking for a car to get me to and from school and a job. A friend of my mom has a 1991 ford Festiva w/ 106,000 miles on it, no A/C, a single disk cd player, and an am/fm stereo in it. He is offering $1100 for the car. I viewed it both on as well as Kelly's blue book. Here it said most people pay $550 for the car while KBB said that $1050 is what the car is worth. What price do you think I should try for?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750 TMV (True market value) pricing is based on what people are actually paying for the vehicle. You may want to read this Edmunds' article about how the KBB determines it's retail values.

    Perhaps print up the Edmunds' TMV pricing and show it to the seller. My 2 cents. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    Let's face it... they are neat little cars, but very basic! Most are abused, and show it (they do hold up to the abuse, though).
  • henpeckedhenpecked Posts: 1
    I had a 1994 ford aspire ad to have the engine replace with 79,000 mile.Because of a cracked engine block.And a large list of other parts replaced before the engine replacement.I paided 4thousand for the car. cost 1200 to replaced the motor.Traded that junk for a Kia Rio just to get rid of it "Great Car". I also have a 1993 ford festiva Gl that i have owned since 1999.No major problems and has 152,00 miles.
  • mekp1mekp1 Posts: 1
    Can anyone help? A friend of mine in the Caribbean has a 1993 Ford Aspire, at least that's what it says on his documentation and also is so marked on the car itself. It's made in Korea. However, the US Vehicle ID number has an R in it (8 digits from the right) which I understand suggests it's a 1994 model.
    My friend needs a radiator for his car? Does he look for a 1993 model (this doesn't seem to exist - at least not on the searches I've done on the net)? Or would a radiator for a 1994 model be OK?

    Can anyone sort out this mystery for me? If so, where would I go - in the States - to get the radiator?

    Hope that someone can work this one out?
    I'd be really grateful.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I imagine you could get your answer through a Ford dealer parts shop. Someone in one of our more active Ford discussions (i.e. Ford Focus ZX3) might be able to recommend a good online source for Ford parts. Just an idea.

    You may also want to ask (copy/paste) your question on our main Maintenance & Repair message board. Look for access to that board via the pull down menu on the upper/left side of the page. Good luck.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I never did buy the last festiva I looked at, but I found another. Can anyone tell me about the auto used in the '90 model. Is it any good.. is it as dependable as the engine?

    Thanks, Jeff
  • rakerake Posts: 2
    my original message was #105. Since April, have put approx 4000mi on and it's runnin' fine. '90LX w/ auto and no probs so far w/ the auto, just is a bit touchy getting into reverse sometimes. Like a small car, take time and it takes ya where ya gotta go. Had rear brakes replaced by retired mechanic neighbor for $36 and looking to replace any filters I can just to say I know it was done and when.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I got a 1991 GL auto/AC for just over a grand. The body is in Very good shape, as well as the interior. Even has a great pioneer CD stereo! Only 71,000 miles on the clock (carfax checked!), and everything works great.
    Looks like it'll be my winter car, as the wife is driving my Elantra GT more and more!
  • I have a 93 Festiva L 5 spd with 82,000 km (about 50,000 miles). I just had a new clutch installed as the old one started slipping. The new clutch causes the car to pop out of gear occasionally when in 4th gear - particularly in the low end rpm. The mechanic thinks this will go away soon with regular driving and says this is being caused by the new clutch assembly pressure plate creating too much pressure on the older transmission. Any ideas?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Welcome to the Hatchbacks board! I think you'd do well to also post your message on our Maintenance & Repair message board. If you can't find an appropriate discussion over there, feel free to start one up. Good luck, and please return here to keep us posted on your situation.


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Got 320,800 on the original engine AND CLUTCH. Finally overheated and suffered internal engine damage that I didn't want to fix. Any visit to the dealer was greeted with "What are you doing here? We never see them in for repairs." Guess I was a lucky one.
  • Had badly worn out tranny bearing replaced. Got 25% discount because mechanic missed the problem when replacing clutch two weeks before. Car runs like new again. Nice & quiet. Mechanic said that new pressure plate caused a movement inside the tranny that the older worn out clutch could not do. Man am I able to save money because of this car. That was the first repair in 4 1/2 years. If only I could meet a woman that was impressed by zero debt instead of fancy wheels.
This discussion has been closed.