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How Reliable are used Ford Festiva/Aspire?



  • markh6markh6 Posts: 5
    basement1, That seems pretty high for a 1997 Aspire. I live in the Harrisburg PA area and the used car ads and catalogs that I look at weekly have prices for Aspires somewhere in the $3500-$4000 range. I've also heard from people that have owned Aspires that they are not as reliable as the Festivas are. At one time I was going to buy an Aspire but I changed my mind after speaking to people that have owned them. This is only my opinion so my advice to you is to test drive the Aspire and see how it feels to you.
  • rawestrawest Posts: 1
    I am currently in the market for a small, dependable car that is good on gas mileage. I test drove a 96 Ford Aspire with 61000 miles on it for $4200. It seemed a bit sluggish going from first to second gear (it was noticeable and the car is automatic) Is this normal for these cars? Also, does anyone know how it compares to a 97 Geo Metro? I'm going to test drive one of those today, it's a 97 with 41000 miles, private seller is asking 5300 firm. I did a little research on modifying the ford's engine to make it a little zippier, has anyone tried this, comments? I have an 86 VW Cabriolet, and to be honest I would love to get a newer VW, but don't have the cash...
    Need Help!!! would appreciate any opinions...
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    If you're thinking about shelling out 5500 for a used a Aspire, don't. Just step up to the pump and buy a new Echo or Focus.
  • deevcjdeevcj Posts: 9
    Well the first new car I ever bought was my 88 Festive GL (that means it had a five speed and tilt wheel, whooopie!). It was a great car, I recently sold it to my nephew as he just turned 16. I put nearly 100k miles on it and had to replace the muffler once, brakes twice and change the oil. It always started for me on the first turn, the hatch holds a bunch of stuff with the seat folded and the back seat can actually be used by an two adults for a short amount of time. JUST DON'T PULL OUT IN TRAFFIC.
  • In answer to the inquery in #35 concerning the transmission filler plug on the Aspire, since the engine, as I understand it, is the same as in my 1991 Festivas, transmission fluid is added by removing the bolt that holds the gizmo that holds the end of the speedometer cable in the transmission, and then popping out the cable and "end" which is pushed in with an O ring. There is a small "leg" that sticks down into the fluid for a dip stick. Use automatic transmission fluid even though it is a manual transmission.
    Take care popping out the cable. I broke the ear off levering it out and have had to use the original bolt and a large washer to hold down the assembly - which works fine.
    I would imagine there is a regular drain plug to get the fluid out as with any transmission, but I haven't looked for it.
  • venmanvenman Posts: 5
    I own a 1991 festiva and it is the most reliable car i've owned I currently have 80,000 miles on it and all I ever did to it is change oil every
    3000 miles and serviced the transmission at 30,000 and 60,000 miles (which I did myself)
    It is a automatic and I realy like the reliability and low maintenance of this car.I would by one again if this one would ever give up on me.
  • vonr91vonr91 Posts: 2
    My wife purchased a Festiva L Plus in 1990. She traded it in in 1998, after 110,000 miles of trouble free driving for an Accent. It was the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned. After four breakdowns in the 50,000 mile Accent, we wish we would have kept the Festiva.
  • batdanbatdan Posts: 2
    I have a 1989 Festiva with 116k miles; I've had it for 2 years, but now I have some problems. Last trip was particularly painful; first, the engine would stop, then power loss was obvious and eventually it would leak oil through the exhaust;
    right before I had the valve gaskets replaced, and I believe they did a poor job with that.
    The mechanic said that the compression is down to about 50psi on the central cylinders and that I should trade it in. I was thinking of replacing the whole engine.
    Please help with suggestions.
  • minikminik Posts: 1
    I am an international student in LA. I need to buy a car asap and it has to be both cheap and reliable. I go to school in the evenings and I am a female, so I don't want to end up with a broken car on the road. I am planning to buy a 1995 Ford Aspire.. Are they reliable?????
  • mswindexmswindex Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a 1991 Festiva for $1100 with CD player and all, but it has 150k miles on it. Bad idea?
  • kdominczakkdominczak Posts: 174
    How much can I sell 93 Festiva for?
    (automatic,ac,42K miles)
    Runs great,no problems with it.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    kdominczak, have you had a chance to look at our used car pricing?

    FYI friends, to find used car pricing, choose Used Cars on the homepage, select Ford, select 1993, select Festiva.

    Using this pricing and looking at the want ads in your region can help you evaluate pricing on the car you want to buy or sell.

  • kdominczakkdominczak Posts: 174
    Thanks for the info.
  • jac18jac18 Posts: 2
    karl please give me more inf on your festiva were your located and the price
  • kdominczakkdominczak Posts: 174
    93' festiva is my mothers,
    she's living in Clearwater FL,
    she just wanted to know how much can she get for it?
  • cdyercdyer Posts: 3
    I hope I don't offend any of the members of the Classic Aspire & Festiva Owners Club.

    Basically, they're junk. They're poorly built entry-level cars sold to those who think that getting a "new" car is a great idea and their only alternative.

    Now that they're used, they're very, very cheap. Because they're just not good cars. If you want cheap & reliable transportation that is also comfortable, fun to drive, etc. look into used Civics, Sentras and Protoges.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Posts: 174
    You can compare Festiva to Geo metro.
    But don't you even try to compare it to any other car.The price is wrong!
    Festiva is the best description of the econo-car
    type of vehicle.
    If you travel to work and home from work(13 miles)
    or going shopping( 5 miles).Short distances up to 50 miles and that is it.
    It's very ,very inexpensive to buy (new one use to cost $7K),used one with 50K miles can cost $2K.
    You can fold the back seat and have a huge cargo space to use(surprisingly big),hatchback rules!
    You can get 38 miles per gallon driving in the city with A/C on!
    Insurance is as low as it can be.
    Don't count on it to be a rocket or kind of a car with a living room's sofa in place of the back seat either.
    It is a cheap car that will move you from place to place and will save you from city buses/trains.
    If you are on the tight budget, but you still don't want to be dependent on buses or subways, festiva is the best way to go.
    Also if you live in the big city and you are having problems finding the parking spots, this little car will fit where nothing else will fit.
    Now if you thing that it's a shame to drive something that looks like festiva, because... it's so small and wired looking and when your "friends" will see you in it they will have less respect for you and they will make fun of it, then there is something wrong with you and your friends, nothing is wrong with the car though! It's a car that will make you independent for just a few bucks.
    Sorry for being too offensive with my arguments but I can't stand when someone compares cars that can't be compared from the most important reasons:
    -completely different price range of the cars
    -different types of cars(hatchbacks and sedans)
    just my two cents.
  • debrahilldebrahill Posts: 13
    Festivas are absolutely reliable, and those who have the ego to withstand the 3 squirrels under the hood jokes, will always have the last laugh... especially at the fuel pump.
    My 1990 Festiva L Plus, with only 27,000 miles got nerfed while parked in front of my house. I am so upset. The insurance folks want to total the car for $2200. (Keep in mind we are talking San Francisco Dollars, which do not go as far as other US currency,) I have tried to locate another Festiva with an automatic transmission but with no luck. There are none to be found, even tried 14 different used car searches on the web and could only track one down in Ohio with a standard transmission.
    Can anyone offer up a possible solution? I really do not think the price being offered is fair, since I am unable to replace it with the same vehicle. I know fellow Festiva owners know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to loving our "toy cars". Hey, I enjoyed the fact that the tires were really just Hostess Donuts....
    Any suggestions?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Post #55 above is hidden because it contains a link that skews our screen size. To read it, just click on "hidden." Thanks.

  • I am now considering buying a 94 Ford Aspire. The initial asking price is $3500 with 76k mi on it. Other features are: 3dr, auto. Is it too expensive? What is a fair price? Can anyone there help me? I am about to make an offer tomorrow!!!
  • sach1sach1 Posts: 22
    Someone is offering a '97 Aspire, auto tranny and a/c. Any first-hand info on city/highway mileage to expect. Not expecting greta highway numbers since its a 3-speed auto, curious about city #s. Any info is appreciated. ANd fyi, the seller is asking $4,000 or BO, the car has 65,000 miles
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
  • sach1sach1 Posts: 22
    Looking for something to get me back and forth to the commuter train station, and that isn't theft bait.Aspire would fit the bil...Gotta admit, wouldn't want to take an Aspire out to play on the NJ Turnpike/
  • We have a 1987 Ford Festiva, and it is still going strong. Except for normal maintenance (hoses, brakes, back shocks) it has been free of problems. The body is starting to look a little rough, but it runs like a top! Starting to use a bit of oil...about 1 quart between oil changes. Our biggest repair job has been a new clutch. Not bad for 230,000. We hope to make 500,000. After that, we might go for a Kia, because we know they are truly built to last!
  • rrijkenrrijken Posts: 2
    I have a 95 Aspire, automatic, AC, nice little car(used to have an 88 Festiva, loved it), EXCEPT when pulling out into traffic. It has no getup-and-go, especially with the automatic. Is there any way to "soup up" the acceleration???Sparkplugs? I am not a mechanic, but any suggestions would help. THANKS!

  • I run a 1988 Ford Festiva weekly on a 3/10 mile 15 degree high banked clay oval speedway. The car, called Norm 1, is lifted about 4 to 5 inches and I also run it in tough truck races at Monster Truck shows and local Montana baja races. By the way, at the first monster truck show I raced against the national champion and took second the first night and ninth the second night. In the money. On the second Monster Truck Show, a couple weeks ago, I took first in every round. Stock engine. Any questions??

    See the car at
    [email protected]
  • Run A/C Rapidfires #4 at .044 gap.

    See Norm 1 at:
This discussion has been closed.