1989 Ford Escort

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$1,195
Estimated MPG

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Expert Reviews

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chicagotribune.com
Slowing down a bit? A little paunch noticeable?

Than you`ve either reached 40-something or you`re a Ford Escort.

Ford will breathe new life into Escort by bringing out an all-new modelfor mid-`90. The small box on wheels will give way to more rounded aerodynamiclines when the new model comes out at midyear.

Until then, you have to make do with the version that has grown a bitlong in the tooth since being introduced in the 1981 model year, but whichhas exhibited tremendous staying power and was the best selling car in theindustry in 1987-1988.

A 1.9-liter, 90 horsepower, fuel-injected, 4-cylinder engine is standard, teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission. Automatic is a $515 option. Ourtest car had the automatic, which tended to humble the horsepower. With an EPArating of 27 miles per gallon city/36 highway with manual, 26/31 withautomatic, Escort will allow you to pass most fueling stations even if you do so slowly.

Gas pressurized shocks were added for `89 to improve ride and handling,but the two-door coupe we drove seemed a bit laborious in corners and turnsand heavy in the wheel in most maneuvers.

Inside, you sit in narrow, cramped quarters. Arm room is sadly lacking.

Standard equipment includes power brakes, side window de-misters, fourwheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, steel-belted radialtires and AM radio. Among the popular options, air conditioning runs $720, AM/FM stereo $152, power steering $235, rear window wiper/washer $126, tiltsteering $124 and split folding rear seats that increase cargo capacity $50.

Base price of the two-door LX coupe is $7,684.

The car we drove came with a special value package priced at $1,651 thatfeatured automatic transmission, bodyside moldings, tinted glass, powersteering, rear window defroster, dual electric mirrors, digital clock andintermittent wipers. A factory discount reduced the special package by $713.Before a $335 freight charge, the test car ran $10,236.

Small-car sales are down sharply from a year ago, and Ford will close its Escort assembly plant in Edison, N.J., for two weeks starting this week tohelp reduce the 86-day supply of cars it has on hand.

Escort still is functional if not fashionable, still high on mileagethough a bit short on off-the-line performance. You can expect some dealing todispose of excess stocks and make room for the `90s.

If your chief demands in a new car are basic transportation, good mileage and carrying a few people and the groceries, Escort represents a good valueright now.




    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

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