More than just a nose job : ROAD TEST : MOTORING
The Ford Escort has had a complete revamp from the mediocre model of ea rlier years, says Roger Bell
Saturday 04 February 1995
They have a tougher fight on their hands now. Yet another round of improvements have endowed the latest Escort, set for a three-year run until it is replaced by an all-new car in 1998, with a respectability and competence that eluded its predecessors.
Many of the changes were inspired by the Mondeo which, unlike the Escort, garnered universal praise from the day it was launched. The most obvious revision is a smart new nose job; inside are attractive new trim and seats and an improved facia designed by the team responsible for the Mondeo's dash.
Cosmetically, the latest Escorts - to be made as hatchbacks, saloons, estates and convertibles - are streets ahead of the old, but it is the underskin changes that impress most. Revised suspension has made the ride smoother, less choppy. It has also sharpened the handling. Excluding the unchanged four-wheel-drive Cosworth, the Escort still lacks the cornering fluency of the Mondeo, but it hugs the road with new-found assurance and tidiness that will make previous owners realise what they have been missing. Assisted steering, fitted to most models (but not the underpowered base 1.3, now called Encore), is a must.
The Escort's old NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) enemy has been successfully attacked on all fronts. Although the 1.8 turbo-diesel remains rough and gruff (but agreeably nippy), the 1.6 petrol revs sweetly without assailing the ears.
The raucousness that afflicted earlier Escorts has been muted by painstaking attention to many details. Wind whoosh and tyre roar have also been reduced, so there is no need to turn the radio up when on the motorway. In cutting the cackle, Ford has done no more than make the Escort as quiet as it should have been in 1990.
Apart from its indifferent performance and rubbery gear change, the 1.6 impresses as a mature, well made, comfortable - even enjoyable - family car with much to commend it and little to condemn. In choosing the Peugeot 306 as its role model, Ford aimed high and got close to the bull dynamically.
That is fulsome praise for a car that has taken five years to shed its dunce's hat. Prices will be announced when sales start - with the 1.6 - next week.
Life & Style blogs
Report finds English children among the unhappiest in world
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS Association doesn't yet know what to do with all of the money raised
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?
The best gowns on the red carpet of 2014 Venice Film Festival
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
- < Previous
- Next >
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...
£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...