The 1996 Ford Escort is an economy car, both for the price tag and the gas mileage. While it doesn't offer many thrills, it has a history of being dependable. It is ideal for daily use, but the lack of power makes the available sports package seem like a gimmick. This is the last year for the second generation.
Body Styles: hatchback, sedan, wagon
Engines: 1.9-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Ford Escort, Ford Escort LX, Ford Escort GT
The 1996 Ford Escort receives engine upgrades, which mean that the 88-hp 1.9-liter engine only needs a tune up once every 100,000 miles, and the automatic transmission has a lower final drive ratio with the 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine option. A sports trim is available on the four-door models, and the Escort GT is no longer available with the Ultra Violet decorations. Ford also adds the option for an integrated child seat for sedans and wagons.
The 1996 Ford Escort is available as a hatchback, sedan, and wagon. The base model comes in seven factory color options, and the LX comes in 10 factory color options. The GT comes with a rear spoiler, but this is optional for the LX and unavailable on the base model. Moreover, the base model comes standard with 13-inch wheels, while the LX comes with 14-inch alloy wheels, and the GT comes with 15-inch alloy wheels.
The 1996 Ford Escort is designed with a simple interior. Standard features include bucket seats in the front, cloth seating, and an AM/FM stereo system and comes with an AM/FM/Cassette stereo. Interior options include power windows and locks, air-conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo system, and cruise control. The GT also has the option for leather steering wheel trim and a power moonroof.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Ford Escort GT come standard with an 88-hp 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine and comes with a turbocharged 127-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The lacking power becomes worse when coupled with the optional automatic transmission. It's enough to get around town but is otherwise a no-frills vehicle.
The 1996 Ford Escort comes standard with passenger and driver front airbags. The GT model comes with fog lights, which are optional on other models. It has the option of four-wheel anti-lock brakes as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted crash tests. During frontal collision tests, it receives four out of five stars for both driver and passenger side safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Escort 1.8-liter, automatic: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Ford Escort 1.8-liter, manual: 22/28 mpg city/highway
Ford Escort 1.9-liter, automatic: 22/29 mpg city/highway
Ford Escort 1.9-liter, manual: 26/35 mpg city/highway
- Fuel economy
- Tune-up interval
You Won't Like
- Lack of power under the hood
- Dated styling
Fuel efficient, American-made four-banger.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Geo Prizm
- Honda Civic
- Chevrolet Beretta
- Pontiac Sunfire
- Hyundai Elantra