• Mar 3, 2007
As we reported a few days back, Ford has big plans for the bits and pieces that make up the Mazda 2. While the Mazda will have the requesitie joie de vivre known as "zoom zoom," Ford variants are a go, as well. Automobile posits that naming the Ford version might be a sticky wicket. We've recently seen the blue oval return to names with some history, so an all new moniker may be out from the get-go. That leaves us with some greatest hits from yesteryear. Pinto likely won't work, it's too old, and those cars are rolling punchlines, anyway. Fiesta? Well, we're getting closer. The US was graced with the Fiesta back when the Rabbit was a small car, and they were wonderful. Unfortunately, the age problem is still there, and not enough people know what the Fiesta is/was anymore. Staying with F, we can move to Festiva, but we'd rather not. Ka would probably be fine in Boston, but nobody would know what the hell you're talking about. Conversations would have a real "who's on first" feel.
"I'm going to move my Ka, or it'll be plowed in."

What kind of car is it?

"A Ford."

Ford what?

"Ka."

Right, I know it's a car, but what model?

"Ford Ka."

On and on it would go. That leaves us with one venerable name: Escort. The original Laser-platform Escorts were a pretty decent stab at a world car once they solved the oil burning issues with the 1.6L engine and funky shifting from the automatic. By 1985, they were decent little cars. It'd be a return to history all around. The Escort ended up swiping a Mazda platform for it's last iteration (The 91 "shrunken Taurus" model), so taking the Mazda2 and calling it Escort would be a return to the past. Since they've brought back the Taurus and Sable names, revisiting other 1980s names sounds reasonable, but please, leave the fashion, music, and hairstyles there.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      17: "Later Escorts were pretty decent and reliable. Why? Because they had quite a bit of Mazda DNA in them towards then end."

      --------------------------------------------

      I agree with the above post.
      When I was car shopping in late 1990, I test drove both the Ford Escort (not the LX with the Mazda engine, but the Escort with the Ford engine) and the Mazda Protegé DX (with the smaller of 2 Mazda engines).

      They shared similarities, but the Mazda Protegé was a much better car with a better engine and the Mazda's AT had a hold feature (a flexible overdrive lock-out) that the Escort didn't have. After driving both the Escort and the Protegé, I bought the Protegé which I had for over 12 years. It was excellent.

      As a general rule, Mazdas are better than Fords IMO. Maybe the Fusion is an exception now, but I'd still prefer a Mazda--especially if it's imported from Japan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is Fiesta not Escort/Focus. It looks very similar to smallest Mazda. Fiesta and small Mazda were sharing since long almost all components including body.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like everything about this article except the part where he suggests that the new small Ford be called the "Escort". That car sucked. What's wrong with "Fiesta"?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The early Escorts where horrible. I had an 83, what a nightmare.

      Later Escorts were pretty decent and reliable. Why? Because they had quite a bit of Mazda DNA in them towards then end.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a 96 Escort wagon it still runs really well. I use when going out to parties and such. Not as fun as my focus but it has kept up well. {I stopped taking the focus out with me because once when I was leaving the club and found one of the side mirrors broken off and a couple of scratches on it. The only problem I've had was having to replace the thermostat recently. nothing else but that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe I'm the only one that has decent memories of the Escort. I thought it was a decent car especially the last ZX-2.
      • 7 Years Ago
      laserwizard
      The 1997 Escort was, funnily enough, called a Ford Laser here in Australia, and was a rebadged Mazda both here and there in the US as well.
      So, when you say 'eat that you Jap loving pukes', would that be an axiomatic oxymoron?
      Tony.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it's a great idea. Those who are saying that they were terrible didn't have the one I had for years. I actually regret trading it back in 2000 for a Focus, even though the Escort had over 100k miles.

      http://www.usedcarsonly.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      RWD offers drives many things that fwd lacks, such as better styling, more power that can be used in the engine, more the the limited 300 for fwd. Also RWD ofers better handling in normal weather, and rwd is where the American car companies have an advantage of the Japanese.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oops, I meant to say that the Versailles was a glorifed Granada.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To pick nits, the Escort wasn't Laser-based in North America until 1991. The Laser-based Tracer replaced the Lynx in 1987. Before that, the Escort/Lynx shared a common platform with the Tempo/Topaz.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nevermind. I forgot Ford of Australia.

      Just remembering the old USDM Falcons being a compact car with name recognition.
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