The model was similar to the original XR3i just more rounded with softer lines. It was a fairly popular car like any car with sporting aspirations in the eighties. It had a lot of competition from other big manufacturers. Arguably the biggest is the GTi Golf which remains even today. Also the Vauxhall Astra GTE, the smaller Renault 5 Turbo.
Let’s face it the word Turbo at the time was something everyone wanted on their car because their street credibility soared. The XR3i was a decent motor all around offering plenty of room for your mates to join you on a night out. There was a certain fun factor driving it which was helped by its fairly decent power output. Making standing start contests exciting. Basically, it was the same size as a standard Escort but for Dad who wanted a bit more speed.
However, when driven at that speed I did not have the same confidence at speed. Cornering felt a little light at the rear end and sounded a bit tinny, and slightly noisy. That said all around it was a pretty good car, again being a Ford it was still too easy to steal which was one of Ford’s biggest gremlins. In fairness, other cars got stolen it just appeared Ford was that little bit easier.
All said I did like my XR3i and enjoyed driving it. Also, fuel consumption wasn’t too bad for a motor that offered such peppy performance for the time while being fairly comfortable to boot. Sadly, Ford seemed to suffer from a rear lights problem. Put on the indicator and watch the brake lights flash in time with them. Someone claimed that Mickey Mouse was in charge of the wiring department at Ford, who knew?
Trevor Ferguson 2 October 2022
Ford Escort XR3i Specification
|Cost (new)||£7,274 (1985)|
|Engine||4cyl 1597cc 105 bhp 8v|
|Performance Max||116 mph 0-60 in 8.6 secs|
|Fuel Consumption||30.5 mpg|
Initially, the Escort XR3 arrived using a twin-choke Weber carburetor. In October 1982 fuel injection was added and the XR3i was born.
HOW MANY STILL MOTORING IN THE UK?
|1980-1982 (MARK 3)|
|1982-1986 (MARK 3)|
|ESCORT XR3 INJ||Licensed||300|
|ESCORT XR3 INJ||SORN||1853|
|1986-1992 (MARK 4)|
|1986-1992 (MARK 4)|
|ESCORT XR3I CONV||Licensed||92|
|ESCORT XR3I CONV||SORN||506|
HOW MUCH CAN I EXPECT TO PAY?
Top Price Spotted: 1984 XR3 – £12,950 (as at 8-10-2022)
Top Price Spotted: 1985 XR3i – £14,394 (as at 8-10-2022)
|OUTSTANDING||Up to £16.000|
|VERY GOOD CONDITION||Up to £9,000|
|AVERAGE CONDITION + MOT||Up to £7,000|
|AVERAGE CONDITION NO MOT||Up to £5,000|
|BROKEN DOWN||Up to £2,500|