Hear me out.
Yes, the Ford Scorpio’s styling is brash and repugnant, with one wondering what the mindset was behind its looks. Regardless, whoever designed this car must have the best convincing skills in the world as they were able to get the managers, the workforce and the sales representatives on board and consider this car suitable for release.
However, take out the Scorpio’s alien style and what you have is among the best executive saloons you could buy in the 1990’s.
The car drives incredibly well with a smooth V6 engine under the bonnet and comes with all the comforts and equipment you’d expect in a car of it’s size and price bracket. The fact that these cars were so reviled during their production run means that today they’re practically worthless and you can buy mint condition models for less than £2,000. With four doors, space in the back is good for both adults and children; though it’d be wiser to buy the estate version for that always useful rear-hatch and oodles of bootspace.
For the time they were well equipped with a decent climate control system, radio, electric memory seats and cruise control. Ford really went to town when it came to making this the car of choice for the young business executive. By today’s standards the car is a dinosaur when it comes to equipment but then again if you’re in the market for a classic car it’s a given these things will be a touch spartan compared to the modern crop.
In terms of performance, it’s very middle of the road with decent running costs, good fuel economy, reasonable handling and is surprisingly safe. The best place for this car is the motorway, which is exactly what the car was designed to do. The Scorpio was built to be the ultimate motorway cruiser, taking its owner from Newbury or Milton Keynes to Central London and back 5 times a week in comfort and for less than the average train fare.
However, as with all the cars on this list, there are plenty of bangers out there which could fail at a moment’s notice. Many Scorpio’s have been flogged to death by owners who have been unable to part with their frog-eyed machine due either to cost or sentiment. Therefore issues of rust, wear and mechanical degradation can put the Scorpio on an uneven keel.
As always, look for examples which are higher in price and check every last inch of both the car and the service history for anything glaringly wrong. Specifically to the Scorpio, the autobox is prone to failure after 60,000 miles and will need replacement. Check to see whether the service history mentions its replacement as this can be an expensive fix if it hasn’t been done already.
Regardless, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a problem with the image of owning such a horrendous looking car and just wants a practical executive motor with some chirpy performance that you can buy for a song; the Scorpio is truly the place to be.
- Comfort – 10/10 – The Ford Scorpio is immensely comfortable, and was even a more preferable buy than the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph due to its superior rear legroom
- Practicality – 10/10 – It’s quite a sizeable machine, estate versions being especially useful thanks to its rear hatch
- Reliability – 7/10 – While there are issues, most have largely been ironed out on the survivors, but that’s no excuse not to check
- Speed – 8/10 – It’s certainly no snail
- Handling – 10/10 – A very stable machine, can take tight corners without too many dramatics
- Looks – 1/10 – It’s one of the ugliest cars in the world!
- Equipment – 10/10 – A very well equipped machine, making it the blue-collar man’s alternative to luxury equivalents like BMW’s and Mercs
- Price – 9/10 – The car’s hideous styling meant it depreciated like a rock; ideal for people who want a genuine executive saloon on a shoestring budget
- Value – 6/10 – Prospective buyers will take one look at it and run!
- Total – 71/90 – Truly a classic case of “Don’t judge things at face value”.