1986 Ford Escort

Mk III RS Turbo Hatchback 1.6 L

Vehicle values by condition

Fair
Condition 4
£8,200
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Good
Condition 3
£17,400
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Excellent
Condition 2
£23,000
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Concours
Condition 1
£32,200
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1986 Ford Escort Mk III RS Turbo Hatchback 1597
valued at £17,400
£264.95 / year*

History of the 1985 - 1986 Ford Escort

Ford Escort RS Turbo (Hatchback), 1985-1991

The Ford Escort RS Turbo was in production from 1985 to 1991. Styled in house by Uwe Bahnsen and Patrick le Quement, it is a front-engine, front wheel drive hatchback seating four adults.

The RS Turbo was Ford's performance Escort for the 1980s, intended to recapture an element of the old RS2000 market lost through the XR3i's lacklustre performance by bolting a turbo and some other goodies onto what amounted to an RS1600i. With 5000 planned for Group A homologation, Ford would eventually build 8604 - 5000 for the UK, the remainder in left hand drive for European markets. With RS1600i alloys, Recaro seats and a limited slip diff, on paper it had everything, but its chassis was found wanting by period motoring journalists. That didn't stop Princess Diana being keen - ordering one of just three examples to be finished in black. The Mk4 Escort facelift of 1986 didn't mean RS Turbo production ceased - it would continue in the facelifted shell to its replacement in 1991. It was replaced by the MK5 Escort RS2000.

Corrosion is the biggest enemy of the Mk3 Escort, and you should check not only the sills but the inner wings, front valance, bottom of the doors and the boot floor for any signs of corrosion. While it can be repaired, it won't be cheap. The quality of the trim is also important, as it's not all easy to come by today. Mechanically they're fairly simple, and the wealth of Ford specialists can provide standard or uprated parts if needed. It's important to note that modified examples are typically worth less than standard cars, as there's no guarantee as to the quality of the work carried out.

While a MK2 or MK5 RS2000 might be considered alternatives today, the price variance means that one buyer is unlikely to be considering all three. Better to look at other 80s hot hatches then - and the MG Maestro Turbo is one of the fastest of the bunch with its 152bhp. Consider too the Fiat Strada 130TC Abarth, or the Vauxhall Astra 16v, or even the Volkswagen Golf G60. But if you want a real pocket rocket, the car most agree is the best hot hatch of the era is the Peugeot 205GTi 1.9.

All 1986 Ford Escort body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1985 Ford Escort Mk III RS Turbo Hatchback 1.6 L £ 8,200 17,400 23,000 32,200
1986 Ford Escort Mk IV RS Turbo Hatchback 1.6 L £ 6,200 12,200 16,600 23,200
1984 Ford Escort XR3i Convertible 1.6 L £ 3,900 8,100 11,500 20,300
1982 Ford Escort XR3i Hatchback 1.6 L £ 4,700 9,200 12,800 24,200
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