Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Used Car Review - Ford Lynx (1999-2005)

Since August is the Buwan ng Pambansang Wika, Myk Belmonte and your Ultimate Used Car Guide celebrates it by featuring vehicles produced and assembled in the Filipinos. Our first featured car for this month is a gem made by Filipinos, bet you didn't know this is exported to our ASEAN neighbors.

1999-2005 Ford Lynx

If in case you lived under a rock throughout your life (or six feet underground, in case you are reading from heaven that has free Wi-Fi connection), Ford had a financial stake on Mazda since the latter's financial troubles during the 1960s, and this resulted to numerous tie-up projects between Ford and Mazda. Notable vehicles developed under the union include the Ford Ranger and Mazda B Series pickup trucks, the Ford Explorer and Mazda Navajo SUVs, and the Ford Laser and the Mazda Familia sedans; with the Ford counterpart being the subject of this article.

From the Laser's inception in 1980 that spawned five versions later on, the fifth (and final) Laser was introduced internationally in 1999. Under the chassis codes of KN & KQ and using the Lynx and Tierra nameplates, it received lukewarm sales in most of established markets (the Focus is hot stuff in Europe and the Escort is loved by Americans). It continued to be sold in several countries until 2005, with the European Focus replacing it. Mazda did the same strategy that Ford had done, with the Familia/Protege sedans got succeeded by the Mazda3.

The Ford Lynx was an important vehicle for Ford Group Philippines when it was unveiled in September 1999. The Lynx (they've decided to ditch the Laser badge to avoid associations with the 80s wonder) is exported to our South East Asian neighbors and the practice continued until 2005. Throughout its selling date, it was only - unless you count the Lincoln Town Car that was sold briefly - Ford's passenger car entry in the country. It got the axe in the middle of 2005 in favor of the Focus that was sold worldwide. From introduction to early 2002, GSi and Ghia variants paired with a Mazda sourced engine were the only choices; an update in 2002 had the LSi 1.3 version and the RS trim (which will be reviewed separately) completed the Lynx line-up in late 2003. A Centennial Edition was made available but in limited quantities.

Value and Costs
In general, Ford vehicles get low resale values in the Philippines due to their gas guzzling nature (this is technically not true). With that in line, you can have a recent model Lynx in the price ranges of P150,000-P320,000. There are no mechanical changes done, so I advise buyers to focus on the overall condition and standard features available. Modified and abused units are a big no-no, so steer away from these.

To tell the truth, cost of maintaining a Ford is not a pain to the wallet. Parts of original, replacement, and third party are accessible, but with this being a discontinued model, expect to wait for some components to arrive. If you're eying for a Ghia variant; check if the power folding side mirrors function, the sunroof operates properly (standard among 2002 and later models), and if the CD changer works. MAF Sensors are sensitive, especially if the previous owner placed after market air filters or gas saving devices.

Exterior and Interior
Describing the Lynx can be either stately looking or executed in a tacky fashion. Pre-2002 models do have 15 inch silver coated rims that can look ugly if it has scratches. While the front portion of the vehicle looks decent to the eyes, the rear area doesn't jive with the rest of the body. 1999-2001 vehicles possess a banana shaped tail lamps that can elicit comments of "awkward looking", this has been remedied in a 2002 update.

The luxury car theme continues inside, with the Lynx having a luxury focused interior that even put the Japanese competition into shame. Silver-lined interior trims are standard among earlier models, bronze shaded ones replaced the silver ones in 2002. And the Ghia trim had items reserved for higher priced vehicles that come as standard. Care to know? A 6-disc CD changer (the iPod and MP3 killed this), a moonroof (just pray it doesn't rain), and leather seating (useless if you live in Tugueguerao). The driver seat padding is much better on post 2002 units, while passengers have ample room in the rear.

You'll be shocked when I say this to you, both 1.3 and 1.6 engines standard in the Lynx are supplied by Mazda. This is not a typo, both of these engines also powered the Mazda Familia sold during the 90s. From launch, the only option is a 1,597cc ZM-DE that has 118hp at 5,500rpm and 148Nm at 4,000rpm. For the lower market, a 1,323cc B3-ME is offered with 85hp at 6,000rpm and 112Nm at 4,000rpm. Do take note the B3 engine delivers fuel via an electronic fuel injected way. Both engines are rev happy, even without valve timing technology.

Driving Impressions
At low speeds, the Lynx behaves well - something unusual for the class. Credit this to the sound insulation, which Ford did its job well. If you've gotten one with an automatic transmission, the transmission knows how to downshift, but the usual shift shock (common among matics) is there. It handles well but not as outstanding as the one in the EK Honda Civic. It does the job well done, but definitely not outstanding in a way.

Having a car that has been afflicted with low resale values can be an advantage to the used car buyer. The Ford Lynx is a bargain if you prioritize price and a number of standard amenities. It does not standout in a way but delivers the goods. And if you are nationalistic, driving a Lynx is also one way to show appreciation for the Filipino people who built it.

The Good:
  • Plenty of features for the price
  • Commendable interior materials
  • No carburetor engines 
The Bad:
  • Engines are buzzy at high speeds
  • Firm ride
  • Sunroof and CD changer on Ghia variant can be a pain to fix
The Pick: GSi MT

Engines: 1,323cc B3-ME and 1,597 ZM-DE I4 gasoline
Power: 85hp @ 6,000rpm (1.3), 118hp @ 5,500rpm (1.6)
Torque: 112Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.3), 148Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.6)
Fuel Consumption: 7-10km/L (city), 10-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear dual-link strut

Price (New): P550,000-P760,000 (range from 1999-2005)
Price (Now): P150,000-P320,000
Rivals: Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra/Sentra Exalta, Mitsubishi Lancer, Chevrolet Cassia, Opel Astra
On Sale: 1999-2005

Ford Libis - 637-2044
Ford EDSA - 744-2222
Ford Global City - 860-8888

Photos courtesy of


  1. Many Thanks for the inputs it helps a lot for second hand buyer like me

    1. Im selling my Lynx for only 190 000 pm me Davao area 09232699460

  2. Hello, I'm planning to buy a Ford Lynx 2001 model but I notice the engine in the CR is a 1.5 ZL. AFAIK the Ford Lynx engine here in Ph is Mazda ZM 1.6 so does this mean this car had an engine change? and if so is this bad? Are there any legal implications for this?

  3. Hi i have a ford lynx 2002 model, and unfortunately suffered from accident and the trunk lid of it was damaged and it cannot be repaired. I'm planning to buy a surplus trunk lid from ford lynx 1999 model, because it is hard to find trunk lid with 2002 model. Is it possible or will it be fitted to my ford lynx 2002 model?