However, one model in the range that was most definitely worth considering was the 1.6i. This featured the very same engine as the sporty XR3i, but the insurance was a fair bit cheaper and it wasn't such a target for thieves. Apparently, though, the XR3i had a lower ratio gearbox which gave it more acceleration.
The Orion was built for ten years between 1983 and 1993, shifting around 3.5 million units during this time. Despite being a popular saloon, and the eighth best-seliing car of the 80s in the UK, the Escort and Fiesta were Ford's most popular cars
As with the Escort, in 1986 the Orion had a facelift and the second generation models had improved engines, new suspension and updated trim. High-end models had the added luxury of ABD brakes and a heated front windscreen. All models could now run on unleaded fuel without modifications.
Rear view of a 1984 Orion
Public Domain image of a 1986 Ford Orion - grey
Public Domain Photo (free to use) of a 1983 Ford Orion GL in Ocean Blue
A Ford Orion with it's bonnet up. I'm not suggesting for one minute that they were unreliable, though.
Although I wasn't a big Orion fan, I always thought this model looked quite smart. I especially like those pepperpot wheels (so 80s it hurts!), although the RS alloys on the 1600E were the smartest, by far.