I own a base spec mk4 Escort and a ph1 172.
Yeah the Escort has had its rust issues lol but on the whole its been a far more reliable car than the 172.
Far better build quality as well, uses screws not clips on trim which don't break when you remove them unlike the Clio lol Doesn't rattle or squeeze either. Doesn't need stupid minor stuff replacing every 5 seconds like the Clio.
Clio is a fun car, wouldn't part with it, looks good goes well mpg vs performance is outstanding but its cheap. Quality is cheap throughout.