1 Mar 1999
By CHRIS HARRIS
Developed under the watchful eye of tight Ford beancounters, the fourth and final Laser generation shared most body panels and all running gear with its equally austere sixth generation Mazda 323.
Consequently, flair and individuality stepped aside for space and efficiency, with no discernible improvements to refinement or driveability, despite being based on the last 626 platform.
An airbag, air-conditioning and remote central locking became standard features on the LXi.
A sporty R model appeared in January 2001, brandishing a bodykit, alloy wheels and mesh grille.