MK1, 2, 3 definitely different.
Every bad thing said about these things is an understatement. They go well beyond the bounds of shite into pure shitness, and you'd be far better off with any of the opposition available at the time. How about a 306, or an Astra F?
Also, why is it that every time Ford changes the shape of the headlights or a bit of centre console trim, people treat it as if they've launched a new car? These Escorts are surely MkIV at best?
MK4 was different enough, but I think others would call it a facelift. Lights, bumpers and interior. Maybe there were lots of changes but it just didn't look different enough and for a while you got crappy old Mk3s being fitted with MK4 bumpers and lights either to make them look newer, or because they'd been crashed and it's all they had in the scrappy.
Mk5 was a whole new car again, but then there were more evolutionary facelifts... The trout pout grille, bulbous back lights - was that the mk6 moment? Because it felt like there was another facelift to make the grille less "4pm on a Friday afternoon"