Definitely seriously uncool.
One of the worst cars Ford ever made! Apart from the "coke bottle styling" just as it was going out of fashion (which the Taunus version didn't have) & the tacky interiors - Ford's imitation wood at its worst & for real tackiness see the GT's steering wheel - it was a mechanical disaster.
Drivetrain vibrations caused by the rear UJ working at too acute an angle, front suspension misalignment causing rapid front tyre wear &, the crowning glory, Pinto engine camshafts which lasted 30,000 miles if you were lucky, because of lack of lubrication.
These faults had pretty well all been cured by the time the MKIV was introduced, but by that time the Vauxhall Cavalier had taken a large slice of the Cortina's market, a situation from which Ford never really recovered.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".