I can answer one of those questions. I presume that by late '95 they refer to the EF series II. According to my notes, no significant changes affected the XR models at this time. Front suspension revisions across the range may be an improvement (and neat details like a convex passenger side exterior mirror would be appreciated) but if you are purchasing the car with the intent of modifying it, the chances are you'd customise the suspension anyway. So I wouldn't worry about wanting a later model.
The ELs did gain some changes: more aggressive styling and more power and a better exhaust note for the V8.
Jack Travis, E-Series Acting President
1989 Ford Fairmont Ghia turbo/GL replica (underway)
1994 Eunos 800M
1990 Ford Laser S