I purchased my used ZX2 about 2 years ago, with 58,000 miles on the clock. Since then, she's only let me down once, and that was because I hadn't performed a regular maintenance item. The timing belt slipped so it wouldn't run, took it to a shop who didn't know what they were doing and they told me my cold air intake and header were why she wouldn't idle (at ALL). Well, they were wrong, the timing was still off. For a year, she's been running with bad timing and she runs like a champ, well, to a certain degree. As soon as I fix the timing (myself!), I'm positive she'll be back to her old zippy, fun self. Please, please buy one of these cars, you won't regret it.
First and foremost, it's a Ford. She's zippy and fun to drive, plus just about bullet-proof.
Overall it has been a good, sturdy car. It rides very smoothly and has great visibility. Excellent turning radius and not bulky to drive. A few things to consider before you buy is that it is not made for a small person. The seats don't adjust higher and sit very low. Even with the steering wheel tilted as far down as possible I still feel like the air bag will explode in my face. It is very sluggish to accelerate. In the dark it is almost impossible to find where to put it in drive without putting the ceiling light on. Also, you can't get a CD player for less than $250 due to the integration of the radio and the other controls.
Keyless entry, power windows and locks, smooth and quiet ride, very reliable, great AC.
More acceleration! Adjustable seats, light up gears, easier to install CD player.
From the beginning - TROUBLE! Strange noises and lots of vibration. Transmission always a concern - dealer said everything ok (while under warranty). Repeated Check Engine Lights - sensor replacements and $$$ Cassette player went out. Hood latch broke, nickel and diming me to death. Lot of brake problems. The latest found on road test diagnosis - major valve & seat damage, went through and damage the piston, block, and cylinder head - needs new engine at $4,000. Dealer maintenance shop keeps telling me there are never any trouble with Escorts. Yeah, right.
Too hard to see past all the problems.
I will NEVER buy another FORD. Both I've had were terribly unreliable cars. Dealer maintenance shop (which keeps changing names and perhaps ownership) has been very unresponsive to the chronic issues with this car. (Fix that Mr. Ford!).
Just got this car not too long ago but it has been in the family for about 3 years. I don't really have to do anything with it besides change the fluids and get new brakes ... just normal wear and tear. The car has about 78K on it and I expect another 100K more at least. The tranny sometimes shifts rough and it idles shaky but I heard those are normal Escort traits. It gets great gas mileage and is quite comfortable to ride in and also handles a lot better than most other small cars. I had a 96 Escort and this generation seems worlds better. I don't know why people are running out and getting Japanese cars, I'd take my little 'Scort over a Corolla or Civic any day. The build quality is great.
Keyless entry, power everything, great MPG, peppy & reliable little motor. Fairly roomy for its size. Better build quality than my 96 or my grandparents 02 Cavalier.
Mostly just minor. Needs a tilt wheel. Stupid ICP makes it difficult to install an aftermarket CD player. You should be able to get the ZX2's 130hp DOHC 2.0. An antenna built into the A-pillar.