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.