2003 Ford Escort Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Ford Escort Coupe

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Ford Escort Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 130 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Ford Escort

  • We're surprised the ZX2 Coupe has lasted this long. It's not a terrible car, but the Focus ZX3 is so much better that we wonder what the point of this Escort-based econocoupe is.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Affordable price, standard 130-horsepower engine.

  • Cons

    Superior Ford Focus ZX3 competes in the same showroom, lack of cabin space, uncomfortable seats.

  • What's New for 2003

    The aged Escort receives a few changes this year. On the outside, there are stylistic changes to its front and rear fascias, including standard foglamps. Inside, new cloth spruces up the seats, and the standard model receives a cassette player. Fifteen-inch wheels are standard on all models, and two new colors make their debut. For 2003, Ford has renamed the options packages "deluxe" and "premium." The deluxe package gets you a CD player, a leather-wrapped steering wheel that tilts, cruise control and map lights as standard equipment. Premium models also get power windows, locks and remote keyless entry. Finally, the in-dash six-disc CD changer is no longer available.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



A great little car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car new (13 miles) and drove it 143,000+ miles. I love this car. Got standard transmision that makes it even more fun to drive. Vibrations from the motor can be rough in idle, but it's not too bad. Gets 34 MPG in stop and go traffic. Very comfortable inside and sporty outside. Never had a machanical problem with it, and it's been very dependable. The ride is very smooth even after all those miles. Plan to drive it until the wheels fall off! It is MY car! **Sorry for any misspellings**




Interior room

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I am 6'2 / 260 and I fit just fine. I drive it on long trips and the seats are fine. Great get you there car with enough power to handle what you run into.




Cheap and fun

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Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought the ZX2 as basic commuter transportation. With a $2,000 rebate offered by the dealer the price was a steal. I've found the ZX2 to be a very fun car to drive (I drive 80 miles a day, on mostly country roads). It has also been trouble free. I have to fight my wife to drive it on some days (she drives our GM truck).




Won't buy another one

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My 1999 ZX2 jerks when going slow such as a slow take off or stop n go on the frwy. Service Mgr told me thats normal. Feels like it wants to stall. Taken it in 7 times. No leg room in back seat and if you'te tall your head hits the top of the car. Air conditioner stopped working at 35,000. Good on gas, reliable. Great take off. The jerking has turned me off. Can feel like I'm learning to drive a stick and can't balance the gas and clutch. Other than that - it's okay.




Zx2 automatic

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Vehicle has lots of engine noise. Seating is very comfortable up front, but back seat is small. Car has plenty of power, and it will scat.




Buy this car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escort ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Finest small sports coupe money can buy. Incredible performance and reliability for the price.



Full 2003 Ford Escort Review

What's New for 2003

The aged Escort receives a few changes this year. On the outside, there are stylistic changes to its front and rear fascias, including standard foglamps. Inside, new cloth spruces up the seats, and the standard model receives a cassette player. Fifteen-inch wheels are standard on all models, and two new colors make their debut. For 2003, Ford has renamed the options packages "deluxe" and "premium." The deluxe package gets you a CD player, a leather-wrapped steering wheel that tilts, cruise control and map lights as standard equipment. Premium models also get power windows, locks and remote keyless entry. Finally, the in-dash six-disc CD changer is no longer available.

Introduction

The Ford Escort ZX2 Coupe must feel like middle management. It has some decent skills to offer, but it's getting old and definitely feeling the heat from younger and more dynamic members of the team.

The younger and more dynamic teammate would be Ford's Focus ZX3. Both the Escort ZX2 and the Focus ZX3 are aimed at attracting young buyers through a combination of an affordable price, unique styling, versatility and a fun-to-drive nature.

The ZX2 has been around since 1998 as the coupe version of the Escort Sedan. It shares the same basic front-drive platform and suspension components with the Escort Sedan (which is no longer available). The ZX2 has its own unique body panels, however, and its styling could be an attribute to some people, especially those who dislike the sharp-angled Focus, which might explain the ZX2's longevity. But allow us to be frank: The Focus is a much better car.

We see little reason to buy a ZX2 Coupe over a Focus. The ZX2's lower price might be attractive, but the difference isn't that great. All the while, the Focus has a roomier interior, better suspension and handling, and better crash-test scores. If the ZX2 were middle management, it would probably be fired by now.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The two-door Escort ZX2 is available in three trim levels: standard, deluxe and premium. Standard on all ZX2s are foglamps, a cassette player and a rear spoiler. Deluxe versions add air conditioning, cruise control and a CD player, while the Premium package includes power windows and locks. Options include ABS and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

The only engine available is Ford's 2.0-liter Zetec four-cylinder. This is the same engine that's used in the Focus ZX3, and it's rated at 130 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The Zetec engine is competitive for this class, and its best attribute is a broad and usable power band. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional.

Safety

The ZX2 provides basic safety features like front airbags, glow-in-the-dark trunk release and seatbelt pre-tensioners, with ABS as optional equipment. It lacks modern advancements like traction or stability control and side airbags. NHTSA frontal crash testing hasn't been performed on the two-door, though the no-longer-available four-door earned three stars for driver and front-passenger safety. Rear passengers in a side impact may fare well with a score of four stars, but the ZX2 earned just a single star in side-impact testing for front passengers.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the ZX2 has a swoopy (some would say overwrought) instrument panel that blends into the door panels. Both front and rear interior room is good for this class, though the Focus has even more. The same goes for trunk space. The ZX2 will hold 11.8 cubic feet of cargo, while the Focus can manage 18.5 cubic feet. As with most small cars, the ZX2's split rear seatbacks can be flipped forward to make extra space for longer items.

Driving Impressions

Understeer is the predominant handling trait of the aged ZX2. We do like the Zetec engine and the sufficient thrust that it provides. The manual's shifter is rather floppy and has long throws, but it's clearly the better choice for a more sporting drive.

Talk About The 2003 Escort

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs