The ztec is a great little engine. my car has 162000 miles (260000km). originally paid 16280 ttl included. i've been through two sets of all weather tires and two sets of winter tires (pass driving is much easier with snow tires). I've replace the brakes twice, one set of struts, timing belt replaced (yes, it is a necessary maintenance item at about 100K. two sets of spark plugs, an EGR valve and an O2 sensor and tie rod ends thanks to the crappy seattle roads. Oil changes every 5000 miles and transmission oil changed every 30K miles. I just replace the batter for the second time in 15 years. It's been a super inexpensive car to own. and I rely on it for 350 mile trips on a regular basis.
If you find a well maintained 2000-2004 SW with a ztec engine, it should be a fine car to own and drive.
Seriously has been the worse car I have ever owned. I bought this car as a salvage title (front end damage, but no engine damage). It had around 80,000 miles on it. At around 107,000 miles the timing belt snapped - it's a zero tolerance engine - so the whole engine was destroyed. Mechanic says a new engine is around $1000 plus - with 30,000 mile warranty - well I won't get another used car with that, and I figure I should be able to get a 100,000 miles out of new engine - wrong. I hit about 70,000 miles and same thing - catostrophic damage to engine with the timing belt snapped again and put a rod through the engine block. I will never buy Ford again if they can't produce an engine
When it ran - it ran well. It got good gas mileage in the summer, but dropped significantly in the winter
My focus has been going strong for 184k miles, which probably isn't the norm. It idles rough from an unbalanced engine. The power locks and a/c don't work. The headlights are easily scratched and get really dim. The hatch doesn't hold open in the cold. I've had to replace the ignition ($300) struts ($400) ball joints ($500) and vacuum hose ($80) in the 60k miles I have owned it.
It's a decent, easy to fix car for cheap. Good for a first time driver or someone on a low budget. If you can afford it, get a better car.
159k miles now. 37Mpg hwy . Replaced coil pack, brakes, and thermostat housing were the only normal maintenance items. The sporty look and functionality of the ZX3 Hatchback still makes me happy. After 10 years of owning the 1st year made Focus, our daughter ran off the road through a ditch and cut down a few small trees with this car. She was unhurt, the Focus was bent but not broken beyond repair. A motor mount, a tie rod, a tire, and some exhaust rebending put her back in good balance. Yes, and some body work on the rear quarter... but that was the only real big expense. Everything was repairable by the weekend warrior skills of good neighbors. Great car !
Front buckets are big and comfortable for such a small car,
made long distance driving better.
At 133HP for year 2000... it is a little underpowered uphill in 5th gear.
Could use a turbo, or supercharger.