I bought this car 6 months ago, and have put on 10000 miles since. Have never had to replace anything yet. I use synthetic racing oil and the engine is just as good as any import. My biggest praise of the car is its mpg. I get a hair over 40 on the highway. I've never gotten below 35 mpg. Also the engine is very fun at higher speed with the 5 speed. The biggest complaint that I have with the car is the noise. The tire noise is actually much louder than the engine noise on the highway. It is a very rough engine when it's idling at a drive through. If Ford still built these with a higher overdrive and a better interior, it would dominate.
Engine power, fuel economy, light weight.
Standard keyless entry, power everything, much higher overdrive, better engine mounts, awesome factory sound system, and of course, I wish Ford still made them.
We bought this car for our daughter's use while at school on the east coast. It spent three years in Philadelphia, crossed the country three times ending up on the west coast. The car has 101K miles on it currently. We've had two major engine repairs. One involving an internal governing device in the engine and the other was a head gasket that had to be replaced at 80K miles. One thing that does stand out with this car is the high road noise especially at freeway speeds. Only other item that is an irritant is the seat belts are attached well behind the front seats and are very difficult to reach with the doors closed.
Not sure how you'd fix the engine problems. The front seat belts could maybe be placed on a track like some are so you don't have to reach way behind yourself to grab the belt. Heavy undercoating would hopefully help with the road noise problem.
I bought my pre-owned Escort coupe as a temporary replacement for my older car, until I could decide what I wanted. Well, I fell in love with the car right away and I've had it for five years. It has a great ride for a small car. I was especially pleased with how it runs with ease on the highway. Now, after five years, it has 90K miles and I cannot recall a single repair. I've only changed the oil on schedule, kept up with the rest of the maintenance schedule and replaced the tires. I've been very pleasantly surprised with this car. Now, with the price of gas, I really am glad that I have it. It is still one of the most efficient cars out there.
I have had my 98 ZX2 near 3 years now. Since buying it with 70k on it, after 100,000 seems it started having problems, waterpump, tension pulley has broken off twice, thermostat. Other routine maintence. Pretty expensive to have the timing belt replaced. But the biggest problem is the auto transmission. Have to have it rebuilt and still doesn't shift correctly. Some unknown problem has drained all of my power, i have to have it too the floor to barely get going most of the time. Great sound system though, small and compact, keyless entry only on the driver door is weird though.
sound system, used to be power but not anymore, GOOD gas mileage.
I've had this car since it came out 7 years ago and it's a fantastic car. Other than routine maintenance, I've never had a problem and it has been the most reliable car in my driveway. Its compact size but interior comfort make it a great commuter car, which is fantastic in an area with some of the worst traffic in the nation. Overall, great car and I plan to keep driving it for years to come!