Used 2002 Ford Escort

Style:
2002 Ford Escort
List price range

Pros

  • Affordable price, standard 130-horsepower engine.

Cons

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

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

vehicle overview

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. But allow us to be frank: The Focus is a much better car.

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 its longevity.

Escort ZX2 is available as a single model only. There are no trim levels. Options are available in Deluxe and Premium Groups and include a power sliding moonroof, a six-disc CD changer, leather-trimmed sport bucket seats, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry (with anti-theft) and 14-inch chrome wheels. Since the base price is so low, adding a host of options won't necessarily kill your budget.

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 useable powerband. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. The manual's shifter is rather floppy and has long throws, but it's clearly the better choice for a more sporting drive.

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.

The closest competitors to the ZX2 Coupe are the Focus, the Honda Civic Coupe, the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Chevrolet Cavalier/Pontiac Sunfire Coupes. All have their own distinct advantages, the Civic and Mirage in refinement, the Cavalier/Sunfire in available horsepower.

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.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Ford Escort.

Jacque Le Bleu
amy, 6/16/2008
Graduation car- 2002 4-door sedan, gets 34 mpg, better than Mom's 2001 ZX2 Escort at 32 mpg and dad's 2001 ZX3 Focus bubble at 30 mpg. Medium pickup speed, but not quite as good as dad's ZX3, and no match at all to mom's Escort ZX2. Really fun car, but only had a stupid cassette, where I needed a cd player. Great starting in the winter and handled well. We are each hoping to eventually replace all of these cars with new Ford Escorts (we don't like the Focus with trash gray seats) and we like the better fuel economy and better pickup than the Focus. We sure hope tan or color- coordinated interiors are available soon.
Our little 02 Escort
claude, 6/20/2008
Bought the Escort with 62000 miles, drives great, does idle a little rough, but understand that is it nature. Oil is and diy chore, as is changing spark plugs. Car did start to misfire at 92,000 being a diy'er I investigated the problem and was a simple, spark plug and wires. The front disk brakes are the easiest I have ever changed, but cannot get the real brake drums off, will have to investigate further. Over all very good little car, gas mileage super, really luging in steep grade country, it gets at least 25 mpg, the average is 33 to 35. The best I have gotten several times on the flat freeways is 48 mpg. Overall really satisfied with the 02.
Great, fun, trouble-free car
Avi, 6/29/2005
I'm very pleased with the Focus, and would definitely recommend it. The design, handling, comfort, and "fun-to-drive" factor are all first-rate. So far (I only have 25,000 miles on it) the car has held up great, and I've had no problems with it. My only complaint is that my car gets substantially lower than the advertised gas mileage ... I get about 20 city/30 highway, compared to 27 city/30 highway advertised.
Loving it
Ericalacoe, 4/24/2005
I love it! It drives really good. Fuel in this car will last a very long time and with the way gas prices are right now I still can fill my tank for a little under $20. I can't beat that and I know that. I get about 300 miles in the city per tank! So it is awesome. Fun lil' car to drive and it is a pretty smooth ride.
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Features & Specs

MPG
23 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
110 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
23 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
110 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Ford Escort features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2002 Ford Escort
Used 2002 Ford Escort Overview

The Used 2002 Ford Escort is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include ZX2 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M), ZX2 Premium 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M), ZX2 Deluxe 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Premium Fleet 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and Fleet 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A).

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