I bought my 2000 ZX2 brand new in March of 2000. In 4 years, the radio has broke, speakers broke, 6 CD changer broke, trunk release button broke, brakes went bad, and transmission had to be replaced at 27,000 miles. But the most recent is when I am in idle, the car knocks so hard, it stalls out. This is the last time I invest in a Ford.
Wow!? was my response to the first engagement of the gas pedal in my'02 ZX2; The same is my retort to this review. I drive (thrash) my car an average of 120 pizza delivering miles a day and have experienced nothing remotely like said motor mount problems. The vehicle in question here may very well be yellow with the notorious sour peel, but I must inquire to the maintaining of this vehicle. I also question the"only drove it" type of comment. My ex-wife once said she had never heard of a car needing the oil changed, as her car was in tow to a soon to be wealthy mechanic. Maintenance is a must. That is if you want to keep those 0-60 times below 8 seconds. Most excellent cheap motoring, my only gripe is my beating the brake pedal makes for short-lived pads and rotors.
I bought my ZX2 used from someone else while I was in a bind. I've been suspicious of it's past (Carfax isn't reliable... my girlfriends car was in a major accident and that's not even on their report, heh).
Right now I have 70k miles on it (got it at 46) and it's a fast, sporty little car... only a few issues:
- The clutch rattles a little (it's a 5speed manual... clutches can rattle in any car).
- It idles low sometimes at night when I have the headlights going. Cleaning my air filter helped, but I think I just need to do a tuneup (spark-plugs, maybe clean the fuel injectors, replace the fuel filter).
- Engine mounts are worn. From what I hear it's just a problem with the design. I don't care much though... I'm a good driver and I don't get caught up with the rocking and shaking that happens to some people at low speeds :)
- The Ebrake cable stuck. I need to repair it myself because the people at Bell Tire didn't do a good job... it's still loose now (I blame the last owners).
- I need to replace the calipers. One of the sleeves is sticking. It's about time to do that anyway (I blame the last owners).
- The AC doesn't work. From what I can tell it's just an electrical problem (loose connector, bad relay, etc. I work for the company that designed the wireharness for the zx2, but can't find much about it. I do know there were some issues with simple wire connections at the switches and relays).
- The transmission is getting worn. The clutch is loose and the sync gears don't always work. That's just because of the metals used in the transmission. If you're going to get it replaced, inquire about replacing it with one that has stronger gears, etc. It's still got at least 60k miles till I think I need to replace the trans.
- Have had to replace the tie rods a few times. I blame my driving and Michigan roads before I blame the car.
Performance wise it's great. I can take saabs, camaro z28s, taurus, and a lot of cars. It's really quick off the line, but has trouble at 50+mph.
It handles great. I take corners really fast and they're smooth.
As for all the people who have had trans problems and such, check where the car was manufactured. That might make a big difference (sometimes just bad batches come out... check up on lemon law and see what you can do).
I really recommend the ZX2... too bad they don't make them anymore :). Go get a certified used one though.
I traded in a Geo metro for a 98 zx2. The Geo was 0 to 60 in 21.2 seconds and the ZX2 was 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds. When you put in a quality oil, and no the oils at your favorite oil change change place don't count. the engine will run for 200,000 miles +. I have 224,335 miles on mine and it burns a quarter of a quart between oil changes. This is the most reliable car I ever had.
The ZX-2 (as well as all other Ford Escorts since at least 1997) was built in Mexico, which is not noted for exceptional quality (ask any late model VW owner!)
The Escort's replacement, the Focus, is built in USA.
I bought my 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 used recently. I have had no major problems until lately. It seems that the engine hesitates when giving it juice and it idles rough when starting cold. I never really noticed it before and I am worried. Has anyone had this same problem with their Escort ZX2? If so what was the real mechanical issue with your car? My car is a stick shift and I drive it with compassion, usually. In addition, what else can I look forward to breaking on this particular year, make and model?
I had this car, a 5 speed manual version with sunroof and the factory CD changer, until about 3 months ago. The brakes worked great. the brakes on the 80's Buick behind me didn't work so great when the guy in front of me decided to stop suddenly. I really miss this car. mine had 95,000 on it when it got totaled, and all I had to do to it was replace the motor mounts and tie rod ends at 90,000 miles, which I don't consider to be excessive maintenance, especially considering how I drove it. (delivering pizzas, and my fiance's nickname for me is "speed racer") As far as the tires wearing unevenly, rotate the things and you won't have to worry about that as much. There is a little more toe-in on this car (for better cornering) than your grandma's sedan, so yes, uneven wear will show up if you don't take care of your tires. The OEM tires (which are a performance rated tire, that means softer rubber) on mine lasted till about 45,000 miles, and the second set had about half the tread left.
I don't know why the first person had such bad luck, but that was not anywhere near my experience with this car. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a sporty, fun car that gets excellent gas mileage. (my actual was 32mpg if it was all interstate, 27 to 29 if all in town)
I just bought a used "98 ZX2 with 70K miles. My car was definitely the "base" model, I'm lucky to have AC. However, the only major things I've noticed is the unusually low highway gearing causing excessive engine speed and vibration. This car could definitely use another cog or higher final drive. And I drove it 200 miles through Arizona, and averaged 36-37 mpg at the speed limit. I was surprised given the highway RPM of the 5 speed. This car is very light and quick and very easy to modify also. Very good car so far, we'll see.