Bought my 2000 ZX2 off the showroom floor that March and have had it ever since. Ridiculously easy on the oil, and still get about 28 MPG highway. However, I haven't had to commute for eight years (work-at-home), so I only have 107,000 miles.
My only problems have been the timing belts about 20k ago (normal), the alternator about 30k ago (normal) and a not-so-great sound system (some 12" JBL's, pair of 6x9's and an amp solved that dilemma).
Still loved my Civic hatchback from back in the day, but otherwise it's been money well spent. Just going to fix the dent some loser at Wal-Mart left in my side panel and keep it pushin'!
If your ZX2 Shakes vigorously, it's probably either the PCV elbow on the right of the engine next to the exhaust manifold, or the other end of the hose called the PCV hose end assembly on the bottom of the intake manifold. These elbows are notorious to go bad. It was the first problem I fixed with a roll of black tape and a little duct tape. Probably should use a more permanent fix though, because these won't hold forever.
Bought my 1998 ZX2 brand new off the lot and it still runs great 12 years later!
I have had to do a few minor repairs, mostly wear items that have to be done on any vehicle.
Would definitely buy another one if the opportunity arose, however the husband has his eye on the new Mustangs, so the ZX2 will probably become the second car in our household!
The ZX2 is amazing car, most reliable I have ever owned. The trans are pieces of crap, but if you run right fluids and don't rag on it, you will have a vehicle for a very long time.
I bought my car used, so I changed the trans and motor, and have never looked back. Great car.
Mine's over 200,000km, the oil's gold from change up to 7000km. It seems to never go down a bit. But my auto tranny slips while shifting into 3rd gear.
Good combination of nice handling, yet comfortable.
Mine is rattle free. I'm having good luck with steering and suspension parts too.
I get better mileage with 175/65R14, I think because it gets into 4th easier, stays there more, and less air is under the car. It also feels like it steers quicker and lighter, but follows cambers worse. I never slid off a corner yet because of the smaller tires. They weigh less than 185/60R15 on the alloy rims, too.
I like this car. I bought it used, jumped in, and drove across Canada without a problem.
I've had the problem, it was fuel pressure. It sucked dirt from being run too low on fuel too many times. I needed a fuel pump, filter, and I cleaned the injectors. Runs good.
My brother bought a used 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 in 2002 with around 40,000 miles on it, and I now have it 10 years later today.
It is the top of the line model (not the S/R). It has the rare leather seats and chrome factory wheels. The only thing missing was the sunroof, which was slightly depressing, but I absolutely love the car.
It has a premium sound system, which is awesome to have.
My brother has been put the car through hell and back with his large amounts of commuting. He recently bought a loaded, brand new 2012 Honda Civic. We have been a Ford family, and he was originally going to get a new Focus, but decided to go with the Civic.
I know I can't speak for all ZX2's out there, but this one as I drove it to work today is now on 198600 miles, and still going strong, thanks to proper maintenance and TLC LOL.
I know it's meant to be a fuel efficient first car, sort of thing, but it has a sporty look, and it feels good knowing you're not like everyone else driving a Cavalier, a Neon, a Sunfire or Cobalt, whatever the case may be.
I've also had a 5 and 0 record. Raced a Civic, Avalon, Jeep, PT Cruiser, and a Camry. It is just a great car. Once it reaches around 5500 RPM, the noise is probably the most wonderful thing a set of ears could hear.