Pros: Very attractive car, responsive steering, braking, ACCELERATION!!!, the works
Cons: After market accessories are somewhat difficult to find. Recommend Ebay to ZX2 owners.
(PLEASE NOTICE THIS IS A REVIEW FOR A 1998 ESCORT ZX2. NOT A STANDARD ESCORT!!)
Just recently early this year, I have the opportunity to purchase this fine automobile they call an escort ZX2. I previously owned a Geo Tracker which went completely belly up on me for the fourth time (grrr.) and thought it was time for a new change (also being that I desperately needed a car for spring break, and fast). I didn't waste any time to go to the town car dealership and I checked out their used car lot. They had plenty of cars there, but I had my eye on one car in particular....and that was the ZX2.
I was able to purchase this car remarkably for $3000. I have been a proud owner ever since, and I have had all kinds of crazy ideas on what to do to it next. Hopefully, eventually, I plan on putting a subtle body kit that will bring the lines of the car out a little more. This car is an extremely under-rated car. It drives me nuts that magazines don't talk about them much, if at all. I mean, for some reason, Ford wanted to replace this car with the Focus ZX3....which, don't get me wrong, is a great car, but so is the ZX2. Well, enough about how I feel, on with the review.
Overall, The ZX2 offers a very tasteful, sporty lines that are a step up from its Escort Coupe counterpart. Honestly, I prefer, the ZX2 over the Escort Coupe one reason only, It looks a heck of a lot better. I mean, when you drive, you want something that will turn heads. The ZX2 hopefully will do that. Also, if the factory setup isn't everything that you were looking for in a ZX2, there are plenty of body kits available for this model. Knowing where to look is the hard part. Magazines tend to leave out this fine automobile and look past its potential in becoming an excellent custom. Wings West offers an excellent, subtle body kit...that is if you have the money. This body kit, as well as many others, don't come cheap.
The Escort ZX2 is powered by the 2.0 liter, 16 valve, dual overhead cam ZETEC engine which pumps out 130 horsepower stock. This car is available with a 5 speed manual transmission, or a 4 speed automatic. This car has an incredible amount of acceleration. The only disappointing fact is that Ford put a governor at 106 mph on all ZX2 models except the s/r models, which has an improved cam timing, and a speedo cluster that goes up to 150 mph instead of 120 mph like the other models. Also, the s/r has 150 horsepower. This car is a limited edition car that was offered in 1999 and 2000. But with a little bit of money, you can get the same performance out of your ZX2 as you can out of the s/r...possibly, maybe more.
Inside the ZX2, you will find that there is plenty of room in the front, and viewing is excellent from inside. the car has solar glass that tints slightly to the sun. The seats are very comfortable, and provide a very smooth ride. The back doesn't have as much leg room as one would anticipate, but the seats are very comfortable. The roof is slightly low in the back which makes it slightly difficult for taller people to sit in the back.
The car is a very responsive car. It will quite possibly turn on a dime. I don't know what else to say about it other than, it handles real good.
Just like any car, brakes need to be serviced. I changed the brakes on my ZX2 as soon as I purchased it. So far, I can't complain about the braking, except, I did experience the brakes locking up on me when turning off of a highway. It was rather scary. Fortunately, no one was in front of me, or in the other lane. I would HIGHLY recommend getting ABS brakes as an option if it doesn't come standard. I obviously don't have them after that little incident.
My 1998 ZX2 comes standard with driver and passenger second generation air bags. ABS was an option back in 1998, not sure if it still is now, but if it isn't, like I said before, It would be very beneficial if you do get that.
My ZX2 is a 1998. Even though this is a review for a 1998, the whole design of the car hasn't been altered between 1998-2002. Maybe the only difference is that "Escort" was dropped off the rear bumper. My ZX2 hasn't failed me...and I got mine USED with 75000 miles on it. I haven't had a problem with it yet and hopefully I won't for a long time. My ZX2 has about every option offered for the 98 model. It has power windows, power moon roof, power mirrors, alloy wheels, rear spoiler, 6-disc CD changer, memory driver seat, intermittent wipers, fog lights, did i forget anything, lol. This car is HOT!!! They are very affordable, and very reliable. If you haven't driven a Ford lately, maybe you should start with the ZX2, you will be hooked for life.