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Ford Escort ZX2



  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Read a report on the SVT Focus and just at you said Rick, dual stage intake manifold, variable cam timing on the intake side, and a less restrictive exhaust. The peak hp is at 7 grand and there is only a 10 ft/lb increase in torque. Given the weight of the ZX3, I think I prefer my light little Z and it's lower output engine. In fact, just a simple superchip added to the ZX2 would probably make it a more spirited ride that the SVT Focus.
  • arn93500arn93500 Posts: 1
    Daughter is looking for a car and likes the Escort but I am not really familiar with them so was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference between the Escort ZX2 cool coupe and the ZX2 hot coupe? Thanks in advance
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    Those were Ford option ordering labels for the 98-99 models. The cool was basic with 14" steel wheels and am/fm radio, and the hot had some options like radio cassette stereo, 15" aluminum alloy wheels, a/c, tilting steering wheel, etc. I think power door locks and windows too. Mine is a 2000 model with manual transmission plus convenience group that included leather covered steering wheel, tilt steering wheel, a/c, map lights, remote trunk release. Other folks got theirs with the power package which meant power windows and locks.
    The 2002 models also come in convenient ordering packages: basic, deluxe and premium.
    All 2002 ZX2s come with 15 inch alloy wheels, am/fm cassette stereo, remote trunk release, power steering as standard. A/C is still an option that comes standard on the deluxe package. Auto transmission is also an option.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    There weren't any significant differences. A/C was std on the Hot and optional on the Cool. The option list for both was pretty much the same. I wanted to keep mine as simple as possible, so I ordered the Hot with a Sport pkg. Nothing to add weight other than the A/C. Not tilt, no cruise, no electric windows, etc.
  • cdubois1cdubois1 Posts: 1
    Hi all ZX2er... actually I say ZedX2er... Just wanted to say that I love my ZX2... Its a 2000 atx... Got a good deal on it... would have loved a mtx but what can you do... eh! Also, just wanted to add that the car is handling the cold pretty well... I find that the gas mileage isn't that great in the city... but maybe its because the engine roar and I love to slam on the gas... I find it funny when some compact cars (with teenagers) try to race me... I'll kill them until i hit the speed limit and then stay at that speed... then they'll pass me... they think they won... but I know that I could have killed them... It's a nice feeling... Anywho, I hope you have a great day...
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I like that, even if it does sound like a sleeping pill or a secret ingredient : )
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    Nice to see another Canadianer around these parts :) Where are you from?
  • The SVT is so much faster than the ZX2 they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath. I have recently driven an SVT Focus and all I can say is damn. This car is fast. As a former owner of both a 2000 ZX2 S/R and a ZX3 i think that my first focus was faster and that the SVT would drive circles around them both. I actually raced a RSX in the SVT and beat him so badly I think he went home to cry I had at least 3 car lengths on him after aroung 1/8 mile. The six speed the different gearing the extra oomph. It all makes this car great and it out-handles most BMW's. I am buying one as soon as I can afford it.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    no one's arguing that the ZX2 is faster than the SVT. Quite the opposite, folks on this board are quite impressed with that car. As for your ZX3 being faster than a ZX2, perhaps you modified it? Otherwise the lighter body weight and its gearing give the ZX2 a slight advantage.
    Re. driving the Focus SVT: till now only Ford employees and trade journalists have booked rides in the SVT, so I trust you are one of the privileged few. Are dealers accepting orders yet?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Ford will be down to four cars in 2003: Focus, Taurus, Mustang, and Crown Vic.

    Another mid size car is coming based off of the 2005 Cross trainer SUV and a Fiesta based sport wagon too.

    Maybe the ZX2 name willl appear again on a new compact? Im betting it will.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Don't get me wrong - if I had the money to fritter away, I would consider buying a Focus SVT to drive for a year or two. I wouldn't touch a used one a year from now, nor would I keep a new one very long. I just don't believe Ford is building Zetec engines with enough precison to survive frequent trips to that 7,000 rpm range where the 170 ponies live. I may be wrong, but I think if you are looking for a high rpm 4 banger with a respectable life expectancy, you should look to Honda or the Toyota/Yamaha power plant.

    I also noticed that the SVT is about 300 pounds heavier than the ZX2. I hate weight. Weight demands more power, bigger brakes, more rubber, etc. Of course the ZX3 has all those things, but they will cost you an extra five thousand bucks.

    The SVT is cute in a video game sort of way, with it's swoopy dash, up to date hatchback body, and a gee whiz six speed gear box that will undoubtedly embarrass more than a few rookies and infuriate wives. The old ZX2 however, is butt ugly inside and out. It's cheap. It's light and it's quick. For just a couple of hundred bucks you can stiffen up the suspension and with 205 rubber you'll find the handling quite good. I'd love to see the ZX2 and SVT at he same auto cross. I can't help but think the old ZX2's lower CG and lighter weight would be significant.

    The ZX2, as far as I can tell, does not have one endearing feature. The engine is a little rough and though torquey, doesn't make much horsepower. The gear ratios aren't right and the drivetrain isn't smooth. The seats are neither supportive nor comfortable. The cockpit is noisey and it's the wrong kind of noise. Fit and finish....well it's a Ford. The total package is a different story though. What a bargain. No other car offers as much fun per dollar and if you keep your Z, in a few years you'll realize it is the ultimate beater; durable, economical, and still fun.

    So I guess it boils down to whether you are a boy racer and want to hang with the tuners and straight line racers, or you're an old fogey who prefers a solid, unpretentious coupe with ho hum specs and a down to earth price tag. For driving to work or occassionally out running a Neon, Sunfire or Cavelier (not to mention some of the lamer V6 junk out there) or for roaring along twisting, scenic roads through Arkansas' answer to the Alps, make mine a ZX2. In fact, I think I'll order that Superchip today.

    I apologize for the length of this post, but it's a slow day at work, and there isn't a lot of activity here anyway. As usual, this is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary. Batteries not included.
  • Hi All!
    I've been checking back occassionally, but have not posted in a while.
    FYI re: my 2000; 28,000 miles and holding. Need new tires this summer and will review the old postings before purchase. Gonna keep the Swirles though, still kinda like em'. Besides, Although I would not tolerate hubcaps, I am past the need for Chrome.
    Been doing some distance traveling lately and although I have long since developed an immunity to the road noise of this car, others do notice it. I was thinking of adding some stick-on insulation to the fire wall. Should be inexpensive, add little weight and hopefully will somewhat improve the road noise.
    Still think the car was a great choice, great value, is super dependable and have never regretted my selection. Thankfully, I do not have to worry about what I will be purchasing for a replacement for a few more years. Hopefully, the ZX2 be available in some form or another.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    the daughter wants her own car, and doesn't like the manual tranny. So I'll probably have to trade this in. There's only one problem: I now owe more than what Kelly Blue Book says it's worth in trade in value.
    Looks like I'm going to owe the bank between $2K-$3K over its $5K residual value.
    It's got 20,000 miles on it with a dent in the fender courtesy of my student driver.

    Is there anyone out there who sold his car for more? Is Floridian still around, I think his son traded his car in for a Mazda.
    Any tips guys?
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    The worst part of your situation is that a Ford dealer will deal better with you than the competition, or at least that has been my experience out here in Yoyo Junction. If a dealer has several used ZX2s on his lot, he's not going to cut you much slack either. My local frog dealer just bought four or five at aution and that has diminished his interest in mine. Of course he wants repeat business so that helps, but if you end up at the GM joint, just bend over.....
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    okay folks, time for me to say so long...
    traded in the ZX2 for a Ford Focus ZX3 with all the bells n whistles. 16"wheels, sunroof, power windows, 6-CD changer, side airbags, etc. everything except leather. let's say I bent over anyway even at the Ford dealer, because of the negative equity in the ZX2. The only nice thing was that they cut me a good deal on the car, including a very good discount and interest rate. At first they said 8.9% with the $1500 rebate. I almost shouted "I can't do that!" I must have sounded real angry, and appeared to walk out of there. Anyway my wife asked me why I was so mad. It must have been too much bending over, blood rushing to my head.

    I still don't like the upright driving position, there is not enough of the telescoping action in the steering wheel, can't get it closer to my body. So the position is like in delivery vans of old - like the old milk trucks where your feet are almost tucked in to your body but your arms are stretched out and your back is upright. The seat won't go down low enough either. But the daughter and wife are happy.

    By the way on the lot there were about 25 brand new Focus and 10 ZX2s. I guess it means there is still a lot of interest in the ZX2. One thing I found is that this dealer gives its price as advertised. You have to be careful because they give you the low discounted price, but you have to add the freight charge back on. Whereas other dealers include it in the quoted figure.

    If you're interested, take a look at Ford Sheehy Springfield VA: and pick the Springfield branch or any of the other branches in MD.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Congrats on the new ride, Rick. It appears hatchbacks are where it's at now......ZX3 & 5, Matrix, Vibe, etc. I checked out a ZX3 similar to yours just a week ago. I liked it, but I agree with you on the seating. I did like the feel of the seat back much better that my ZX2 though. I didn't care for the red paint or the little crank for seat height adjustment. Check in from time to time and let us know how you're doing. You know you will want to know how long it takes Photog to crash his green ZX2.
  • Why would a company that wants there custermors to be satisfied get rid of basicaly a trouble free car like the ZX2 and bring in a pos like the Focus. It has more troubles than a Yugo. The Focus lacks performance, styling, economy. I think that if you are at the shop more than at work then you are loosing money. Ford doesn't care about the consumer. They still have not fixed the heater core problem from about 5 yrs ago and it still is in the Focus.
  • TMURFTMURF Posts: 10
    Where did everyone go ? :(
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A major national publication is looking for a consumer who is buying or just bought a vehicle and has considered a Ford, but is worried about their recent quality lapses. If you are have a story to share, please send your phone number and some basic information about your experience no later than Wednesday, May 29 to or


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • TMURFTMURF Posts: 10
    Like to hear comments from owners of 98's & 99's with high mileage. How are the cars holding up?
    Any squeaks and rattles, etc?
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I bought my ZX2 new in '99 and have driven it to work on a daily basis. It has about 40,000 miles on it now and is running just fine. It certainly hasn't been pampered by any means, but it has no squeaks or rattles and no malfunctions. Though I'm disappointed with seats, the shifter, and the slow steering ratio, I still insist the ZX2 was a helluva bargain. If it had an extra 20 ponies and stiffer anti-roll bars, I would put a Recarro in it and keep it forever.
  • 2002zx2man2002zx2man Posts: 20
    One week ago, I just bought a 2002 ZX2 Premium. Dark Shadow Grey Clearcoat with the charcoal interior. Automatic transaxle, 6 disc changer, remote keyless entry, power windows, locks, brakes, AC, blah blah blah. I love this car. I couldn't have picked a better one!
  • hudraheadhudrahead Posts: 169
    zx2man: Just curious,what kind of deal did you get on that puppy (out the door), big dscount ? I will be getting a car of that type (sporty coupe) for one of my employees in the next few days. So far it's down to a ZX2 or a Sunfire. Really impressed with the Sunfire with the new Ecotec 2.2 engine. That engine is very impressive. So smooth and quiet you literally have to look @ the tach sitting at a stoplight to see if it is running and with a lot of low end torque very quick off the line.With $3000 cash incentive it's gonna be hard to beat. Not really a GM fan but this one just may win me over, $ talks.

    hud :):)
  • 2002zx2man2002zx2man Posts: 20
    Hud: There's a 2000 rebate. I also receive 400 back for being a recent college grad, plus I was able to put 3000 down. 5400 all-together. Overall was 14,323 out the door. I was actually test drove the 2002 Ford Focus SE Comfort sedan, but then I test drove the ZX2 and there was no going back. The ZX2 was between 2000-2500 cheaper than the Focus, and offered just as much (or even more).
    What kinda business are you in that you get your new employees new cars? Are you looking for any database programmers? :)
  • hudraheadhudrahead Posts: 169
    zx2man:You did real well on the price, congrats. My son just traded his 1999 ZX on a new Mazda P5. He put 45K trouble free miles on his Z and really liked it. He mostly just wanted a "new" set of wheels LOL ! my only complaint about his Z was that the 2.0 vtec engne always seemed to be a little rough. Especially @ idle. I put several thousand miles on his car during some trips we took together and that apect of the car always bugged me a little. Funny thing, that same engine in the Focus seemed a lot smoother. I hope yours is OK.

    Sorry, no DBP needed. The cars in question are for our field service technicians. We are a dealer (sales and service) for engineering graphics equipment, large format copiers and plotters.

    We provide a new car for each tech rep. They are responsible for maintenance and appearance. At the end of 100K miles they get the car free and clear IF no accidents or tickets. believe it or not some decline as they don't want to start paying for insurance and license. Those cars are raffeled off @ the annual company picnic, usually one or two, and the proceeds go for the next picnic or Christmas party. If any surplus then a vacation cruise goes to the tech that has the fewest call-backs and sells the most service contracts. Lotsa fun !!

    hud :):)
  • 2002zx2man2002zx2man Posts: 20
    Hud: The 2002 Z's come with 2.0L DOHC 16V Zetec, not Vtec. I'm not sure what the difference is. To me, it's just one letter of a difference.

    I had a Honda Accord (used) before this purchase. It was nice for a used car to get me back and forth from the college years, but after a while the maintanence was getting too expensive. Repairs for Hondas seem to be about 100 dollars more than on domestic cars. I had a timing chain snap on that Honda, got an estimate for about 1500-1700. My brother and I fixed it for much less, but it took 2 weeks.

    Thanks for the correspondence. :)
  • hudraheadhudrahead Posts: 169
    zx2man: Can't explain the difference between the perceived difference in idle, smoothness etc as they are virtually the same engine with slightly different tuning. I was told by a Ford mechanic that the main difference is in the motor mounts that are used in the Z vs the ones in the Focus. Judging from all the recalls that have come down for the Focus I guess the Z IS the better choice,all the bugs out in what will most likely be it's last year of production.

    I did a little research on the new GM Ecotec 2.2 engine. It seems that Lotus had a hand in it's design & development. What impressed me was the features of a balance-shaft crank, chain driven cams (no belt to worry about)all aluminum head, block and cast oil pan, 5.8 quart oil capacity,all accessories such as power steering pump (gear driven), alternator and A/C compressor bolted directly to the block, less vibration and no belt tensioning to worry about. I drove a 2002 Sunfire this afternoon and with the deal they are giving it looks like that's going to be the one ! I hope it is a good choice for the employee that will get it.

    Good luck on your job quest.

    hud :):)
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    Hud and ZX2man:
    I had a 2000 ZX2 and traded it in for a Focus ZX3. Not my choice, but rather my wife and daughter preferred an auto, and also wanted all the bells and whistles the "blah, blah, blah". The ZX2 was a manual, plus no power windows, no CD player, etc.

    Anyway, the engine is the same except for the camshaft grind which are slightly different, and the gearing. The ZX2 also has VCT (variable cam timing) on the exhaust cam for emissions and fuel economy reasons, to compensate for its otherwise larger appetite for gasoline. (The Focus SVT ZX3 has VCT on its intake cam for more power) The ZX2 is definitely the more aggressive and faster off the line. However because of the gearing, it is much louder at high speeds even on 5th. Its optimum speed seems to be at 55, after which it starts getting progressively noisier. The Focus on the other hand seems to have been built more with refinement as one of its objectives, with acceleration a much lesser priority. The Focus is also a few hundred pounds heavier, which has two effects: it makes it slower, but because of the additional sound insulation used, results in less noise inside the cabin.

    I now prefer the suspension of the ZX3, as it seems to be more solid and yet less noisy. The "thump" of the ZX2 going over potholes was audible. Maybe it is just a matter of perception and the fact that there is a lot more insulation, because it seems to me that with the much smaller wheel well, there is less travel for the Focus's wheels. I have indeed noticed that there is more "wallow" from side to side in the Focus, indicative of less travel on the suspension.

    Since my ZX2 came with the regular thin stock 185/60 tires on 15" wheels, and the Focus ZX3 came with the wider 205/50 on 16" wheels the Focus is obviously far grippier. I think the anti-sway bars are the same. The ZX2's rear anti-sway bar can be upgraded using the one from an older Escort GT, as I understand from the ZX2 web sites.

    I have found that the ZX2 is a huge improvement over the Escort with which it shares the Mazda 323 design platform. I recently had my Focus in to repair hailstone damage. They gave me an Escort as my rental car, and this car was awful. It had the 2.0L SPI engine that is shared with the lower Focus models (LX & SE). It has far less horsepower, is noisier, the cabin fit and finish is "REALLY CHEAP".

    As for the GM 2.2 Ecotec engine, it is really a nice design which in Europe they are putting into the Opel Speedster which is built on a Lotus Elise platform. In fact it IS the Lotus Elise except with a different body, much cheaper price, with less engine tune.
    Nevertheless, it develops 147 HP and goes 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds.
  • 2002zx2man2002zx2man Posts: 20
    Thanks for the information. I hear a lot of people complain about the loud cabin noise. I notice that I can hear bumps, but that doesn't bother me at all. I would rather be able to hear when I hit something, than not to hear it at all leaving possible damage unheard.

    Also, there is a little wind noise in the cabin as well, but nothing that annoys me. I find it to be a smooth, corner-hugging, quiet ride which allows me to feel the road. I'm not a big gear-head, and I'm not impressed with how long it takes my car to go 60 mph. If I can get from point A to point B without dying, and all the while loving every mile I drive, I consider the car to be perfect.

    Plus, you just can't beat the new car smell! :) Childish, I know, but it's truthful to some extent.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    Moderator: Why is ZX2 classified now as an Escort in the Ford listings? Doesn't Ford Motors itself no longer market the ZX2 as an Escort?

    Other than the chassis, suspension, brakes, wiring and some interior parts the ZX2 shares nothing with the Escort. Not the exterior panels or bumpers, headlights, nor the windshield nor windows, nor engine.

    Now would you say the Mazda 323 is the same thing as a Mazda MX3? NO? But they share the same chassis don't they? In fact they share the same engine, don't they?
    In fact shouldn't we call the ZX2 a Mazda 323?
    Being slightly facetious here, but I am sick of people calling the ZX2 an Escort. Big mistake by Ford, which they realized too late.
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