1999 Ford Escort ZX2 - Thinking of Buying

It has 83,000K Have not actually seen it yet but wanted to get feedback first if possible. Are there any spec. questions I should ask? I looked up the safety rating and the front seat got one lone star in the gov. crash tests!!! That seems pretty bad to me. I posted a couple of days ago about buying a used car and got great info from everyone. Ford was recommended to me, which prompted me inquiring about this car. Anything helps, thanks

Having lost my wife in a head-on collision, I wouldn’t go near a car with such a bad crash rating.

Isn’t the ZX2 a high performance car? I would be concerned about the way the car was driven. Most people like to have fun and there may be a price to pay. That said, I used to have a slightly earlier Escort and it was a fine car.

It is a mistake to buy a car based on the manufacturer only. Ford makes good trucks, some good cars and some not-so-good cars. Also true for GM. Having said that, a Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer are basically good cars. The part that is not so good, it the high performance part; the folks who buy these, drive with vigor, and in my experience, may not spend a great deal of money on maintenance. So, unless you know the owner, and have a record of mainteance done, I would stay away from that one. call me conservative and cautious, but I’ve seen kids drive cars into the ground in a matter of 2 years.

It is an Escort coupe. It is a Mazda B platform car as were all the late Escorts. There was a slightly more powerful package (SR), but not a sports or muscle car by any estimation. A sporty car marketed to young buyers it was. I will bet mostly young women bought them. At 130 HP it was not bad. The torque figure is nearly identical which is notable. I think that the auto trans was reported to have some problems that could be prevented by installing an aftermarket cooler or doing frequent fluid changes. The S/R had 143 HP advertised by using different exhaust and intake, probably. They also had better suspension, clutch, seats,?.

Escort sold well for a few years in 1982 it was the best-selling car in North America. Eventually, in our ?new and improved society? people were really yawning at the word Escort. Ford called their coupe model Escort ZX2 and people still yawned. They dropped the Escort and people still yawned. Finally they dropped the car. The ZX2 is a long way from the original Escort, but not fundamentally different from 1998 up with the Zetec if you are looking for a commuter car.

I bought a '98 ZX2 at 67,000 miles and now have 150,000 miles 4 years later. It has been the most reliable car I’ve owned so far. Only unscheduled maintenance was the temperature gauge sensor ($27). My ZX2 is still tight for it’s age and drives like new. The best part about it was the price ($3500). I expect to drive this car for another 2-3 years.

You should consider that a timing belt and tensioner change is required at 105,000 miles. This will set you back about $400. (I did it myself for much less). As anyone will tell you, the maintenance history of a used car is more important than brand.

Unlike a lot of people here, I actually like Fords… :slight_smile:

But I wouldn’t touch a ZX2. The High-performance thing is overblown - these were never really high performance.

But the side impact rating (1 star) is a no-go for me… Interesting that NHTSA has no head-on ratings… IIHS has frontal ratings (no side) for the Escort and it does pretty well, really. For the 4-door, NHTSA gives a measley 3 stars, but the side impact is much higher than the ZX2. Evidently Ford didn’t put enough reinforcement in when they made the door substantially larger for the ZX2…

There are just too many good alternatives in the same price range with much better crash protection to take the risk, IMO