2003 ZX2 New Car Test Drive
Ford ZX2 offers sporty styling, responsive handling, brisk acceleration, and everyday comfort and practicality for one or two people. Its back seat and trunk are fully usable. Yet the ZX2 is easy on fuel, and costs less than some base-level sedans.
ZX2 has a new front end this year, more aggressive, less cute, yet still in keeping with its overall character. Gone is the smooth, grille-less look, replaced by a dark horizontal slash between the headlights, punctuated by new amber turn signals. A bigger under-bumper air intake is stretched wide by new round fog lights that seem to pull at its outer edges.
Fifteen-inch wheels are standard on all 2003 models, replacing last year's 14-inch wheels. Handsome machined aluminum rims are available on Premium models. Deluxe and Premium models now come with a single-CD player.
ZX2 isn't the newest sport compact on the market, but enhanced value for the 2003 models adds to its attractiveness.
ZX2 comes with Ford's 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve Zetec four-cylinder engine, which drives the front wheels. A five-speed gearbox is standard; a four-speed automatic ($815) is an option.
Ford ZX2 comes in three time levels. The base model starts at $12,815, and comes with power mirrors, AM/FM/cassette and rear spoiler. Fog lamps are standard equipment for 2003. Air conditioning can be added to the standard car for $795.
Deluxe ($13,860) adds air conditioning, cruise control, CD player, floor mats, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and map lights. A power sliding moonroof ($595) is available for Premium or Deluxe trim.
Premium ($14,315) is the most popular trim level and comes with integrated fog lamps, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, and an alarm. Options for Premium include leather-trimmed seats ($395), machined aluminum wheels ($595), and a premium stereo with a 6-disc, trunk-mounted CD changer ($295).
Anti-lock brakes ($400) are optional and a good idea as they allow the driver to maintain steering control of the car in a panic braking situation; simply stand on the brakes and remember to steer around obstacles. New exterior colors for 2003 are Bright Island Blue and Mandarin Copper.