"I bought this car used because it was about the cheapest car around that was also on the Consumer Reports most reliable list (had 36,000 miles then). It's nothing fancy or fast but it has been reliable. Another reason I bought it is because I commute about 70 miles per day and I needed something that got good gas mileage. It averages over 30 mpg, which isn't great these days but was decent when I bought it over 6 years ago. In the last 6 months I've had to replace the timing belt (way overdue), waterpump, spark plugs and wires, brakes, and I think I had to replace something on the front end a few years ago (nothing major), but these are all things you would expect to replace on a car with so many miles."
"My little car got great gas mileage. I bought the car brand new in 2000. And still have it. It now has 185,000. I drive 48 miles to work one way. It gets me where I need to go with very little maintenance and gets about 35 miles to the gallon. I have not had to put a transmission in mine yet. But I also have not "hot Rod" it. I also have gotten a transmission fluid change about 2-3 times a year. I would reccomend it. Especially for a teenager who wants a "sporty" looking car. Then the parents don't have to worry about them actually having a sports car and killing themselves or someone else in the process. Again, I think the Ford Escort ZX2 is a nice little car."