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Iv owned my Zetec S (ZS) for over a year now.
Before i went to buy one i did alot of research myself into the pro's and con's of this superb looking little motor. They were produced from the year 2000-2002, bringing out two phases. The differences between the two phases are as follows:
Phase 1 Centre Caps on Wheels Lighter interior Metal Rocker Cover Metal Grill
Phase 2 Plastic rocker Cover No Centre Caps Boot Release Rutton Darker Interior (Black) Engine has 3-Piece Crank Shaft end float bearing Plastic Grill Additional Lambda sensor in the exhaust plastic removable cover covering the pollen filter housing. Has more pics on the heater settings
The colours what are also available are: Moondust Silver Colardo Red Panther Black & Imperial Blue
If it possible i would recommend trying to buy a phase two model as though they are simply more updated technology than the phase 1 and for the people who want to modify there engines with cams etc the phase two is perfect becuase the bottom end is alot stronger. If you plan to do this give shawspeed a ring and they have been known to get very impressive results from the phase two engine.
Even though the ZS is suprisngly quick of the mark and through the gears i would recommend that little more power only due to the fact once your car has a full load of people it slows the car down a great deal and seems to struggle. But i guess most cars have this problem with weight against power ratio.
If you dont plan on tuning the car and just keep it as it came as from the factory it is still a wonderfull car. The goodies that it comes with is a short shift gear box, everyone who has a moment to drive my car for whatever reason the first thing they comment on is the gear box and how smooth and quick transactions are between gear changes. Also comes with 15'' allow wheels which look great on the car with its bodykit which includes sideskirts, deep front bumper with fog lights & a deep rear bumper. Some other things that the car has include: ABS (Every car driver needs this, especially in a bigger engine) Front Disk Brake & Rear Drums (The front disks can easily converted to a 2L mondeo 300mm brake set up) Traction Control (Iv never actually seen the light come on to be honest) Air conditioning (This was an extra so not all ZS's have it) Nice blue leather steering wheel (In the ZS's what are available on the market at present usually have an worn steering wheel which doesnt look very appealing at all but they can be picked up from ebay quite cheaply for about £40-£60) And a not too bad interior, it would of obviously been alot nicer if there was an leather option but we cant always win can we! But the interior is ok and the front bucket seats are comfy as you would exspect even on those long journeys)
Although there are alot of good points there is also the bad points with buying one,
The first and major problem which is commonly known throuhout Fords is the rust problem. The places to check when buying a ZS is under the rubber on the door sill, check the spoiler for bubbling and check the boot underneath the lining. But on the bright side of things the ZS comes with a 5 year rust warrenty (i think) so if you buy a car with a little rust in these places just pop it down to your nearest Ford dealer and ask them to put it right as though its under warrenty!
Another commen failure found on this car is the coil pack in the engine bay which can cause misfiring and lack of power. The first signs of this is if the car struggles to start first time or when you first start it up it idles funny and keeps droppping its revs.
Leaks can also be apparent unfortunally. So when you go to buy or take a look at one feel the carpet were the drivers feet are and the passenger side. Be better to arrange a viewing after a night of heavy rain. Obvious signs would be steamed up windows inside the car when its just parked up.
I thinik iv named most of the info i know about the car itself but even tho there is all the bad points you know as well as i do the good comes with the bad. Iv tried to be as honest as possible tell you the majority of the bad points with the car because thats what you really want to know isnt it...what bad things are you going to be expecting whilst owning this car.
This car is a brilliant car to own for fun driving as though the car sticks to the floor like glue and the performance is no Ferrari but is still impressive. I wouldnt say this is a Hot hatch like some website do, its more of a Warm hatch because it would just get slated by a Saxo VTS & Peugot 106 GTI which are most defintly Hot hatches.
But talking value for money...id say this little car is a great buy. And there reasonably cheap these days due to the new MK6 Zetec S being launch & released. You could pick 1 up for about £2500 with high milage and the older model but for a later phase 2 model with lowish miles expect to pay up to $5000.
One last thing, with most cars there are Forums on the internet which can provide you great knowledge about the car and for the ZS there is one which extremly usfull! If you care to take a look the website is www.zsoc.com
Hope my review has been of use and good look in your car hunting!
If you which to ask me any questions please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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