7 June 2013

On the Brink of Extinction: Once-popular cars that may disappear in the next 10 years

Pick any car on this list and, five years ago, they seemed to be everywhere. Today, they’re becoming rare sights indeed. And five to 10 years from now, they’ll mostly be gone. It’s the march of time intersecting with their generally disposable nature, these five are our picks for imminent extinction:

  1. 1995-2005 Chevrolet Cavalier: The last generation Chevy Cavalier seems certain to go the way of the two previous generations of Cavaliers and essentially retreat to the automotive fossil record. The third-generation Cavalier wasn’t exactly built like a new Cruze and the fact that they fold up like an Origami swan in a collision hasn’t helped much either. In fact, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has noted that the Cavalier boasts among the highest fatality rates of any car recorded.

    [Related Article: Threatened, Endangered and Extinct]

  2. 1995-99 Dodge/Plymouth Neon: The Neon was a state-of-the-art small car when it was introduced in 1994. Car guy extraordinaire Bob Lutz, then with Chrysler, saw to that. Sadly, most first-generation Neons had a built-in expiration date in the form of a head gasket that would fail at around 60,000 miles. When the cars were younger, Dodge dealers helped out with the normally $900 expense, but nearly 20 years down the road, with the herd thinned by head-gasket failures and the few surviving cars regularly abused by “The Fast and the Furious” generation, extinction probably looms.
  3. 1997-2002 Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer: These were the bad old days for Ford small cars. Long before we got the stellar cars that Ford was peddling in Europe (like the current Focus and Fiesta), we got stuff like the Hermosillo, Mexico-built Escort and Mecury Tracer. The sedan and wagon were the epitome of appliances for people who didn’t care about cars. The peppy ZX2 coupe, was the only exception. Today, it seems like there’s a “do not resuscitate” order out on all third-generation Escorts — they’re disappearing fast.
  4. 1984-90 Plymouth Voyager/Dodge Caravan: The Voyager/Caravan was a category-creating milestone vehicle. And although the minivan seems to have been supplanted by the crossover as the vehicle of choice for family transport, the original Chrysler minivan deserves to be preserved. Sadly, just the opposite is happening. Between poor paint (which often peels off hoods in sheets), the resulting rust and the hand grenade-like Ultradrive transmissions, few of these classic box-like minivans remain.

    [Related Video: Misfit Cars - Tour Of LeMons]

  5. 1995-2000 Ford Contour: Although billed by Ford as a “one-world” design, the North American version was clearly inferior in most counts to the European version, the Ford Mondeo.  Only the hot SVT versions stand a chance of long-term survival.  Like the Cavalier, the Contour was slammed in the safety department by the IIHS.

61 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Dave Hastings, MN June 12, 2013 at 13:06
    My vote would go to the first generation Chevrolet Lumina from 1990 to 1994. A transverse rear spring borrowed from the Corvette, and the rear brakes to match, that weren't ready for the rust belt. The number of failed brake systems front and back are legion. Add to that the coil packs for the engine, the cooling pipe that would rust out along the fender, the auto gear box which didn't take kindly to filter and fluid changes, and the poor rear window seals and headliners that would simply fall down. The seating position was unique, very low but visibility was good. The base car was comfortable and luxurious... and would improve in the next generatrion with airbags, better quality and service.
  • 2
    Chad Montana June 12, 2013 at 13:12
    I'd add most minivans to the list as people seem to be going back to wagons, though they call them SUV's to be hip and stylish. The Ford Aerostar comes to mind since we owned a couple of them. Ours was reliable, a perfect size for a large family and for hauling loads of stuff, and with AWD got us just about everywhere during Montana winters.
  • 3
    Kam Skawinski United States June 12, 2013 at 13:21
    Personally, I wonder where my near-mint 1985 Chrysler LeBaron GTS would rank? I don't see anymore of these cars on the road where I live. Extinct? Near-extinction? Or completely forgotten?
  • 4
    Paul W Colorado June 12, 2013 at 13:25
    There's not a single vehicle on that list that will be missed...:)
  • 5
    William Melton Charleston, WV June 12, 2013 at 13:26
    I had a 1986 Caravan which was a great car. Later had a 1990 Grand Caravan which randomly drop into second gear at 60 miles per hour which would scare the bejesus out of us. Kept it for 2 years and traded it on a 1990 Subaru Legacy wagon.
  • 6
    Robert Sacramento, CA June 12, 2013 at 13:36
    While I agree with most of this article, I disagree with the characterization of the Ford Contour. It didn't measure up to the European counter-part, but it was a giant step forward compared to the car it replaced: The Tempo! I owned a 97 Contour; it was comfortable, reliable, and good of gasoline. It doesn't deserve to be saved (unlike the original Dodge minivan), but it doesn't deserve to have its reputation trashed, either.
  • 7
    Robert Pallang Portland ME June 12, 2013 at 13:45
    I dont see a problem with these cars going extinct. I think you will find that if a car is worth having it will stay around and if its not, than its best that it went the way of the dodo.
  • 8
    Dale Brown Louisville, KY June 12, 2013 at 14:03
    I have a personal connection with numbers 1 and 4 on the list. A friend of mine purchased a brand new 2004 or 2005 (I can't remember which year) Chevy Cavalier at a local Chevrolet dealership. She delivered newspapers and was looking for a dependable and economical car to drive on her route. The speedometer stopped working within six months. The AC stopped working a couple of months after that. The driver's window would not roll up or down. She was so fed up with the constant issues that she let the finance company take it back. I told her that they should have paid her to keep it. The Dodge Caravans were VERY good cars. My father was in sales and had both a 1989 and 1991. Both had 4 cylinder engines but he never had a problem with them (unlike the engine sensor nightmare 1987 Plymouth Reliant K wagon that he had prior to them). The only issue my father had with the 1989 Caravan was a trip to the local Walgreen's when I was in middle school for school supplies. We were driving through our neighborhood and my father noticed a squirrel crossing the road in front of us. He failed to notice the 100+ lb dog that belonged to a classmate of mine that was chasing after the squirrel. The dog slammed into the sliding passenger side rear door and completely buckled it. My father stopped and the dog shook its head and walked away. The entire door had to be replaced. We still laugh about that incident. My father didn't hit the dog, the dog hit him!! It took me a year or so to tell my classmate about what had happened. She stated that she wondered what had happened because the dog didn't seem normal for a few days. That is one of the greatest parts about the car hobby, being able to reminisce about certain events and the memories (both good and bad) that certain vehicles bring to mind.
  • 9
    Dan Slosek Cape Coral, Florida June 12, 2013 at 14:14
    I had a '98 Dodge Neon and it was one of the best cars I ever had. Yes, the head gasket failed at 52,000 miles... and, when it did, I had the entire "top end" of the motor serviced..... all new belts and whatever else was "soft"... and I then proceeded to drive the car until she had 163,000 miles on her..... at which time it was damaged beyond repair when someone pulled in front of me at one of those "no control" breakthroughs (left hand turn) on one of our roads, here. When I veered to avoid, I did limit the contact to the left front portion... but the body shop - and my insurer - declared that the damage was sufficient to "total" it... (P.S. The insurance company was Progressive... and I got a very generous settlement!!!!) Dan
  • 10
    TOM MORGAN st charles illinois June 12, 2013 at 14:18
    good ridence to all of them. except the neon made a nice little race car at road america for a time.
  • 11
    gerry l. south of Boston June 12, 2013 at 14:19
    each and evry one a crap-can
  • 12
    aaron suleske washington, DC June 12, 2013 at 14:41
    And thank God they will be gone. They created a lot of secondary costs to the consumers. Made the mechanics rich. Showed no style whatsoever.
  • 13
    Guy Hutchins Mooresboro N. C. June 12, 2013 at 15:01
    I would have thought the Vega, Pinto and Maverick would have been on the short list.....
  • 14
    martin Santa Rosa, TX June 12, 2013 at 15:05
    The Ford Fairmont is another mass produced car that has all but disappeared.
  • 15
    Colin Detroit June 12, 2013 at 15:15
    I have a 3rd-gen Cavalier. New engine, new transmission, both were in good working order when I replaced them around 145K due to a hard-to-locate switch that needed replacement and we decided to swap the mechanicals completely since we had replacements sitting around in storage.interior has held up much better than the interior on my '94 did. My coworker has one as well with almost 200,000 miles. The problem with these cars is rust on the subframe, usually near the rear wheels. I had a '94 Z24 and walked away from a rollover collision. In my experience Cavaliers are underrated in terms of reliability and I will attest to their safety. I also still see quite a few 90s Escorts.Most of these are entry-level, cheap cars. People don't hold on to them or try to preserve them.By nature, they aren't potentially collectible so nobody bothers to take care of them or restore them. Chevette's outsold Corvettes and Camaro's, but look which ones survived in greater numbers.
  • 16
    Tom Johnson Mahomet, IL June 12, 2013 at 15:28
    Probably the best car I've ever owned was a 1998 Mercury Tracer wagon. I bought it with 64,000 miles on it and it treated me very well until it was wrecked with 230,000 miles. We still own a 1997 Escort wagon and a 1998 ZX2 both good cars. No car company is offering a wagon any more like the Escort so people who have them are keeping them until they are no longer economical to repair.
  • 17
    Robert Howe Texas June 12, 2013 at 15:31
    Let them go in peace, they will not be missed.
  • 18
    Bob Bush Ohio June 12, 2013 at 15:42
    Mini vans can't vanish fast enough.
  • 19
    Alex Degen Canada June 12, 2013 at 15:44
    They are all crap cars and not worth keeping, the k van had bad motors and drivetrains, the two fords well need I say more and the one chev well lets say I see alot of them going to the crusher.
  • 20
    John Rio Rancho, NM June 12, 2013 at 16:02
    People have to passionately care about cars to keep them running after a certain age. And I doubt any time soon anyone is going to want to drop real money to restore one of these cars with their complex electrical systems and plastic and cloth interiors, with the exception of maybe the Caravan/Voyager if they grew up with one and had good memories attached to it. The Neon has potential for the next generation to adopt it, pulling them from junkyards and front lawns across the nation. I used to wonder with my old 97 Camry, if in 40 years someone would joyously be restoring it. It was a great ordinary car, but I doubt anyone will waste the garage space with a fully restored one.
  • 21
    RedRiley UnitedStates June 12, 2013 at 16:13
    Good Riddance and RIP! Sure won't miss any of those.
  • 22
    D. Randy Riggs California June 12, 2013 at 16:14
    Good riddance. All of these should have been driven directly from the assembly line into the crusher. Perhaps the only good thing about this administration's idiotic Cash for Clunkers program is that many of these probably did make it to the crusher sooner than later.
  • 23
    steve cangelosi new york June 12, 2013 at 16:31
    You mention the chevy cavalier and I see them almost every day, but when was the last time you saw a chevy x- body citation.
  • 24
    Brian Mc Cullough Stacy, MN USA June 12, 2013 at 16:58
    This holds water and always has for many cars. We own a 1959 Austin A40 Farina which has the same driveline as the Austin Healey Sprite Bugeye/Frogeye. The total A40s manufactured from 1958-1967 was somewhere less than 350,000. The total Austin Healey Sprites/ MG Midgets from 1958-1980 was around the same number. The total survived A40s is estimated to be somewhere about 1,500 worldwide. The total estimated "Spridgets" to survive is unknown but I would guess it is pretty high- no point in my guessing but I suppose it is somewhere around 25 to 50% survival rate or lets say a survival rate of around 30,000 -100,000. Another way to look at this is how many say--- 2,000 model year Chevrolet Venture minivans were manufactured and are still on the road compared to 2,000 model year Corvettes. At a rate of, most likely 10 to 1 build numbers, it is likely that 95% of the Corvettes are still on the road and only 50% of the minivans. Some cars are used up and others are cherished and only used for certain occasions on nice days.
  • 25
    Peter McDonald Hollywood June 12, 2013 at 17:22
    What about Chrysler Le Barons??? I had a 90 convertible,pretty snazzy.I thought the Mitsubishi v-6 made it reliable. Nope. Total junk,literally started falling apart. Went to scrap with 75k miles on it. Soured me on pentstar ever since.
  • 26
    Raymond Michigan June 12, 2013 at 17:26
    It's called 'planned obsolescent' as car makers are always planning ahead. Cross-overs will at some point and time be 'replaced' with another idea- maybe back to the mini-van? Cars today in 20-30 years sure won't command the $$$'s that autos from the beginning through the 70's bring with all the plastic used today. VERY few will become collectibles, I'm afraid.
  • 27
    Ron Hellstern Logan, Utah June 12, 2013 at 17:36
    In the not too distant future, you can sadly add all the Pontiac models. If the newest GTO had the body of the Solstice, they would have sold a bunch. Many of us still lament that very poor decision by GM.
  • 28
    Ron California June 12, 2013 at 17:53
    How rare is a 1971 Javelin SST or a 1973 Javelin Peire Cardin model? Just curious.
  • 29
    Chuck Nordby Ada,.minn. June 12, 2013 at 19:11
    Good riddance to all those vehicles. They are nothing but hard to work on, off-breed junk anyway!
  • 30
    Buzz Madsen Fresno, CA June 12, 2013 at 19:27
    We drove our 1995 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon on vacation about 18 months ago, and everywhere we stopped, people came over and admired or commented on it. The amazing thing about those "big" cars is that they had the LT-1 Corvette motor, and still could easily get 22 miles per gallon on the highway while riding like a . . . Buick, what else!
  • 31
    al zim FT. Worth TX June 12, 2013 at 19:55
    These are not cars they are throw away items. Anyone that is foolish enough to believe that these are collectable or even noteworthy should have their head examined. You can include the Ford Falcon, the Chevy Vega, all the Renault cars, the trebaunt, 20 year old Honda's Toyota's as well as most other Japanese and American cars.
  • 32
    George Chicago June 12, 2013 at 21:14
    What about the cadillac Cimarron? I thought for sure it would make the top 5! Followed by the Mercury Capri and Pontiac Sunfire of course!!
  • 33
    J.P. Ca June 12, 2013 at 21:58
    My apology if you own one of these, but I'll be glad to never see them again! And please, take most of the other modern Tupperware with them!
  • 34
    Erit Hialeah June 12, 2013 at 22:08
    good riddance, they will not be missed on this side of the screen
  • 35
    Tim Washington June 12, 2013 at 23:04
    You may be right about the others but people are already kind of weird about keeping the Caravan going - at least in this part of the country. There is an outfit quite close by that specializes in rebuilding them and sending them back out into the world for another go. You ought to see their lot and the license plate frames advertising their business.
  • 36
    John Malinick Mirror Lake NH June 12, 2013 at 23:09
    I really dont think that any of these junks will actually be missed on the road.
  • 37
    David British Columbia June 12, 2013 at 23:45
    I remember seeing many examples of each of these vehicles blowing blue exhaust smoke and rusting from end to end. Cars like these make me wonder if automotive designers even like cars! I would add the Ford Probe to your list. I had one and I renamed it the Ford Probelem.
  • 38
    brakeservo Northwest June 12, 2013 at 12:29
    Regarding your selections - we can only HOPE for their extinction - the sooner the better. Reminds me of a time about 20 years ago, when a friend's young daughter had recently gotten her drivers license. Within a few weeks she totaled her Chevy Vega. Knowing she felt terrible about it, I had a small medallion made for her celebrating her efforts to beautify America's highways by taking yet another Vega off the scene!
  • 39
    Alan North Georgia June 12, 2013 at 12:38
    Don't knock the last gen Cavalier. It's a great car for the money. Nothing breaks, except for the lower dash moulding. I've still got mine and it's been one of the most reliable cars I've owned. Fuel economy is outstanding and maintenance is simple. It's easy to park and almost as fun to drive as my Corvettes. I said "almost", and I'm not kidding. The rest, I agree with. They'll end up in the rust pile along with the appropriate assortment of Asian and European imports.
  • 40
    Al Seim Virginia June 12, 2013 at 12:46
    Hmm, hopefully this will motivate me to take care of my 2000 Ford Contour SVT! Great car but I have to agree that - in popular perception especially - time is not treating "regular Contours/Mystiques" well at all. The SE V6 was also a good car but suffers from looking almost like the vanilla ones.
  • 41
    Grant Barlow Galena, Illinois U.S. June 12, 2013 at 12:59
    Back in 2003 my wife was T-Boned in my 1994 BMW 525 by a Chevy Cavalier. My insurance company totaled the Beemer because the external damage was over 1/3 the value of the car without knowing what hidden damage was there. The other insurance company fixed the Cavalier to the tune of $9500, and then sued us for the damages. We went to arbitration and it was decided 3-0 that it was a No Fault accident (Thank goodness for good insurance).
  • 42
    Alan Blay Bellmore, New York June 13, 2013 at 13:13
    Most cars after 1972 will not be saved. From pig iron added to sheet metal alloy, to injection molded plastic, which disintegrates in sunlight, to 5 mph bumper standards in 1973, to complicated and soon obsolete computers starting in 1981, few if any people will save a car with one engine choice, and styling dictated by government crash, fuel economy and emissions standards. The coefficient of drag on a 1978 car was more important when the car was engineered than acceleration times, which all the government agencies scoffed at. Most cars that warrant a garage, that is worth $100 a month in metropolitan areas, to hours spent on maintaining it, let alone the expensive cost of restoring it, will not fuss on a $7500 car, unless they purchased it new or their favorite aunt had one just like it, and it brings back memories.
  • 43
    Scott OH June 13, 2013 at 13:34
    I owned a 01 Pontiac Sunfire for about 8 years and put 185K on that thing. It's a nicer looking cavalier, it was fun to drive and had nice amount of power considering the small 4 banger... Now that I read about the crash issues, I'm sure glad I never was in an accident with it.
  • 44
    Terrintino Stafford Beverly Hills June 13, 2013 at 08:05
    It would be sad to see all of these wonderful prized vehicles disappear in the next decade. Hopefully some of the younger generation will step up to the plate and start collecting the newer vehicles now while they're still affordable and well conditioned.
  • 45
    Chuck NY June 13, 2013 at 10:59
    Most of these cars should never have been built at all and deserve to be extinct. Their engineering and design was driven by the automakers belief that American buyers would tolerate poor quality if it was priced slightly lower than the much higher quality imports. Apparently they were wrong. According to Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/12/04/top-10-best-selling-cars-in-us/) the Americans still dominate the pickup truck market, but the ONLY American made passenger car on their list of top 10 vehicles sold in the US is the Ford Escape. All the rest are imports. So to these cars that are going extinct: Good riddance! I hope the American manufacturers are learning to stop embarrassing themselves by underestimating the American consumer.
  • 46
    Robert Davis Pennsylvania June 13, 2013 at 12:03
    I would add 3 gen Camaro's to the list. You seldom see one and hardly ever one in decent shape.
  • 47
    Matt Royer Henderson NV June 13, 2013 at 00:04
    I had a 98 Cavalier Coupe as well as a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire Convertible - a twin to the Cavalier. I had no complaints of safety with the Sunfire. I had two bad accidents with that car, the first one I was t-boned and the damage was so severe that after it was all said and done the insurance said it would have been cheaper for them to total the car. The only injury I had was a bruise to the chin where the airbag punched me in the face (without the airbag, I would have been unscathed) A couple years later I was rear ended by a plumbing van traveling at high speed, which then demolished the Sunfire. My only injury was a bump on the head where the rear spoiler broke off and whacked me in the noggin. I would own another one or Cavalier convertible in a heartbeat.
  • 48
    Asa Jay Spokane, WA June 13, 2013 at 00:16
    Around here, I see Escort ZX2s every day. I even own one with over 200,000 miles. Of all the Escorts that once were, the ZX2 seems to be the most popular and one of the longest lasting. There are even ZX2 forums on the Internet and a plethora of aftermarket parts. The other Escorts may be gone, but I think the ZX2 will be around a while longer.
  • 49
    Kenn Toronto June 14, 2013 at 11:43
    Let's hope these junkers are off the road long before 10 years! Ugly, disposable junk that should be recycled as quickly as possible.
  • 50
    William Henry Miami, Oklahoma June 15, 2013 at 13:01
    How rare would a 1974 AMC Gremlin be? Value?
  • 51
    Jim V Minnesota June 15, 2013 at 14:17
    I would include the Chevy Corsica on this list. Worst piece of junk I ever owned. (No wonder Toyota and Honda took over our car market) Talk about replacing Neon head gaskets, with our Corsica they were as frequent as oil changes, Even Mr Goodwrench under warrantee couldn't make them last -finally I just ran the car on stop leak. My sister had one first and it was just as bad from day one - I'm embarrassed to say I bought one for my kids to drive to school..
  • 52
    Brian PA June 16, 2013 at 13:13
    Thank goodness, however many survivors remain, the 1st and 2nd gen cavaliers/z24's are still around out and about;) Gm killed it and were arleady out the door on this re-design(3rd gen) by using 4 banger and later making the sedan version! Glad to see this gen GONE in any case.
  • 53
    Leonard clinton, indiana June 16, 2013 at 09:12
    I wonder who designs these cars. Detroit for sure, and as such I wonder where they get their information as to what the public wants. Even today there isn't a single automobile I would want. Well, not at the prices that are presented as normal, (only $22,500) you can own this (you name it) automobile that will be junk before it's paid off. And certainly for safety it will be questionable for your survival in one. And the SUVs that are running around on the highway looks more like a giant bug of some kind and they are always going over the speed limit thinking they are quite invunerable if they hit something, let alone a roll over. What are people like me going to buy used in the next ten years? Something I wouldn't want now. I just bought a standard vehicle, a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, 19.8 mpg and really a safe, reliable machine that should last me at least another 100,000 miles and even at gas prices as they are now will not even be close to the cost of a new machine.
  • 54
    Wayne G Wisconsin USA June 16, 2013 at 10:46
    Good riddance to these vehicles. When quality is not an important factor in making a vehicle, one cannot expect much longevity. There are a plethora of daily-drivers that auto companies have built over the years that could be added to this list. As for the collector market, it is doubtful that many of these will ever be seen at car shows - but then who would have thought that station wagons from the 50's, 60's and 70's would become 'desirable' collector vehicles. There will always be a niche market among collectors no matter how weird, ugly or poorly constructed a vehicle is.
  • 55
    Larry So. California June 17, 2013 at 15:45
    I have a 1986 Cavalier it is a 5 speed the odometor reads 374000 miles 33 to 36 mpg never been crashed it ran very well until the timing gear went out. The 2009 Colbolt is my replacement car it has 109000 on it and i hope to get that with this car
  • 56
    adam new albany indiana June 20, 2013 at 07:59
    I hope the new Dodge Dart doesn't go the same way as the Neon.
  • 57
    Falcon Don Oakland, NJ June 26, 2013 at 21:58
    What about the '93-'97 Ford Probe GT? This is a car that I thought would have taken the automotive piston-head community by storm. It sold reasonably well (77,000 units the first year), was quick, reliable (134K miles on mine with repair bills well within the limits of sanity), gorgeous, and an absolute gas to drive! Yet, you don't see, to see very many of them around. It was discontinued in 1997, and seemed to go as quickly as it came! So what happened? "Mazda-in-a-blue-oval" syndrome catch up to it? Oh! to find a pristine example... My current ride is a 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T! I gotta admit, I'm impressed, and I don't impress easily!!!...Don
  • 58
    Steve Visek Media, PA July 12, 2013 at 04:34
    Add the Saturn Ion to that list. I was forced to adopt this hamster-mobile when I said "I do". The engine came from a Sunbeam blender I think. Other than the plastic body panels, a real POS. Luckily my wife totaled it: amazing how much the insurance company paid us for it...felt like I hit the lottery! On the flip side, I had a 1989 Dodge Caravan SE turbo that was a great vehicle. Bought it in 1994 from the widow who lived next door and drove it for 8 1/2 years before selling it to a friend(I couldn't refuse his overly generous offer). He destroyed her within a year. Despite the great deal, I still regret selling it and wished I still had it.
  • 59
    Dave Korzun Edmond, OK July 2, 2015 at 00:13
    Well, had a 1995 Ford Escort GT, 230,000 miles on it, great till my son totaled it, he wants to find another one. Replaced with a 1998 Escort ZX2, about 140,000 miles on it. Replaced the alternator and radiator, still going strong after my son drove it for the last year. 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan, roughly 150,000 miles on it. Had to replace the solenoid pack for the AT after it started leaking, fairly common for this model after about 100,000 miles. Easy fix in the driveway. Also did the PS reservoir, filter in the reservoir gets clogged over time and isn't replaceable, but reservoir is easy to get to and the part is pretty inexpensive. Not all these cars "suck." They have their quirks, and sure the build quality could be better, but they were inexpensive for the most part and if reasonably maintained - something the average American driver gets an D+ at best, they can last a lot longer than the garbage that Detroit was pushing in the 70s and 80s.
  • 60
    jeff massachusetts September 30, 2015 at 05:49
    I owned 2 Ford zx2 and I still own my 2003. Purchased new. I have only 98,000 original miles never any major problems beyond general maintenence. I just put a fresh Coat of paint and it looks brand new again. This car is quick and handles great. I own the manual transmission and it is mad fun to drive. Unless you have owned one you really can't comment on this little pony car. It's been extremely reliable and a joy to own
  • 61
    schwinn quebec February 14, 2017 at 23:35
    the zx2 lasts forever with simple maintenancb

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