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Old 05-21-2004, 12:54 AM   #1
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2004 ZX3 Initial Impressions.

Here are my initial impressions om my new 2004 ZX3 Comfort 5-spd with 16" Pirelli P6 4S.

I would appreciate any comments.

1. Tires are pretty decent for all-seasons (contrary to what I had heard)

2. Car likes to be left foot braked to induce rotation. Would definately like some more rear bar.

3. Suspension is a bit soft, but pretty tossable.

4. Shifter is pretty decent (contrary to what I had heard), fifth is a long reach but is only used for cruising anyway.

5. Power from the 2.0 Zetec is pretty decent from 2000 rpm up (again contrary what I had heard).

6. Engine is slow to drop rpm on upshifts (emissions calibration?)

7. Engine to seems to surge slightly at very light throttle (Normal?)

8. Clutch seems to release awful close to the top of the pedal (Normal?)

9. Standard Disc/Drum Brakes seem fine for moderate use. (They may fall short if you open track).

10. Overall a decent, affordable, fun to drive car for everday commuting chores.


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Old 05-21-2004, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: 2004 ZX3 Initial Impressions.

I have an 04 ZX3 Premium, 5 speed, same tires.

1. I live in south Florida and I love the tires. They are soft and "stick" to the road.

2. Not sure what you mean here.

3. Agree with the suspension. It has a very smooth ride over bumpy roads but can kick in when servere cornering is needed.

4. I find the "lift-for-reverse" is a hassel because of the center arm rest. Other than that, the shifting is smooth.

5. I have a 2.3L and this engine is awesome. It has MORE than enough power - runs smooth but does surge as you mention in #7.

6. The 2.3L seems okay in this respect.

7. I agree - mine does the same.

8. Mine also. I was wondering about that myself. I'd llike to hear from others as well.

9. Agreed.

10. I moved from a Dodge Dakota 4.7L with Dual Exhaust and a real "hyper" engine. I was concerned that moving to a smaller car - specifically a smaller engine would be bad. Other than the obviously smaller space, this car is awesome to drive. Went from Automatic to stick and I couldn't be happier. My last two cars were automatics but I've always had sticks before that. I forgot how much fun they are to drive.

After all is said, I love this car, it's comfortable, economical (compared to my Dakota 11/15mpg), an extermely peppy engine when needed and has a suprisingly smooth ride. Of couese, I think it's the nicest looking car on the road - especially in the Twilight Blue!
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Last edited by Justjimmy; 05-21-2004 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: 2004 ZX3 Initial Impressions.

Quote:
Originally posted by Gene K

2. Car likes to be left foot braked to induce rotation. Would definately like some more rear bar.
Quote:
Originally posted by Justjimmy

2. Not shure what you mean here.
It is a commonly used track / auto-x / performance driving technique.

Car understeers a little to much to be balanced with just throttle. To induce rotation in a corner it likes you to keep the throttle open to offset front brake application and maintain speed while it reduces traction to rear tires. To accomplish this you brake with the left foot while applying throttle with the right.

A larger rear anti-sway bar would allow the car to rotate by just "lifting" the throttle. ie it would make the balance more neutral.
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