3.0 V6 XLT. Bought it new with leather and towing pkg. Has 3500 lbs towing capacity which was best in class then. Still getting 20 mpg city and 25-27 mpg hwy. Great suv even by today's standards. Heard some horror stories with the transmissions on this vehicles; I serviced my transmission every 50k no problem!
My parents gave me this vehicle for free when they got a new lincoln mxX, ive had zero issues with it other than A/C and a rear door lock, other than that no engine troubles whatsoever they're was an accident with someone standing still and me hitting them 10-15 mph and the bumper bar saved the radiator, otherwise zero damage other than bumper cover, this car is 11-12 years old of constant transportation whether its a 2 hour trip or to work everyday, i love this car and am gonna use it till it rots.
My Escape has run like a dream since day one. I live on 3 miles of dirt road and use the 4 wheel drive several times per year. I've never gotten stuck. The engine runs smoothly and it really is fun to drive. Road noise is a little much, and seats are hard as well. I'm gonna keep it til it dies, so far so good.
The Ford Escape is a great car for getting around town its not great for going over 50 miles in one way. Maybe if your under 6 foot tall this car would be more comfortable, but for me, its not. Seat are kind of hard and don't provide much support. The front wheel drive makes it hard to handle. And its a bitch to control on windy days. The body is too narrow in comparison with its height.
The engine is good. A bit slow for my taste and not the most fuel efficient V6 either. It never falls to start even on days well below zero. Last winter it was -10 with a wind chill of -30 one day and on that day I cranked the engine about a second longer than I normally do. The car maneuvers well in tight areas and can parallel park easily.
Needs more interior space. Vehicle should be wider or sit lower to the ground. On windy days, the car gets hooked by the wind easily. Make the car rear wheel drive. The front drive makes steering [non-permissible content removed] on windy and rainy days. Headlights are positioned too low. I outdrive my headlights. They need to be higher. I would love a V8 options or maybe a diesel 4 or 6 cylinder. Needs a larger gas tank. My Escape gets about 22mpg on the highway and a 15 gallon tank doesn't make me feel too good about taking a long drive.