Right now I have 202,000 miles on my 2001 Escape. I bought it used a year ago. It is a 4 cylinder stick shift. Fuel mileage is pretty good, ride and handling are good, and reliability is great. Plenty of interior room and comfortable. Handles well in snow and driving around the farm. I bought it as a work vehicle and it has been great. The engine is what I like best. This is the first stick shift I have owned and learning has been very easy. The engine has plenty of power, to my surprise it can actually burn rubber quite easily! The only times I have had trouble in the snow are when it needed new tires and when I try to start up too hard the front tires spin, but it's fun.
Love the Escape. I will buy another one if this one gives out. I have had very little trouble. Take care of it and it will last. My only complant; can be tricky to work on. Have to remove air intake to replace spark plugs. Have to remove exhaust to replace oil pan gasket. Drive belt hard to get to with the side engine.
Rides very good, roomey, looks great, holds all the things I need to transport.
Put a light on the ignition slot. Hard to see at night to put the key in.
I like the escape well designed easy to see good size good mpg. It is definitely noisy. My main complaint is numerous $300-$500 problems. The antitheft starter went out $500 plus took forever to figure it out, it would crank but not start then battery would die. Lock broke $300 and forever. Valves broke $600. A/c out $900 so definitely getting into repairs.
Very nice to drive.
Reliablity I don't have these problems with honda or Toyota.
My Escape has been very reliable. With over 120000 miles, it's also had its challenges. It's thrown two belt pulleys, and three belts. It goes everywhere and starts all the time. Have the xls, 5-speed. Mileage is not that great, 22-23. Last year, replaced the clutch, let my son learn to drive it, and shocks.
Design, comfort, roominess, reliability. Just goes and goes. Maintenance is pretty easy.
Have the cloth interior, very cheaply built. The driver seat is cracking on the vinyl trim, the cloth is still great.