I have treated this SUV with loving care & maintenance. It has all the fun things people want in an SUV, including space & performance. Unfortunately, the transmission died at 46K miles, has had 5 recalls (one involving the seatbelt receptacle!), & the local Ford dealership has been horrendous with service. I don't know who to complain to, but I know I will never buy Ford vehicles again! And the Escape had so much going for it. American automakers seem to give only a 60% effort into making a great car. Their cars come out half-baked! They look great on the outside, but all fragile on the inside.
You can really feel the power of 201hp. I have FIVE cup-holders (you can never have enough). The spedometer has black text on a white background. It doesn't sound great, but see it for yourself. TONS of space. The factory stereo is excellent.
ABS didn't come standard. NEVER make a vehicle that has a cab collapse on a 40mph front impact. A transmission can last the life of the vehicle. Mine lasted for 46K miles. Seatbelt receptacles should never "fail in the event of an accident." 5 recalls is a bit much.
There's not much that I don't like
about my Escape. It has plenty of
power for my (admittedly basic) needs,
while providing an overall smooth and
comfortable ride. It does great in
the snow, hauls butt up Snoqualmie
pass with four adults, boots, gear,
and lunch in back and skis on top. I
love the exterior look, 16 inch wheels
are the best. Beats the snot out of
the Jeep Liberty for way less $$;
smaller than a Cherokee or Explorer
and I like it that way. Has an
annoying creak (not crack) in the rear
window; haven't been able to find the
I like the four wheel drive, though I
don't get to use it often enough! Has
power to burn, even with just a 3.0L
V6. The Mach sound system with
subwoofer is GREAT. Drives smoothly
and handles like a dream. Thinks like
a big SUV but parks like a compact.
I'd like a little nicer overhead
console or in-dash display with
outside temp, miles to empty, compass,
etc. like my Windstar has (wife always
wants to know the outside temp!)
Delivered 11/01, 87000 miles now. It
was a perfect downsize from an
Explorer and the 2xfwd is just fine
for Michigan winters. Have kept up
with recalls. No maintenance problems
other than replacing 1 front
stabilizer bar (it was "thunking" on
bumps. Plan to run it 2-3 more years.
Power!! (V-6), style & looks,
handling. Decent mileage at 75 mph x-
way cruising (22-23).
Better quality ($) interior trim.
Maybe the '04 Limited has it. Really
miss the compass/OAT gauge. A NOAA
weather radio would be neat addition
to the cluster.