I love to drive our fun Escape! I love it sooo much! The problem is, it hasnt even reached 150K and it's already causing more problems more than it's worth. Around 70k one of the back door locks broke, and ever since then it's been a downhill of brakes, tires, lights going out, fan belts, you name it. Right now our transmission is going out and I'm very sad. It's parts act like it's well over 200k but it looks almost brand new! I love the smooth ride of this and the quick turns it does. It's a great small SUV. Since this is a first year, I think if you bought a later model you would be better because they probably would have all the kinks out.
Sound is AMAZING, good hatchback trunk area
Higher tilt on the wheel. I'm 6' and it's pretty low.
I bought my fully loaded Escape new in January 2001 and though well maintained I have had nothing but problems since the warranty expired. Repairs: washer fluid sensor, stereo display, master cylinder, cv boots, cruise control, rear hatch lock, air conditioner. Interior trim pieces fall off faster than the mechanic can put them back on. The leather trim on the door panels is peeling off. Air conditioning sprang a leak at 38K miles and is leaking again for the third time. Various problems cause check engine light to come on intermittently. By far the WORST vehicle I have ever owned.
Owned this escape since 2001 when it had 0 miles. It now has 235,000 and is still going. Never had any problems, original engine, transmission, clutch, and everything. New front struts/tie rods and brakes at 190k. Replaced the in-dash stereo, but left the speakers, they sound as good as the Bose speakers in our 2007 yukon denali. Vehicle drives great in all conditions, and still looks like new when it's clean. The Escape has never let me down, and i hope to rely on it for years to come.
4x4, manual transmission, off and on road comfort/handling, gas mileage, overall build quality, comfortable seats, storage space, towing capability
it's a bit plasticky on the inside, needs about an inch more of ground clearance
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.
Really fun to drive. As it gets up in age, it shows that isn't ready for a long-term commitment. Difficulty keeping exterior free of rust. Nearly failed state inspection for it. Had it repaired 12/09, by 2/10 it shows signs of returning. Auto transmission isn't shot, but occasionally is prone to strange outbursts or improper shifting. Has been having brake issues... as it stands, I just went out to drive it and the brakes are non-existent and the "Brake" light is on. Master cylinder? Brake line (had one replaced in 7/09)? Time to call the mechanic -- just had a ball joint replaced 3 days ago. 158K on the odometer.
I've gotten compliments on the roominess of the backseat. From regular passengers, of course. Up until 4000 miles ago, I didn't have to put ANY money into it having owned it for 3 years at that point. Although since last summer, I have spent about $1000 in repairs.
Rust issue improved in later models with increased protection in the wheel wells. Door and trunk handles dislike opening. The car kind of acts like a poorly constructed prototype these days, so perhaps better quality parts would have been good.