I bought this a month after buying a BMW 330i, thinking Id drive the Ford in the winter and on the beach near my parents home in MD. A year later, my wife dumper her unreliable VW and absconded with my Escape. She loves it. The reliability difference between the BMW and Ford is stark. The Ford, with 115k miles has required only one repair. We recently replaced the stabilizer bar links (2 at $12/each + $40 for labor). All other maintenance has been routine or wear- related (oil changes, fluid flushes, brakes, etc). We love the reliability. It handles extremely well in snow, and light off- road conditions. Most maintenance is relatively inexpensive.
Reliability, handling, and value. I believe this to be the best SUV for the price. The only SUV that I enjoy driving more is the Range Rover (the Toyota Highlander is a close second). We replaced the OEM tires with Goodyear Fortera Silent Armors; the car handles far better and drives quietly.
Interior finish is cheap and unattractive. Gas mileage is mediocre for such a light truck (we see about 17 city/23 highway, we got slightly better before the 10% alcohol mixes were mandated here). The Escape is not capable of handling challenging off-roading (reserved for Jeeps and Land Rovers).
Always impressed with handling, acceleration,and visibility. Drove on road and off road for five years never had a problem. Of course seldom "beat" the little bugger, and maintained as prescribed. Not as tough as a Jeep,and a little shy in the ground clearance dept. but all around a great little SUV.
The Escape Rocks! I purchased it new the first year it came out. My reason purchasing the Escape was for the ease of placing my windsurfing boards and equipment on top. I have taken this SUV on many of windsurfing trips with a lot of gear inside and on the top. I have had only slight issues with the Escape. Clutch master went out on a road trip to New Orleans. Went to the auto parts store and fixed it myself. Steel trending came off of the rear tire and broke of some of the trim. Problem was the tire not the Escape. I have now retired to Panama and have taken my Escape with me. We have great roads down here but the gas is a little high down here, the highway mileage is great
Dependable with a 100500 miles. Holds up well in saltwater environments. Drives like a car, not a truck. Lots of rear storage room. Gets good gas mileage for an SUV. Good sound system. Very good A/C system. Wide body which is very stable for mountain and hill driving. Very powerful engine.
Just make the plastic trim a little stronger. Real world roof racks would be nice.
Overall pretty happy with our V6 XLT 4x4 at 83,350 now. Handled tough Colorado 4x4 trails well even without low range (as well as slippery roads). Only a few problems: idle air control valve and blower motor died. ~22 mpg HWY, ~18 city.
Good looks, 4x4 option if I need it, good size vs mpg fit
Plastic exterior trim is textured and tough to get wax out of, little less driver lumbar support (even at minimum setting), perforated leather for better breathability in summer
I love the way this car looks and the way it drives. The problem I have it that it's falling apart, literally. I've replaced 2 stereos, 4 sensors, 1 sunroof motor and still need work done. The leather is peeling off 3 of 4 doors, my sunroof now has a leak, the motor is dying on the sunroof again, the front passenger door doesn't open from the outside and the tailgate only opens when it feels like it. Very frustrating when I've got a load of groceries and the tailgate won't open.
Comfy and plenty of room
There is no ventilation in the back seat. The a/c could use a little more oomph and a couple of vents in the back would be good. My daughter complains regularly about it being hot back there.