Buy A Later Model If You Can...
By TheBraveOutside on
2001 Ford Escape XLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
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.