2003 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Ford Escape SUV

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Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 201 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Ford Escape

  • A very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful V6 engine, spacious cabin, handsome looks and car-like handling. The 2003 Ford Escape is one of our favorites.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, car-like handling.

  • Cons

    Weak standard four-cylinder engine, small gas tank size limits range.

  • What's New for 2003

    Need more luxury when you Escape? For 2003, Ford will offer a new Limited edition that includes body-color trim, polished aluminum wheels, a reverse sensing system, a Mach audio system with six-disc CD changer, heated front seats and sideview mirrors, premium leather seats, front side airbags and an autodimming rearview mirror. The XLT can also be upgraded this year with an appearance package that includes special wheels, side step bars and body-color exterior trim. For all 2003 Ford Escapes, there are upgraded interior materials and fabrics, an available two-tone cabin color scheme, illuminated power window and lock switches and three new colors. Finally, the XLS 4WD with a four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission is dropped for 2003.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (33 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Crummy for a used vehicle

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Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

When I bought this it was 10 years old so I was not expecting much, but no matter how I look at it I am disappointed. Paint chipping and rusting is a serious issue on the exterior, the suspension is harsh, loudly clunking, and has been a money pit. I understand in buying used vehicles that there are fixes waiting to happen, but I didn't expect the magnitude that came with this thing! It may have been a nice vehicle when it was new but has not stood up to the test of time well. Other vehicles I've driven that gave me less issues than this were an 03' Ram 1500 dually, an 05' Mitsubishi Endeavor, and 07' Hyundai Entourage.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Over 281,000 miles and still

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

This is the best vehicle I had ever owned it now has over 281,000 miles and no major problems with this vehicle at all, the only thing that has gone wrong was the radiator and fuel pump no other problems.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Whats not to love!

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Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I do not see any flaws in this vehicle whats so ever. It gets great gas mileage, very very spacious. Extremely comfrotable leather interior. Engine is strong and tough. Anyone who says this car sucks or is bad is pulling it out of their a$$. I have owned the escape for nearly five years now and it has 197570 miles on it, I have never had to do any repairs except brakes rotors and oil changes with a few services for recalls.




Worst car i've ever had

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I haven't even had this car for a good year its at 90,000 miles and since day one ive had numerous problems with it. I had my winshield washer fluid never work along with my cigarette lighter(s) i dont smoke but i would have liked to put a gps in considering me and my husband travel. everytime i turn on my a/c my rpm shoots up and its start this stuttering thing and even after the a/c is turned off it still stutters. i DO NOT get 18 mpg and when i had bought it i was told i was to get 20 mpg i have to put 50 or more in it EVERY WEEK the interior as well as the exterior is falling apart the fabric on the doors are peeling off on each door and the paint is peeling off outside




I love my escape!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

My escape has 175,000 and has only needed minor maintenance repairs.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

116,000 miles later

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

The driving experience is excellent, the handling, cornering, acceleration and braking are all above average or better. I was aware of several specific shortcomings of the vehicle, and all were solved by add-ons at purchase. For example: Several ford models are known to have transmissions issues at 100,000 miles+. This is solved by purchasing the TOWING package that adds a transmission cooling system & radiator to prevent trans damage. My transmission has never so much as slipped. The soft paint & rust issue is partly solved by a rubberized undercoating and wheel well sheathing. Overall the car is wonderful and would buy it again.



Full 2003 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2003

Need more luxury when you Escape? For 2003, Ford will offer a new Limited edition that includes body-color trim, polished aluminum wheels, a reverse sensing system, a Mach audio system with six-disc CD changer, heated front seats and sideview mirrors, premium leather seats, front side airbags and an autodimming rearview mirror. The XLT can also be upgraded this year with an appearance package that includes special wheels, side step bars and body-color exterior trim. For all 2003 Ford Escapes, there are upgraded interior materials and fabrics, an available two-tone cabin color scheme, illuminated power window and lock switches and three new colors. Finally, the XLS 4WD with a four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission is dropped for 2003.

Talk About The 2003 Escape

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs