2003 Ford Escape XLT Popular Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I bought my Escape new, but unfortunately I didn't buy the extended warranty. Even thought it was well maintained, at 54,000 miles the transmission failed. I had it towed to a Ford dealer, and then had to get a rental car to get home, since I was out of town. It cost me over $3000 to get the transmission replaced, plus rental car expenses, with no help from Ford customer service. I can't recommend this car for reliability, since I've since heard of others with similar problems.
Great looks, great cargo room.
Please get the squeaky steering wheel and the transmission problems fixed.