I got a job where I needed to carry stuff for work and I also needed to haul our small family around in the winter. The ford escape seemed like a perfect fit. It drove well enough, but the 4 cylinder is just plain lethargic. At low gears it's all right, but in second and third, well, you had better not be making emergency maneuvers. The arm rests are hard and unforgiving. I didn't like the position of the seats relative to the floor. The 4WD, however, was FANTASTIC! I could drive like a complete idiot on snow and ice, and it didn't matter. Ford AWD is much better than the AWD that I had in the Saturn Vue I bought after owning this. My advice: get the nicer trim level with the 6 cyl and 4wd.
Sound system is pretty poor on the base model. Mileage was disappointing with the 4cyl. Why bother with it?
I bought my escape in October of 04 with 13,000 miles on it. Thus far only one major repair which was the ignition module around 40,000 miles. Other than that just normal wear and tear (water pump, serpentine belt etc). Overall very pleased with the performance and reliability. Just hit the 110,000 mile mark.
Leather interior, power seats, windows and roof.
Gas mileage is horrible. I'm lucky if I get 15 miles to the gallon. "AWD all the time".
For the first five years car has been great. Not happy with interior. Upholstery wearing out much to soon. What really steams me is that at 38000 miles the plugs, coils and power module have just gone out. With this mileage I can't believe it. I have been a loyal Ford BUT!
My wife drives it more than I. But when I do I like th turning radius and the ease when it comes to parking.
Wanting something other than my old F150 for better gas mileage, and wanting 4WD, I had looked at a Toyota RAV4, Subaru Outback, and the Escape. Feature for feature, the Escape had the others beat. What sealed the deal was the price. The gas mileage with the Escape, equipped this way, is one of the very few vehicles which gets BETTER gas mileage than the EPA estimates. The ride is firm, controlled, and quiet (even at interstate speeds). The interior appointments give me more features than I will ever use. Strong air conditioner, great 4WD system, and more than ample power even with the 4 cylinder. The choice was obvious.