I bought this SUV last winter with 100k miles on it. Took it to my mechanic to get all the filters, fluids changed, who found rust holes in rear passenger inner wheelwell that compromised the strut and safety of vehicle. Fixed that, and took all the plastic cladding off exposing more rust than I've ever seen. Driven 20k miles and no real mechanical problems except the exhaust needs replaced. Very simple interior compared to new vehicles. AWD system is excellent. I get 20mpg. 3.0 engine may have been powerful 10 years ago, but its relatively slow compared to today's SUV standards. These are great deals if you are looking for an AWD vehicle.
I like the box styling and simple interior layout. The leather interior cleans up nicely. It drives like a car but you feel like you're in a truck. The AWD is automatic and gave me no problems driving through several snowstorms. Its pretty compact and easy to park. Mechanics are familiar with them so repairs are cheaper compared to other makes.
Address the rust issues. Its everywhere on these vehicles. If you ignore the rust, you will have huge problems. The rear seats are a pain to fold down and back up. If I was buying a used Escape again I would avoid 2005 models because of the known wheel well defect. If its not fixed early, it can be a very expensive fix.
We bought a 2005 Ford Escape off of craigslist knowing full well that it came with rust issues. At the time we bought it, the rust looked to be only cosmetic. But about after about 10 months, the rear right wheel well began to rust through and then rust away. Some of inner portion of the wheel well was gone and you could see the material used to line the inside of the vehicle. As a result, the rear right shock was barely hanging on and every time you hit a bump just right, there was a very loud popping sound coming from the area. Quotes to fix it were between $700 and $1600.
Previous owners installed a DVD player, but it kinda messed up the electrical system and the lights the were supposed to light up when the headlights were turned on, no longer did.
Rust was an issue, so I suggest a material/treatment that can with stand tough Wisconsin winters and salted roads.
I've owned my 05 XLT AWD for 5 years now and only ever had problems with coil packs going bad. I think it's a great little SUV that has just enough room for my family plus the dog and any luggage we need.
Seats stain somewhat easily but overall quality I give it a 9 out of 10. There are some design flaws like the rear seat headrests that cause terrible blind spots. but other than that, nothing major. Its small enough to whip into parking spaces and maneuver yet big enough that everyone is seated comfortably up front and room in the back.
My favorite - gas mileage. no one believes me but I get 23-24 MPG on a regular basis. Roughly
320 Miles to a tank. can't complain
Road noise is quite loud.
suspension is a little rough.. you feel everything.
Worst purchase I have ever made in my life. Have had nothing but MAJOR problems with this car. it's always one thing after another. I have owned this car for less than 5 years. After my spark plugs and coils went then it was the transmission. After that it was the catalytic converter, and after that the ABS. The final straw came last night when I was driving home from work and the alternator had apparently gone out. now I'm driving 70 on the highway when all power goes out, my power steering seized up and I have to fight for my life to get this junk of crap off the road without killing anyone. Never buying a ford again. Complete and total POS.
Don't make such a POS and sell it for the price of a decent vehicle.
I recently switched from a 2003 Explorer to the 05 Escape and although I really loved and miss the Explorer, I think the Escape is great. The only thing that really pisses me off every time is when the gas hose shuts off. I should be able to start the gas and walk away. I live in Wisconsin. It's cold. Come on! Other than that I love it :)
The towing kit I put on it.
Make it come with a towing kit. I have a boat and camper.