Bought new Apr 05, this is my wife's daily driver. It has 70k miles, and runs like new again after repairing damage to the front susp (wheel bearings and sway bar links) caused by the harsh upstate WNY roads at 58k. I was disappointed that the Uni joints failed shortly afterwards (61k), along w/ the rear wiper (63k), and ABS sensors and rear shocks (67k) - $$$! But it's great in the snow, and gets pretty good gas mileage w/ the 2.3L 4 cyl 5-spd manual. Replaced the orig General tires w/ Goodyear Fortera SilentArmors at 41k, though I probably could have gotten 4k-10k more out of the Generals (which weren't anywhere near as bad/noisy as the reviewers claim the Continental Contitracs are)
5-spd manual tranny, exterior styling & color (vivid blue), smooth ride for a small SUV, roomy interior for 4, v. good gas mileage (avg 22 MPG highway+city).
Replace the low-budget cloth material for the seats on the XLS that get stained by everything - the selling dealer admitted the fabric was a problem on the XLS! Could use a more powerful 4-banger - I wish you could buy a new Escape AWD w/a 5-spd. I don't care much for the fnt/rear wiper controls.
As of October 2009, my wife has 153,000 miles on her 2005 Escape. She loves the vehicle and I appreciate its relatively low cost of ownership. Only repair that we have had has been two door latches replaced - not sure why they are plastic.
AWD Ride height Performance Good gas mileage for AWD 22-26 mpg Ease of owner oil changes (Mobil One)
Better door latches Revland Alignment in Wanamingo, MN told us about alignment issues, so when we purchased new set of tires, we had them install and align. The Escape is quieter and handles better then new. Ford dealer's prior alignments had not resolved issues.
Although almost everything on my Escape Hybrid is great I have had problems with the sun visors since I bought it. On the driver's side, where I need it the most, it has come loose and had to be replaced about once every two years! As it is no longer under warranty it is about $100 to do this, which is in itself outrageous. Although I like the vehicle, if Ford can not fix this I will be looking into a different vehicle. I refuse to pay this for a problem that has been identified by many and not fixed.
2005 Ford Escape Limited AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
We have had this SUV for two years, buying at the 24,000 mile mark and now at 42,000 miles. We have not had any unexpected problems except one: the rear tailgate started to rust. The dealer fixed that. Replaced front discs at 40K and the Conti's at 40K. Otherwise no problems to report. It's surefooted in MI winters. On extended Highway driving it got almost 24 MPG, but in extended stop and go it's getting about 16 MPG.
The leather seats were comfortable enough for me to spend 18 hours in them for a single day, 800 mile driving marathon.
Better gas mileage. Better rustproofing on the rear tailgate.