2005 Ford Escape XLT Sport Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I bought this car after a lot of research on Subaru Forrester, RAV4, Honda CRV and the Escape. I did some test drives, and the Forrester was the fastest and funnest, but a little small, and my buying decision came right after a bad experience with a Subaru dealership. The RAV4 seat was unbearable in the "fold down, kicking back" position, and sitting on the back with the hatch up was designed OUT of the model years I was looking at. I didn't like the way the RAV4 looked driving down the road from behind, as the rear suspension didn't inspire much confidence. I LOVE my Escape, and it's styling. The gas mileage was a little disappointing at 20.
MACH stereo is really good; fold flat rear seats are great, and the V6 has more than enough power. Seems faster than the later (heavier?) models with the 240hp.
They've taken care of the two biggest complaints, which were the transmission and the Gas fill triggering some pumps to shut off prematurely.