We purchased this Escape wanting enough room for 4 adults, cargo room and good gas mileage. Bingo! Our Escape seems to be stuck at 27 + miles to a gallon! even with more than half city driving. We packed it full to travel to an out of state wedding , left one side of the rear seat up for our grandson and had room to spare. Its great fun to drive, responsive and handles well. In fairness there is a whistling noise ( maybe roof racks) when traveling on the freeway, and the running boards are not only useless but an actual pain since you cant use them to get in- you have to crawl over them muddying your jeans as you straddle them.
Handling , fuel economy, and cargo room
Less road noise in rear end, Running boards that are useful, and eliminate the wind noise from the roof racks