This vehicle does all we want it to. Also have a 4WD 2003 Escape w/no problems. These vehicles are the most practicle,easy-to-drive,comfortable on the road. I drove all kinds of SUV's and pickups over a 35 year career as a mine inspector in the central Mt's. of PA (the last being a 2001 Escape). 45,000 miles of mud,dust,water and with regular maintenance no problems.Sure,it wouldn't go some of the places a Jeep could( didn't have the ground clearance)but I was impressed enough to replace two personal cars- a Durango and a Cherokee with the Escapes and have never been sorry.
Seating position, easy to drive,visibility, cargo area, styling, 24MPG, size is just right.
OEM Contitrac tires pick up stones,gravel,screws,nails.