by sara43 on Aug 12, 2013 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
The Escape was not exactly what I thought I wanted in 2006 but it's what I could afford, and as it turned out it was and still exactly what I needed. 8 years and 142,000 miles later the only repair I have had to make outside of regular maintanance was replace a sticky brake caliper, most likely a manufacturing defect. Furthermore, I bought a front wheel drive as we lived in VA, not knowing we would be moving to the heart of the Rockies in CO. With good tires and smart driving, this car has handled incredibly adverse snow conditions. My only complaint is that the seat is sooo uncomfortable. I am not big, 5'6", 130 lbs, but just NO leg support in this short seat.
by mjs on May 29, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
Bought used with 40k on the clock and have put 30k trouble free miles on it so far. Get 25 mpg in every day driving with the 4 cyl. I owned an '03 6 cyl and could only manage 19 mpg. Tires do not wear well and get very noisy. Rotate them often! Seat fabric is awful and stains easily. But it drives nice and is very versatile.
by ford hater now on Dec 26, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
had one... had a wreck the air bags did NOT work . tires have to be replaced too often. it flipped so easy. when we wrecked it took only 3 people to flip it back over and one was a woman one was a teenage boy. this is not a safe vehicle at all
by Ron on Oct 19, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
The Escape has been a great vehicle but I do agree that the tire noise can be terrible. We just put on a new set of tires and had an alignment done and there is a 96% reduction in noise. Original tire lasted 50,000 miles the new ones were only $106.00 plus mounting. We should have been having the alignment done on a regular basis that would have cut down on the noise and stopped the tires from wearing wrong.
by Tony Cross on Oct 25, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I just bought this SUV and I love it better than my 08 Suzuki Forenza I had. The Forenza was totaled in an accident. So far this SUV is getting the same gas mileage I had in my Forenza. I love the fact that I have the basic model and it doesn't look to plain. The ride is smoother than my Forenza and comfort is way better than my Forenza.
by ItsJustMe on Dec 11, 2007 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I thought I got a great deal, no such luck. Problems with cruise control and the gas pedal sticking, gas tank and fuel shut off, gas wouldn't always ready full until I drove 40 miles, burns oil - bad - at not even 40,000 miles, seals in the windows and doors are poor - lots of wind sounds. Finally, there was a horrible vibration sound coming out of fan/windshield area. Had it to 3 dealerships and nobody could fix it. Got worse with wind direction (sounds like something was stuck). Replaced blower motor and nothing changed. Horrible purchase overall. Its one thing after another. I know many people who love theirs, but please research and test drive until your blue in the face!!
The Ford Escape continues into 2006 with only minor trim and color changes.
Ford introduced the Escape in 2001 to capture buyers in the rapidly growing small SUV segment. It quickly became a best-seller thanks to a desirable combination of size, power and ruggedly handsome styling. First-year Escapes suffered numerous recalls, but recent models seem to have the bugs worked out. Mazda also sells a version of this vehicle. Called the Tribute, it shares the Escape's basic structure, platform and powertrains. A more luxurious version is also available from Mercury, dubbed the Mariner.
Appealing to a wide range of buyers, the 2006 Ford Escape (and Tribute/Mariner) is intended for those who want the styling and all-wheel-drive capability of a traditional SUV combined with the size, price, practicality and driving characteristics of a midsize car. The Escape is more suited to on-road driving than off-roading, due to its light-duty AWD system and unibody construction, and isn't as rugged as some other compact SUVs like the Nissan Xterra and Jeep Liberty. Its main competitors include vehicles like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Saturn Vue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
For 2005, Ford made the Escape a more attainable proposition for budget-conscious buyers by slotting in a 153-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder as the base engine choice. The Escape also received a new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system last year that Ford says provides smoother and more efficient operation. To allay concerns about side-impact safety in small SUVs, full-length side curtain airbags (Ford's Safety Canopy system) are optional. A bland interior has always been one of the Escape's shortcomings, but the 2005 model brightened things up a bit with a fresh set of white-faced gauges and a console-mounted gear selector. Although long-term reliability is not likely to be as good as that of its Japanese competitors, the 2006 Ford Escape is still one of the best compact SUVs available. Consumers shopping in this segment would be wise to take one for a test-drive.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2006 Ford Escape is available in one four-door body style with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Four trim levels are offered: XLS, XLT, XLT Sport and Limited. XLS versions start you out with basic amenities like air conditioning, a CD player and power windows, mirrors and locks. XLT models add 16-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, cruise control and an in-dash CD changer. The XLT Sport versions have two-tone exterior paint, black step bars and machined aluminum wheels. The high-line Limited comes with body-color exterior trim, leather upholstery, automatic headlamps and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Powertrains and Performance
Standard on the Escape XLS is a 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine that makes 153 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque. It is matched to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. There's also the more potent 3.0-liter V6, which makes 200 hp and 193 lb-ft of torque. It is standard on XLT, XLT Sport and Limited models, and comes with an automatic transmission only. With this setup, the Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
ABS is standard on all Escapes, and V6 models have four-wheel disc brakes. The optional Safety Package includes front side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. A reverse-sensing system is optional on the Limited. The 2006 Ford Escape has done well in government crash testing, earning a perfect five stars for the driver in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact crash tests, it received five stars for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Less impressive is the Escape's "Acceptable" rating (the second highest) in frontal offset crash test conducted by the IIHS. When equipped with side airbags, the Escape merits a "Good" rating (the highest) from the IIHS for side-impact protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Escape has never been known for its exciting interior, but most buyers will find the layout functional and user-friendly. The front seats can accommodate adults of all sizes, while the backseat is comfortable for kids and passable for adults. There is 33 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and you can fold them down to open up 65 cubic feet of capacity, a good figure for this class.
Fun to drive, the 2006 Ford Escape offers impressive road manners for a compact SUV. It drives much like a tautly suspended sedan, with little body roll and responsive steering. The V6 is quite powerful, providing swift acceleration, but fuel economy is mediocre. The four-cylinder is not as smooth or potent, but its decent acceleration and better mileage make it a good option for budget-minded buyers.
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