by Ann Marie on Sep 10, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this vehicle in 2006 and have loved it but.... at 30,000 the gas pedal kept getting stuck... in the up position so I couldn't step in the gas unless I slammed my foot down. I had it fixed and they told me they replaced the linkage. It was fine after that. 1 year and 2 days later it happened again (2 days past part warranty) and the Ford dealer would not honor that. Low funds makes it hard to fix and Ford will not help. They tell me "its my problem." For a part to go twice really doesn't say much and such an important one.
by April on Mar 12, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I love this SUV. I put high miles on every year, drive 6 miles of dirt roads every day, and I have never had to have this SUV back to the dealer for any major warrenty work. This thing runs like a bear through snow, and is so comfortable to drive. I will be buying another one in a few years, and will be givig this one to my nephew for great college vehicle.
by James on Mar 7, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
My Escape came from the factory with the front end out of alignment and a steering wheel vibration that comes and goes. The front tires were damaged and Ford refused to replace them. They did align the front end but have not been able to cure the vibration. The engine runs well and has good power for a 4 cylinder but often hesitates when cold. The ride and handling are good. It has some wind noise but it is not offensive. I would not recommend buying this vehicle.
by norm on Jan 28, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
I owned a 2005; put 7000 miles on it and decided to buy a new 2006 with less features on it. The ride is great since it is a 4X4. The all around gas mileage is 22 milesto the gallon, which isn't too bad.There are no rattles inside. The power the 4 cylinder puts out is enough to go anywhere. Took in the muddy field with no problem. All around the car is excellent.
by H. Graf on Jan 25, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
My wife and I have owned the 2006 Escape for three months and broke it in on a 1800 trip up to the Pacific Northwest during the holidays. The weather was awful, but it gave us an opportunity to test this vehicle under stress conditions -- hard rain, wind, fog, bad pavement, etc. It responded well with the situation, especially in heavy traffic during storm activity, when other cars unexpectedly stopped or abruptly turned in front of you. The mileage was quite good in such an adverse weather condition -- about as high as 27-28 mpg.
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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