by John on Dec 27, 2007 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
DO NOT BUY! Since 15000 miles, we have had numerous SERIOUS issues with this car. Two of the faults almost caused fatal accidents! It has been in the repair shop 16 times total - 5 times for brake issues. MOST DANGEROUS - the vehicle will just shut off without warning. This has occured 4 seperate times, but Ford is unwilling to do anything about it because they cannot localize the problem! In addition, it has been in the repair shop for driver's side window (2 times) and a inoperative driver seat heater (2 times). Ford thinks it is okay that my family drive the vehicle and refuses to stand behind their name and product. The reliability of this car is suspect. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!
by bowmanspartan on Dec 12, 2007 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
Having just moved to Michigan from the South, I needed to replace my real- wheel drive Ford Ranger for something a little safer in the MI winter. I bought a used '06 Escape, and I am in love with it! Black on black, fully loaded (everything but a moonroof), leather interior, 200-hp V-6 and a god 4WD system. Tons of room for my football gear as well as my pals - I'm loving this!
by Cris on Jan 5, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
We bought our 2006 Limited Escape about a month ago. It handles great and I experience no problems driving on snow and ice - a lot different than the little car I had! It is very responsive and has all the luxury we wanted. We took it on holidays and put 2500 kms on it with no troubles. If you are looking for a small SUV that is comfortable to drive (and an easy transition from a small vehicle) this is the one. I definitely appreciate the safe feeling I have when driving it!
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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