2006 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Ford Escape SUV

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Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 153 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Ford Escape

  • Still one of our favorites in the category, the 2006 Ford Escape is a very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful V6, spacious cabin and carlike handling.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful V6, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, carlike handling, optional side curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Four-cylinder models feel unrefined at high rpm, so-so interior materials quality.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Ford Escape continues into 2006 with only minor trim and color changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Happy overall but beware of

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this Escape from Carmax in 2008 with only 38k miles. I was aware that it preciously had been part of a rental fleet. The 4-cylinder is a little noisy but was so much better than my previous 2001 Honda CRV. The looks and toughness of this SUV is GREAT. My minor gripes are that the accelerator pedal gets 'sticky" during cold weather here in Texas and that occasionally the A/C fan makes a shrieking noise that sounds like something is stuck in there. This noise happens mainly in cold weather too. Finally, at 67k miles my transmission had to be replaced. Luckily I had a good extended warranty. I attribute it due to previously being an abused rental vehicle. I have 76 k on it now.

Love my car

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I practically live in my car, driving it over country roads through rotten weather part of the year. It has never let me down once. I have 93,000 miles on it and really need to trade it in. But I could be getting a lemon for a real peach of a car. Thanks, Ford. Old Henry would be proud!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my 2006 ford

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I've really enjoyed it since buying it in 9/09. It's easy to drive, excellent visibility (don't need to sit on something to see where you're going), and has been pretty reliable. I also like that it has flat surfaces on the dash, on the console, and on the rear bumper, where I can set my coffee when I'm loading and unloading (along with a drink holder, of course)! That makes it very convenient. Also, I've noticed the fuel economy is a lot better when I use a higher octane gas. Overall, I really like my Escape!

Serious value, hard to beat

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

Bought new 7/06, 0% financing on $20K. Get 25mpg with the 4, sit up high for safety, park in compact spaces, room for all kinds of toys and junk. Have slept in it more than once. Dependable and faultless performance. No, it's not for towing big boats or taking turns at 50. I have had it over 100 in the desert and it holds steady. I have owned 50 cars and this is in the top 5. Used car buyers - ALWAYS check for body and frame damage, NEVER buy a car that has been wrecked, they WILL NOT run right ever again, trust me.

Excellent suv

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

This car is a dream come true. No problems at all. I just changed out the front disk brakes at 60,000 miles, although still they had plenty of miles left. I expect the Continetal tires to reach 75,000 miles. Engine runs like a champ. 5w20 synthetic all year round. Great acceleration on a 4 cyl. I think that ford could design a quite engine technology, that would be nice. The car gets awesome gas mileage, way above the EPA estimated 21 city / 26 hwy. Nice stereo system, Audiophile 300 w/ 10" sub in rear, all stock. I will purchase my next car from FORD Motor Company.

Escape fits budget and a

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

Ford Escape LTD is a great choice for several needs - 2 students to share, airport luggage, groceries, running quick errands, weekend trips plus toting the wet Labrador from the lake as well as all around town. Best feature is a percieved value for the low price range. It's our third Ford SUV since 1991, rounds out our family fleet as the low priced "basic transportation" complement to our Explorer Limited & Volvo V70 XC - Ford folks have managed to meet our total driving lifestyle needs for our family of four.

Full 2006 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2006

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.

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.

Driving Impressions

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.

Talk About The 2006 Escape

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs