Happy Overall but beware of possible tranny problems
By bayport24 on
2006 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
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.
Looks, ergonomics and good use of plastics in the interior. Outer bumpers, rims and grill all Ford tough.
Continental tires were too noisy. Replaced them with Yokohama Geolanders and they were much better. Monitor for any possible recurrent transmission problems. I think my tranny was just abused by renters in my SUV's prior life. My 4-cylinder only gets 21 MPG, but then again I added a trailer hitch for using a bike rack only - no towing done whatsoever. Prior to the hitch I got 23-24 MPG. Solid vehicle that, to me, Ford got it right. Would buy again but with a manual transmission (wife will have to learn how to use it)