I have been driving a Chevy Silverado 4x4 wit 6 inch lift and 36 inch mud tires that averaged 9-11 mpg on the highway. after years of that I decided to buy an Escape XLS and have been 100% satisfied with it. The 4 cylinder with the five speed manual tranny actually as decent acceleration and its fuel mileage is amazing. Everything about the macine is easy to use and functions very well.
Easy and user friendly controls, flawless five speed manual transmission, very nice sound system, handles like a car.
The stock tires aren't that great. I changed mine out wit a set of all seasons.