My wife traded her 2005 Focus in for this because we were having a baby and the car seat didn't fit well in the Focus. The car seat fits nicely in the back of the Escape. The Escape seems well designed for a family with a couple of kids. The AWD will be perfect for getting around in winter in Minnesota. The handeling is great. Gas mileage isn't the best in class. It's also missing some high end technology stuff, and side curtain airbags found in the 07 Japanese alternatives. You have to pay more for that stuff though. We test drove a Saturn Vue, and liked the Escape better. he Escape looks better than any other small SUV in my opinion. I am biased toward buying American
Handling and manuverability are great. Lots of room in front an back seats. Solidly built.
What's up with the weird slot under the CD player?