This is my first new car and so far I love it, it's so smooth and so easy to drive it's unreal; after all it is an SUV. I've tested many small utes Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. - it's the best of the bunch - not quite as many features as the Tucson but the Escape is quick and zippy and gets just as good gas mileage as the rest. The inside is simple; could be better but works for me. The only weird thing so far is when turning it turns great in big turns but in really shallow turns it's kind of hard on your wrist.
GAS mileage thus far - it's like 22/25 not bad at all, very peppy 4 banger, very simple and easy to use gauges. ride quality very nice.
Make the steering a bit better. My wrist hurts after shallow turns and make the rear view mirrors a bit bigger and the arm rest...and also a better bumper to bumper warranty; more like 6 years 75000 miles, might have more people buy a Ford.