2008 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Escape SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Escape

  • A new body and interior may keep the 2008 Ford Escape fresh for a little while longer, but its driving dynamics are stale compared to newer rivals in the small SUV class.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable interior, impressive list of standard safety features.

  • Cons

    Lackluster performance, braking and fuel efficiency compared to rivals, folding down second seat a multistep process.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Ford Escape gets a makeover inside and out. This means new sheet metal that mimics the look of newer and recently redesigned Ford models (such as the Edge and Expedition) and a more attractive and functional cabin. Under the skin, however, the chassis and powertrain are virtually unchanged, meaning this "redesigned" Escape has the same running gear as before.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Do not buy

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I have owned this car since July 2008, I bought it brand new off the lot. It has been the worst car I have ever owned. It has had major problems with the door locks, the back hatch window opening randomly while driving, tie rods, breaks- 4 sets in 4 years, air conditioning, doors not locking then locking me in randomly. Loud noises while driving which supossedly can be fixed with a hot oil flush. I can't wait til it is paid off, I plan to sell it and never buy another ford again. Dealing with Fords incompitant employees is another problem I will not miss. Problem after problem after problem.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Ford xlt

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 2008 Escape used a year ago. Yes it had the faulty transmission pump already replaced. It is definitely not the most comfortable ride on the highway. My butt usually goes numb, but in-city driving is easy. The seat is powered on the driver's side helping me gain some more height (I'm only 5'6 making seeing over the steering wheel difficult in large vehicles). The controls are easy to figure out and are large enough that my monkey fingers can get control. This version does lack the Ford Sync of the newer vehicles but still has an audio jack. In town handling is easy but at higher speeds it is a bit of a challenge but has the stability control to help you out.




2008 ford escape transmission leak

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

Ford has changed and the corporation is focused on $$$$$ and NOT the consumer. Read reviews on the internet- they are EVERYWHERE. I just got screwed by Ford on a recall that they will no longer honor. Called Customer Service and they said to will cost $800.00! READ before you buy. I never would have said this before today, but I'm now looking at a Toyota or Nissan. It's too bad Ford has gone the way and we are forced to buy non-American products. FORD you should be ashamed of what you have turned into.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ford escape issues

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

First and Foremost...the seats are horrible with just water they stain right away..had to buy seat covers because the backseat looked horrible..I had to bring it on on a Recall and sure enough I had nothing wrong with it...within a week the actuator of one of the Door locks was not working and now the Cruise Control is not working and it is not the Fuse because I replaced that..from an insider who I know works for the Service Dept at the same Ford Dealership advised me that when you bring your suv/car in for repair..they do things so that you have to bring it in again...I can not confirm that they deactivated my cruise control and it is now out of warranty..Soo sad they can't be trusted




The biggest nightmare i have

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

This car was a really nice car to drive around, especially having a workplace full of BMWs and Audis. I liked the comfort of the cloth seats and the interior design. One thing I absolutely hated is the reliability. My car is only 2 years old (I bought it in 10/08) and it is the most unreliable thing I ever faced. The car shifts very roughly into gear and the car lurches itself forward. I'm not sure if it's something to do with the gas or with the transmission coolant recall... I absolutely hate that car now. It can't keep the value and if you did get into an accident with this car (airbags deployed) you will not like the fact that it is 10x more of a bumpier ride. I regret getting this car..



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not bad

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

Overall it's not a bad small SUV. The ride is rough as it's on a truck frame and has a small wheel base. The 4 cylinder does OK for a 4cyl. It does need to shift out of over drive climbing up inclines on the highway. The seats are a bit stiff. There is enough room for me as I'm 6 ft. I like the fact that you can open the back window without having to open the hatchback to load small items.



Full 2008 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Ford Escape gets a makeover inside and out. This means new sheet metal that mimics the look of newer and recently redesigned Ford models (such as the Edge and Expedition) and a more attractive and functional cabin. Under the skin, however, the chassis and powertrain are virtually unchanged, meaning this "redesigned" Escape has the same running gear as before.

Introduction

Ever since its introduction seven years ago, the Ford Escape has been a winner for the company and has often ranked as the best-selling compact SUV in America. For 2008, the Escape has received a "top-half" revamping, meaning the exterior and interior got a complete makeover, while the mechanical components remain mostly unchanged.

When it debuted, the Escape was one of those "we got it right the first time" vehicles. Ford's small car-based SUV was roomy for four, fun to drive (thanks to chassis co-development with Mazda) and peppy (thanks to its sprightly V6). In light of this success and its challenged financial situation, Ford evidently hoped that giving the Escape a tougher look and a nicer cabin for 2008 would be enough to keep the entry-level SUV competitive.

With its bolder grill, taller beltline, higher hood and Edge-inspired headlights, the Escape is a handsome little rig. More functional changes were made to the Escape's cabin, including the first use of recycled materials for a vehicle's upholstery, a multifunction display at the top center of the dash and cool blue instrument lighting. To promote a quieter cabin, the Escape features an acoustic laminate within the windshield and new carpeting that's much thicker than before.

Unfortunately, we've found that attractive as the 2008 Ford Escape seems initially, it falls down in a few key areas when compared to more modern rivals. The Escape's available 200-horsepower V6, although generally energetic, has its efforts blunted by an aged four-speed automatic transmission. The end result is a double-whammy of merely adequate acceleration (zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds) and mediocre fuel economy. Almost all its competitors now have five- or even six-speed units that do a better job of keeping their engines on their toes while returning higher fuel mileage. The quicker sport-utes in this class dash to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.

A more serious disappointment concerns the Escape's braking. For some reason, Ford fitted the 2008 Escape with rear drum brakes (it formerly had discs all around) and braking performance suffers. Our testing resulted in a best stop from 60 mph taking 154 feet, a decidedly poor showing for an ABS-equipped vehicle.

Shoppers in the small SUV segment should know that although the Escape has been a favorite of ours for many years, this year's mostly cosmetic changes aren't enough to keep it in this fast-moving game. In short, Ford's compact SUV has been eclipsed by recently revamped and more competent rivals. Though they cost a little more, you'll probably want to take a look at top vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota RAV4 before settling on the 2008 Ford Escape.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Escape is a compact four-door SUV that comes in three trim levels: XLS, XLT and Limited. The XLS comes with air-conditioning, keyless entry, full power accessories, a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. The XLT adds 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, automatic headlights, foglights, a power driver seat, upgraded cloth upholstery and cruise control. The top-of-the-line Escape Limited includes color-keyed grille and side mirrors, leather seating and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Options include a moonroof, an upgraded 320-watt audio system with a subwoofer and a DVD-based navigation system. For the Limited only, you can get a chrome accent package as well as a luxury package, which includes heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and reverse parking sensors.

Powertrains and Performance

All trim levels of the Ford Escape can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. A 2.3-liter inline-4 (153 hp, 152 pound-feet of torque) powers all trims except the Limited, which comes with a 3.0-liter V6 (200 hp and 193 lb-ft). The V6 is optional on the XLT. The 2.3 can be fitted with either a five-speed manual transmission (XLS only) or a four-speed automatic. The V6 comes only with the automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the V6 Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

A V6 Escape isn't exactly slow, but its 10-second 0-60-mph time puts it at the back of the pack, bested by many rivals, a few of which are powered only by four-cylinders. In addition, throttle tip-in can be abrupt, requiring a concerted effort to enact a smooth takeoff. Fuel economy is respectable with the four-cylinder engine (24/29 mpg on manual-equipped models) but below average with the V6.

Safety

Antilock brakes, a tire-pressure monitor, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are all standard on the 2008 Ford Escape. A reverse-sensing parking system is optional on the Limited. Safety scores have not been published as of this writing but we expect them to be similar to those of the '07 model.

Interior Design and Special Features

Impressive fit and finish is evident in the Ford Escape's cabin. A center console box big enough to swallow a laptop also features removable bins that can be attached to the front passenger side and rear of the console. Piano black accents lend an upscale ambience. The front seats are well bolstered and comfortable, but the rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, is flat and devoid of recline or fore/aft adjustments. Folding that seat down is a bit of a chore, too, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be flipped down. Cargo space stands at 29 cubic feet behind the second row and 66 cubes with the second row folded down.

Driving Impressions

A new electric power steering system in the '08 Escape delivers surprisingly good road feel and response. Handling is respectable, with the SUV remaining flat through corners and composed in quick transitions. Sadly, the ride quality is more trucklike than carlike. Although the 2008 Ford Escape's suspension absorbs larger bumps without drama, smaller road imperfections can make the small SUV feel busy.

Talk About The 2008 Escape

Read more about the 2008 Ford Escape

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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