2008 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Escape SUV

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Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Dangerous

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

On May 24, 2013 while driving in the middle of a memorial day weekend rush hour traffic the lights came on in the dashboard and the suv, was not accelerating and just shut down , while trying to coast to the side of expressway this was impossible, I had to restart the truck. Once the suv restarted a short distance later it shut down again forcing me off the expressway. Once I made it home I called the dealership who told me to contact ford and file a complaint. My truck is a 2008 ford escape. After this email I will contact the BBB , this is dangerous to myself and others in traffic. This is a law suite waiting to happen.




Stop safely now

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I have been driving my parents 2008 ford escape hybrid for the past 6 months twice i have had the problem where a lights comes on and on the dashboard it says to stop safely now and the engine huts off and i have to coast to the side of the road and turn the car on and off again it is really scary and not safe when that happens




First and last ford

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

This was my first in last Ford. In the three years that I have had this SUV, the air vent fell off, the front window squeaks when let down (it was supposedly fixed), had 3 new batteries, a transmission cooler, and now my transmission has gone bad. I'm sorry but all this should NOT happen within 3 years of owning a new car. I'm going back to Toyota!




It stinks!

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

We are new customers to ford vehicles and will never again purchase another! Ever!!! Every time we get this vehicle on the road we have to wear masks over our faces. The catalytic converter (we are told by the dealership) has a problem that we/they are unable to alter. Everytime this vehicle accelerates the smell insde the vehicle almost makes you dizzy. It smells like cooked S_it! The season does not diminish the degree of smell except that winter seems to augment it when we are driving on snow covered roads. Apparently no one lese has this trouble!If you have encountered this problem, please drop us a line and let us know how it was rectified if it was even rectified. Sad and Sorry Owners




2008 ford escape transmission

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Pitiful. Transmission failing at 34k Miles. Thankfully, just barely still under warranty. Type "2008 Ford Escape Transmission" on the internet and see the complaints. Never again...will trade in for Honda or Toyota. Driver seat power-drive also failed, as did one of the back power-windows (around 15k miles). Pitiful.




Escape after 2 years.

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Purchased in April 07, 3.0L Limited model with all options except Nav package. An exhaust manifold stud broke off in early 09, very lucky to find it on the garage floor! No mechanical problems with it so far at 38k. Brakes and tires will be replaced soon. I did buy an extended warranty for this vehicle, since my faith in Ford was not that good. They probably will never be able to match Honda, Toyota reliability/quality. Too bad. Interior quality like most US brands is poor, leather is paper thin and painted surfaces are not durable at all. Replaced battery with an Optima for security since my wife drives this car. If the powertrain lasts until 125k I will be very happy....



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

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs