I had this 2008 vehicle as a company car.
I was fortune enough to have no financial association with this vehicle.
I rode it hard, and put it away wet all the time.
I found that this vehicle stood up to my abuse extremely well.
I did have some problems with it.
warranty fixed most of them.
they replaced something that leaked (Can't remember what, sorry) and my acceleration pedal failed on me once around 15,000km.
This was repaired.
the AWD is fantastic.
Can handle aggressive driving very well.
in 2011, I had to get a new work car, and chose to get another escape.
That in itself should indicate how I felt about the model.
I did have an odd transmission clunk occasionally when going into 2nd gear.
I tried to tell the dealer about it, but they could never experience the problem.
(In 2011 - I insisted that it was a problem, I had 180,000km on this car by then and it was a $3000 bill to repair).
The changes to the tailgate and side mirrors in 2011 are very welcome improvements.
The rear seat fold down needs improvement