My wife had a 2000 Mercedes SUV...430 something or other. Nothing but problems. Accelerator module,seat problems, sunroof stuck open on vacation, check engine light etc, etc...
One day I said "this is it...we're going to the Ford dealer and trading this piece of junk" We walked into the showroom and I told her to pick any model she wanted...she wanted the Escape for it's size and maneuverability in traffic. Now, please understand that my wife was no Ford fan...she had a 58' which was junk and swore she'd never own another. She is now in love with her Escape. It's reliable, fun to drive and has incredible acceleration with the V6. When we get a new car, I'm taking hers.
Acceleration...better than my Explorer V6
Handling, driver visibility,moonroof convenient controls.
Seat covering material is junk. Supposedly "environmentally friendly recycled plastic...stains easy. Get seat covers or leather.
Transmission cooler leaked...dealer fixed it at no charge and Ford gave my wife an extended warranty for her trouble.