After a week and a half I'm very impressed. If Mazda had had the right colors I would have had a Tribute because I really enjoyed my 05 Lapis Lasuli blue one - but a tree fell on it while I was driving. So the Escape's exterior color and other features were attractive. It has more room than some compact SUVs. The 5 speed manual really makes it perk up performance wise and I think the combination of 4cyl and manual will save me a little gas money. I just feel more in control of the car with manual. I'm waiting to see if the standard tires Continental Crosstrac wear out as fast as they did on my Tribute - 30,000 miles even with servicing.
Color - vista blue metallic steering wheel position is very comfortable flip over rear cargo mat - rubber on the back. Roomy storage compartment between front seats
Make the automatic headlight shutoff standard on all models. Make privacy windows standard on all models. Make full size spare tire standard on all models Fuel cap cover should have a release in the vehicle