2009 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Escape SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

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 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 171 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Ford Escape

  • With upgrades to its engine and suspension, the 2009 Ford Escape would get our full endorsement were it not for mediocre braking performance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable interior, peppy performance, Sync voice-control system, impressive safety scores.

  • Cons

    Lackluster braking compared to rivals, folding down second seat needlessly complex.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Ford Escape receives under-the-skin changes that complement last year's cosmetic makeover. There's more power underhood and a tweaked suspension for improved handling and ride dynamics. Ford has also added its Sync MP3 player and cell phone interface.

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Looks great and very reliable!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

My 09 Escape has far exceeded what I expected. Unlike the review, this is a very reliable SUV, no problems at all through 50K+ miles, good pickup when I need it, average 22 to 23 MPG, (actually tracked via receipts) despite pulling a trailer quite often. Had a front and rear end wreck, not my fault, the car behind was totalled, the truck in front was damaged, my Escape got new bumpers and lights and some body work! It's quiet inside, unlike my just traded in Honda Pilot. Engine has a perfect sound when you floor it otherwise, it has a understated gentle purr that I like. The 2nd. row is much easier to fold down than Edmunds would have you believe, and, it's made in K.C., MO, USA!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

One year later

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I have now had my 09 Escape for one full year. I am happy to report that I very pleased with it. It has been very reliable and fun to drive. I have spent two months in the mountains with it and have found it to be one tough vehicle. I have to do some trail riding in the mountains and the traction control on the car has taken me to places that I could not have gone without it. I am surprised that some of the recent reviews have given this SUV such a low rating. I love this car. Before this purchase I had only bought cars from Japan. I wanted to spend my dollars in the US. I gave Ford a try and am glad that I did. Do not be afraid to buy this car. Its great!

Great suv

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I am telling Ford did a wonderful job with this one. Its a great Suv from top to bottom. Handles very well, comfortable and fun to drive. I was always skeptical buying a Ford. This is my first Ford and I am so glad it was this one. I test drove a lot of suv's in this class and nothing compared. Looking for a suv that handles like a car, looks good and extremelly comfortable than this is the one. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So disappointed!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Loved my last 2 explorers, wanted better economy and all the tech stuff the Escape offered. It is back in the shop for the second time in one week for a problem with the transmission disengaging while driving on the freeway. Pulled over and would not go over 10 mph. Very scary!! Said it needed computer update, but did it again 6 days later.Not sure about Ford quality anymore.

Fun ford!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

My first Ford was a 2004 Ford Focus ZX3, and I loved it! I wanted to go in and get the Focus Zx4 with leather seats and Microsoft-sync technology-but alas no hatchbacks.I am outdoorsy with a big dog,and a consummate environmentalist, so an SUV never seemed like something I would let myself have. However this SUV gets nearly 30 miles to the gallon (less with the kayaks on top) but with all the room and the good gas mileage I gave it whirl. It was fun. As soon as I got used to the narrow wheel base --it was a lot of fun! I love it, I love it, I love It. Its comfy, practical safe, and economic! not the sexiest car terms but works for me, my dog, my kayak, my ski's, & all my gear.

My first car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Well after i got my license, my parents decided to buy me a car. We looked at Chevy and Ford, and since i wanted an SUV but didn't want to pay $90 at the pump like my dad's old 07 jeep commander (now has an '09 maxima) we decided on the Escape. My Mom wanted great Safety scores, which the Escape has, so there's another plus. I enjoy driving this car, the power steering and the ease of controlling the wheel is a joy. The car just feels good and solid throughout. I am very satisfied with my first car.


Full 2009 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Ford Escape receives under-the-skin changes that complement last year's cosmetic makeover. There's more power underhood and a tweaked suspension for improved handling and ride dynamics. Ford has also added its Sync MP3 player and cell phone interface.


It may be hard to believe, but the Ford Escape compact SUV debuted almost a decade ago. Right out of the gate, this loveable little ute was a front-runner. With its just-right size, peppy available V6, well-balanced chassis and tough looks, it stood out in a class of chiefly dull four-cylinder entrants. It's been a strong seller for Ford, often to the point of being the best-selling compact SUV in America.

Since those earlier glory days, however, the Escape's fortunes haven't been as kind. The competition got bigger and stronger while the Escape soldiered on without a major redesign. But Ford has recently been putting in an effort to keep its Escape relevant. Last year, the Escape received a complete cosmetic makeover, lending the ute a tougher look more in keeping with Ford's bigger trucks. But the chassis remained virtually unchanged, apart from the poor decision to change the rear brakes from a disc setup to drum brakes, which hurt the Escape's maximum braking performance.

For 2009, the Ford Escape gets the brawn to match its handsome new duds, including more powerful engines, a new six-speed automatic transmission and a more athletic suspension tuning. This year also brings a capless fuel filler and Ford's Sync system (which allows voice activation of audio, navigation and phone functions). Cruise control and antilock brakes, formerly optional on the lower trims, become standard across the line.

The inline-4 sees an increase in size -- up to 2.5 liters versus the previous 2.3 -- which contributes to its greater output, now rated at 170 horsepower. Tweaks to the 3.0-liter V6 bump it up to a stout 240 hp. The new six-speed automatic further optimizes the Escape's performance as well as its fuel economy -- which, according to Ford, goes up 1-2 mpg.

The new engines and transmission handily address previous complaints of merely adequate acceleration and mediocre fuel economy. However, last year's backward step of fitting the Escape with rear drum brakes still stands, and braking performance is subpar. Our testing of an '08 Escape resulted in a best stop from 60 mph taking a very lengthy 154 feet. That distance is about 25 feet longer than the class average and a decidedly poor showing for an ABS-equipped vehicle.

The poor panic braking performance prevents us from giving the 2009 Ford Escape our full endorsement. But it still has a lot going for it in terms of performance, comfort and style. Along with models such as the Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4, you'll want to give the Escape a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that comes in three trim levels: XLS, XLT and Limited. The XLS comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The XLT adds privacy glass, automatic headlights, foglights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keypad entry, a power driver seat and upgraded cloth upholstery. The top-of-the-line Escape Limited has those features plus color-keyed grille and side mirrors, leather seating, ambient cabin lighting and the Sync system.

Options include a sunroof, an upgraded 320-watt audio system with a subwoofer, a navigation system and, for the XLT, a Sun and Sync package that bundles the moonroof with Sync. 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-wheel or all-wheel drive. A 171-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine powers all but the Limited, which comes with a 240-hp 3.0-liter V6. The V6 is optional on the XLT. The 2.5 can be fitted with either a five-speed manual transmission (XLS only) or a six-speed automatic. The V6 comes only with the automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the V6 Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Fuel economy with the four-cylinder, six-speed auto and front-wheel drive is 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. All-wheel drive drops that to 19/25/21. The front-wheel-drive six-cylinder Escape returns an estimated 18/26/21, while all-wheel drive gets 17/24/20.


Antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are all standard on the 2009 Ford Escape. A reverse-sensing parking system is optional on the Limited.

In government frontal-impact crash tests, the Escape earned a perfect five stars in front and side crash tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Escape scored the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Overall, we're impressed with the Escape's cabin. The front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, and material quality, fit and finish are good for this segment. There's plenty of storage space, including a center console box big enough to swallow a laptop; it also features reconfigurable bins. If you're a heavy user of portable MP3 players or cell phones, the Ford Sync system is a must-have feature. It allows voice control for your phone, the navigation system and the audio system, and in our experience, it works very well.

The Escape's rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, is flat and devoid of recline or fore/aft adjustments. Folding the rear seat down is tricky, 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

An electric power steering system in the 2009 Ford Escape delivers surprisingly good road feel and response. Although panic brake tests resulted in disappointingly long stopping distances, the pedal furnishes a firm feel with a progressive action in normal, everyday driving. The Escape's handling is commendable, with the SUV remaining flat through corners and composed in quick transitions. This year's tweaks to the suspension result in a smoother ride over small but sharper impacts, something last year's model had trouble with.


Talk About The 2009 Escape

2009 Ford Escape Discussions See all Started By

2009-'11 Ford Escape, Fusion Among 724,982 Ford Vehicles in NHTSA Probe NHTSA has opened a probe into an estimated 724,982 2009-'11 Ford Escape, Fusion and Mercury Mariner and Milan vehicles because o...

Today I was stumbling around the Ford website and found out that the 2009 Escape will have an available 230hp 3.0 V6 and a 6-speed transmission....

Feds Close Probe Into 1.6 Million Ford Vehicles, Including 2009-'13 Ford Escape The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed an investigation into an estimated 1,593,452 Ford vehicles...

Read more about the 2009 Ford Escape

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific