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!

How do you feel about these results?

Tell us why you feel that way.

Contact Me No Thanks
Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 171 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Transmission problem

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

I was fine it till the transmission died at 36200 miles. Fortunately I had bought extended warranty. I fixed it at the dealer and it still giving me troubles. I still see sudden gear change at low speeds. Do not know how much time this fixing will last, but I am always scared to take my family on a drive on this one. So Pros: 1. Ample of cargo space 2. Feels sturdy 3. Nice seats 4. Very fule efficient 5. Love the SYNC, I hooked up an external hard drive to this. It recongnizes and plays all my music. Cons: 1. Unreliable transmission 2. Interior is not nice - pretty cheap plastic 3. Very noisy - I reckon being an I4 engine it will be noisy, but it is a litle too much.

After one year of ownership

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

I purchased my 2009 Ford Escape XLT AWD in June of 2009. Ever since then, I have enjoyed every minute being in my Escape. The visibility of the Escape is excellent, the 4 cylinder engine puts out plenty of horsepower to get you where you need to go, the 6-speed transmission shifts smoothly, it is easy to park, and has some of the best technology compared to any vehicle on the road. It has been to dealership once for a PCM flash for the transmission's occasional hard shifting from drive to reverse. That problem has gone away and the vehicle shifts much better than before. The SYNC system is outstanding and I personally find the AC unit to be one of the best I have ever experienced. Great buy

Transmission issues

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

Loved my 2009 Escape at first then started noticing problems that I first thought were just a fluke, but may turn out to be something more which concerns me. Every now and then I noticed it would slam into gear when switching from Drive to Reverse and vice versa. Also runs rough from time to time and right wheel rides like it's wobbling from time to time. Car stalled on me this past weekend, I could not get it started and had to have it towed. Not happy at all considering the vehicle is less than a year old and I've got 5 more years to pay on it. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. According to my sales rep, the vehicle started "right up" this morning- the jury is still out.

Scratched glass

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

2009 Ford Escape,Escape Owners 08/09 help us out! This is the second Ford Escape we have purchased. New 2001 and less than a year ago 2009.(We love the Escape) The issue is the Belt Mouldings have captured sand/fine grit and has scratched the rear passenger windows. More noticeable due to heavey tint,and now on the front drivers glass and passenger. 2001 Ford Escape never this issue.The 09 is getting worse.The Ford Dealer stocks his inventory on a Boat Yard on Quincy Bay near Boston Harbor. The service department will not help us out to fix this problem,stating it's our fault.We do not live next to a gravel pit,nor do we drive this vehicle on the Beach.Ford Reps will not acknowledge.

Best choice for mid-size suv

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

I read reviews, test drove 15 different, checked out 10 dealers. Hands down the Ford Escape was the best deal for us. The RAV 4 is way overpriced, seats very uncomfortable. We couldn't imagine what agony a long trip would be. Same with everything else we drove. We've logged 5900 miles in 3.5 months. There's not much we don't like other than the gas mileage & the paint surface is already scratched. Lowering the back seats does require getting used to & the position of the arm rest/console could be moved forward for easier access. Glove box useless. Winter weather will determine if the love affair continues.

Good solid suv

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

The Ford Escape I own is fun to drive. I drive both city and highway and avg. 23.08 MPG. I found this SUV to have all the room I need. I can seat 5 people with comfort. Great sound system, good air, sun roof is easy to operate as well as all other systems and controls.

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

Read more about the 2009 Ford Escape

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs