2009 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Escape SUV

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Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 240 hp @ 6550 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 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 (28 total reviews)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Too many breakdowns!

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

I bought this vehicle new in the summer of 2009. About a month later the Transmission failed. It took a month and a half to repair because of back ordered parts. After the rebuild, the shift pattern was messed up and had to go back for reprogramming. This was all within 15,000 miles and covered by warranty. After warranty, the a/c condenser failed. $900 there. Then the power steering unit failed. This isn't a standard power steering unit either. In other words, $1400 more. I've also had some sort of an mid shaft axle support bearing fail. $400 more. All in all, I have put nearly $3000 in repairs into a 3-1/2 year old vehicle. Way too many mechanical failures. I'm done with Escapes




Greatest vehicle made!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

excellent ride, very powerfull, looks sporty! this is a great vehicle made by ford! dont let the transmision problems scare you away from this great vehicle. ive had mine since new and have never had a single problem with it! ive checked into it also, and if you have a problem with your tranny more then likely it will be covered under factory warranty(not sure why people are complaining). dont waste your time with a chevy equinox, dodge nitro, or toyota rav4. this vehicle is the nicest for the money. and the most powerful as well. i had a 2010 didge nitro and traded it for this 2009 ford escape. gas mileage is awesome. if u wanna have problems buy a dodge nitro.



2 of 8 people found this review helpful

Good so far.

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my Escape used in June 2010.The Escape handles and accelerates well and has an overall powerful feeling. It was after 2 months of routine driving that I noticed the first problems. The transmission would hesitate when accelerating from a stop and jerk into gear. There was no noise and afterward the transmission was smooth. When it started doing this while making left turns through 4-way stops I decided to take it in and have it looked at. Turns out the transmission was failing to downshift from 2nd to 1st quick enough. A technical bulletin fixed this. I've also noticed that my MPG in winter are much worse than summer (2-4 mpg). Otherwise its a great SUV for the value.




2009 sangri ford escape awd

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

After 11,000 miles have had to take the vehicle back to the dealer because they fouled up the brakes. Took it in for an oil change and mentioned funny noise when decelerating and ended up going back 5 times because the brakes weren't right. Now I am returning 10-12-2010 because of an oil leak on the drivers side of vehicle. Dealer says oil filter on passenger side so not sure what is leaking, sure hope not transmission. I am 2nd guessing myself now for buying a Ford and wonder how many more times I will be in the service department with it.




Check your transmission

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

In the beginning of the year I purchased a used 2009 Ford Escape from the Ford Dealership with 23,000 miles on it. About a week later I was on the highway and the rpm started racing and car wouldn't accelerate. Ended up bringing truck back to dealer because it happened a few times and was so unsafe. I hadn't made my first truck payment yet and they adv me I needed a new tranny. After doing online research there are a TON of people who had the same prob, while there is no official recall BE AWARE it is a widespread issue. It took 6 weeks to get the new tranny because they were back ordered. The truck is great now, but it really destroyed my confidence in the purchase. Guess it's mine now.




Great car, great value!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

My wife and I traded in our 1985 Jeep grand wagoneer for a 2009 Ford Escape XLT as part of the cash for clunkers program. We had researched this vehicle and it was definitely the best vehicle for the price. One year and 23,000 miles later, we are still happy with the Escape. It is a good looking, (flame red) good handling car. The 240 horsepower v-6 gives it sports car like performance. We've only been able to manage about 24 mpg out of it on the open road, but that is really good mileage for this type of vehicle. We've had the transmission computer reprogrammed and a sensor replaced at no charge to us. Neither of these things affected the drivability of the vehicle.



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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs