2009 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Escape SUV

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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 Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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


A good fit for me

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I have owned two 2009 4 cyl FWD Limited Escapes, traded one at 41K miles, last month, and still own another with 43K miles. The only issues I have had with the vehicles is with the Fan motor, in which a resister went bad. Otherwise, I have had no issues with either vehicle. The vehicles offered me the features I wanted, with few I did not want. The acceleration, handling, braking were good enough for me. I was impressed with the gas mileages, I topped 32 MPG, door to door, with both vehicles on long trips, a number of times.




Love it...sometimes

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I bought this car used, and after owning it for 1 1/2 years I still love it. However it has had some pricey problems. I bought the car and I thought it needed a blend door motor on the passenger side (~$900) I replaced it and turns out it was a HVAC module (this was free after a letter to the owner of the Ford dealership because they misdiagnosed it the first time). I now have intermittent power steering (~$1500 to fix) This is my biggest issue because it appears to be a safety issue. So if you buy this car beware and have that money ready! Also paint is starting to chip off the top of the liftgate for no apparent reason (only 12 inches is covered by paint anymore)




American quality?

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Bought American to support my country and UAW after years of Asian vehicles. Engine runs/idles louder/rougher than comparable imports and SUV has been into dealer 3 times for over 3 weeks. Mysterious clunking in rear (Ford engineer called in), leaky transmission, transmission shifting problems (recall to reprogram control module solved them). Overall, I like the vehicle but have been a little disappointed with the overall quality and experience of owning it. Certainly makes me question the contention that domestic vehicles are equal to and exceeding imports. And, it seems like every other car on the road is an Escape!




Love our ford!

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Vehicle has been GREAT...it's my wife's car but I love driving it as well. I don't know what Escape Edmond's was driving, but the brakes on this Escape are AWESOME. We love the SYNC package as well as the satellite radio. Fit and finish are second to none. High revving 4 cylinder gets great mileage and has good power. Ford has been doing one hell of a job. Highly recommended. We test drove a Chevy Equinox (Government Motors, I know, please forgive me)and it was a typical GM...poor fit/finish, lots of cheap plastic, etc...even with GM's rebates, we said no way.




Pleasantly surprised

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I have purchased Chrysler products for years, most recently a 300 C. I'm so glad I switched to Ford. I had a 2009 Flex AWD Limited that I loved, but due to the uncertainty of the economy, I took a proactive approach and "down sized" my ride. I was so impressed with the quality of the Flex, I stayed with Ford and went with the more economical Escape Limited. What a pleasant surprise...I bought it from a dealer that was 75 miles from my home and on the way home it was already averaging 28.5 mpg! The ride and handling are good, the engine is more responsive and the radio is better than I expected. It's not the Flex by any means...but @ $14,000 less it's a great car.




Caution!

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I purchashed this brand new 2009 Ford Escape Limited Edition 4WD about a month ago. I drove this vehicle off the lot with 100 miles and a bad drivers door seal that leaked and you can hear air whisping by. It didnt worry me much because the waranty would cover the repair. It was taken to the shop the next week and I picked it up four days later. The problem was still not fixed. The next day the check engine light came on. I took it back to the shop they said that the fuel cap seal was not working properly. I took it right bck to the dealership and returned it with 500 miles on it.Ford should have put more time into testing this vehicle before letting it out for consumers to purchase.



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

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs