My wife and I drove the Escape locally and short highway rides for the first 1000 miles to break it in. Then we took a driving vacation from Chicago to Denver and back. What a dream vehicle to travel in. Four adults rode in this vehicle comfortably for 2800 miles. We really love this suv. We bought the XLT with leather and the sirius satelite system. Nice ride.
My wife and I really like the fact that you sit up higher in this suv. We were comparing this to the Subaru Forester we were also looking at. The Escape won out with more options for the dollar, with both cars being equally comparable in safety and other features. FORD rocks! So do the 17" rims.
My only complaint was when I first looked at the sales lot of Escapes, I noticed wires hanging down by the passenger rear wheel. And that I could see the muffler close to the rear tire.