We had minor issue with the AC, fixed based on a notice from Ford that thankfully our mechanic saw. Overall I loved it. The four wheel drive and handling was great, it was sporty looking for an SUV, and had pretty good gas mileage for being an SUV. The interior was comfy with heated seats and plenty of storage.
I bought my 2011 Ford Escape V6 AWD Limited Edition may 2012. I did great until the mileage hit 48000. While on my way to work one morning the transmission went out and left me sitting in the middle of the 4-lane with no gears. I finally was able to get in the low and get a wide spot to get off the road. We took it to he ford dealership and left it for 4 days only to be told that their is nothing wrong with it. This was 3 weeks ago. The transmission is still slipping horrible and this afternoon my RPM's went to 5000 before it shifted gears. It is still under my powertrain warranty but they won't fix it. Ford needs to do something it is not safe to drive this way.
We purchased our 2011 Escape Limited used in March 2012. This was my primary vehicle, first SUV I've owned and I absolutely loved it. In late October, I and 3 family members were involved in a terrible car accident that totaled my Escape. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and I can say with absolute certainty that had we been in any other vehicle we likely would not have survived. The side curtain airbags deployed on impact and even though the front axle was cracked, my husband was able to steer the car to safety. It even called 911 for us and reported our exact location to the operator. I miss my Escape every day. If your top priority is safety, this is the car for you.
I love my Escape Limited 4cyl 4wd, I was hesitant about buying a 4cyl, but I'm happy with it. The power is ok, I knew it wasn't a power house going into the purchase. The gas mileage is decent especially being a 4wd. It handles well in snow. I've read many write about a vibration when idling, and mine has the same annoying vibration but it goes away when the vehicle is warm and it is only really an issue in cold weather for me. The only thing I wish I could change is the heated seats only have one setting. My old car had a high and low, and I was able to always have it on low and the one setting in the Escape does not allow me to do that because sometimes it becomes too hot.