I have wanted an Escape for several years but never pulled the trigger because of the reviews. This year I decided to look at them again. I get a new vehicle for business yearly so I have had much experience with the competition.
For $50K you do not get real leather in a Touareg. A $35K Wrangler is the real deal but rides harsh with bad road manners and the backseat is just for looks. The Nissan's are too old school and pricey. Hyundai's are no longer cheap or full efficient.
I looked at everything in the SUV market from $20-$60K and everything bad I read about the Escape is worse in cars costing much more. The 2011 has a great interior and the Limited has everything you could ask for.
The new seat mfg is superb. Reliability is actually better than many. That is what scared me off. But go to True Delta and see for yourself. Wind noise- compare it to a Honda Element or CRV- the Escape is like a Town Car. Road noise? Half of the above Honda's.
Best feature- cheap maintenance. Cheap dealer services. By a Kia and compare four times the expense at your dealer.
The Escape drives like a go cart. It's fun and nimble.
The transmission issues scared me in the beginning. Until I read those issues happen in everything and the Escape real world reliability is up there with the Japanese.
Ford needs to forget endless TSB's and just jump on any issues instantly. However they did not do the Toyota sweep it under the rug scam to just keep a good reputation.
Forget the Internet slop. Shop and compare all SUV's in this price range and ask about service fees etc. You will be surprised.
I finally pulled the trigger and I got a great deal with all the incentives. Over $5K off MSRP.