I purchased this vehicle new in August 2012 and I have had no major complaints for 3 years.
PROS: This is a decent commuter car, no bells and whistles, nothing fancy. This is a $20,000 car so you get what you pay for. I can answer my cell phone hands free, (SYNC & SUN Model), which is pretty cool. I have not noticed the braking system problems that so many have mentioned. It turns well and easy to navigate in parking lots. Plenty of cargo space for shopping, bags of mulch, flats of flowers etc. I get 25 mpg for my commute to work in highway stop and go traffic, but I have gotten 31 mpg on long highway trips. Running the AC will greatly reduce MPG.
CONS: Once every 6 months the starter makes an awful noise, as if I tried to start the car while it is already running. (???). I have a 4 cylinder so there is no "get up & go". Leaks in rear window & probably driver side door as carpet is always wet when it rains. (not sure where the water is coming from). The door handles and the sun visors are very cheaply made, (hate them). Radio speakers are pretty generic. Backseat area is small. Only a small child would be able to sit in the middle seat. The rear folding seats is the worst design. It is a major project if you want to fold the seats down. It is a multi-step process, AND they will not lay flat unless you take the head rest off too. Ugh awful. I don't carry passengers so I took off the three headrest and stored them in garage, so if I need to lay down the rear seating I will not have to deal with the headrest too.
Bought this car a few days ago so we could have a car to augment our GMC Acadia due to a growing family. It replaced a 1997 Escort so its definitely better. My dealer's initial price quote was over $19,000. I was called a few days later and was told that that particular Escape was on sale for $13,995. For that price I would say the car is spectacular, being that it was less cash than a 4 year old RAV4 with 90,000 miles. Its quiet, rides smooth, is very quiet, and has ample power. The manual transmission is hard to shift, but I hope it loosens up. The interior is cheap and plasticky, but what should I expect for the price?
Price! Rides very smooth, fits our family, is very easy to drive. Excellent gas mileage for an SUV, I expect over 30mpg for our summer road trips. The dash and gauges are nice, the stereo is great, and the 2 tone interior looks good. Very quiet on the freeway. Plenty of room, big back seat for such a small car.
Really Ford? No floor mats in a brand new car? Interior is cheap plastic. I'm afraid the back hatch glass will start to rattle someday. Seats are hard, but they should soften up.