Traded up from my 2007 Legacy sedan - needed more room and better mileage, and I found both at Ford.
We have a 2005 Mazda Tribute (rebadged Ford Escape) and we have really liked it, when the Subaru proved unreliable, we looked at the new Escape and chose it over the Forester and Mazda CX-5.
Exterior styling is excellent - much more like BMW than Ford's traditionally blocky lines.
Interior is very comfortable for extended rides, roomy and functional, too.
One lever fold-down rear seats give a flat floor for loading cargo; back seat is roomy enough for a 6-ft adult to sit comfortably.
Still learning My Ford Touch system, but voice command works reasonably well.
1.6L Eco-Boost is peppy and very good on gas - currently averaging 26.5 mpg in mixed driving.
Interior is very roomy and comfortable for 4 adults and luggage.
Rear luggage floor can be flat for easy loading or drop 4 inches for extra cargo room.
MyFordTouch works better than expected.
Sync works flawlessly with my Droid Razr phone - excellent audio all around.
Exterior styling is superb!
I would really like a reasonably priced navigation system on a car with this much tech.
Ford wants an upgrade to SEL and $1000 for this option, Tom-Tom or Garmin will do it for $2-300 tops.
Also would like a power moonroof option for the SE level of trim - not willing to add 7K to go up to a Titanium edition to get this.