After having my 2003 Ford F-150 truck for ten years I got this Escape in Nov. 2012. They had the black and steek gray colors $2000.00 cheaper at my dealer so I decided I could live for a dark color to save money (I live in Texas where it is hot). It is the base model but it is FWD, has the basic Sync, remote start (dealer choice to install on all their cars), and door edge coating protection. The first few oil changes were included with special coupons as well as other couponds for discounts on services. Lots of cupholders. It has places for your umbrella and a big glove box. Plenty of storage for small items in the tire storage area. City driving has me getting 21.4 to 21.5 MPG.
My truck had roll up manual windows, a regular key, and nothing extra but a CD player. So I love this basic S model because it has all the electronic doors, windows, mirrors, etc. I love talking to friends through the Syncing of the phone with the car so you can talk on speaker. I would like to try the Sync subscription but they charge $60 for a year. No free trial with the S model and I'm not sure I would us it enough to justify the $60. The radio you can plug your phone or ipod into to listen through the car speakers. It comes with front floor mats, you have to buy the back ones. There is a compartment in the floor in the back seat to put your valuables (wallet, electronics, small purse).
I agree with most critics that the Sync radio/CD/phone panel is too complicated. Less buttons please. The climate control vents are next to the audio controls and they are kind of squished in there kind of weird. I bought a storage cover accessory and it doesn't cover the whole back storage area. About an inch you can see in which I can live with but for $130.00 you would think it would cover everything. I caution you if you take the great interest rate they find you that you ask the bank/CU some questions first. The one I ended up with (EECU) charges you $11.00 to pay your bill online. I ranted and raved to them in an e-mail about it and basically they don't care at all about that.