I'm in a quandary right now. I'm supposed to be writing a story on the Ford Escape, but "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" is on TV. Who knew a combination of Reege, average Americans and a hokey soundtrack could be so enthralling?
Would you accept a half-ass story full of dribbling trite prose? Hmm, probably not. Nor would my editor...
So then, this is Ford's new Escape. Reege will have to wait. After creating (and profiting quite nicely from) the Explorer, Expedition and Excursion, Ford decided maybe not all potential SUV buyers want oversize vehicles that suck gas and cost thousands more than an average car. Ford needed a smaller SUV, one that would appeal to younger buyers who perhaps have never owned an SUV before.
Unfortunately for Ford, this is not a novel concept. Toyota's cute 'ute, the RAV4, has been around since 1996. Then there's that pesky little thing called the Honda CR-V. And don't forget the Isuzu Amigo, the Nissan Xterra and the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Note to Ford: If you're going to show up fashionably late to the party, you need to do something to attract attention to yourself.
I've learned that showing up with your fly open works well, but Ford decided to go with an entirely new SUV platform. This is a shared platform with Mazda. Unlike previous vehicles in which one company would do all the hard development work and the other would just glue on its own badge at the end (like the Probe/MX-6 sport coupes or the Ranger/B-Series pickups), the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute project was a joint effort. A team of 30 Ford engineers spent two years in Japan working alongside Mazda engineers.
That's an admirable feat (and not just because of the severe hardships endured by not having easy access to Big Macs). Yet upon first inspection, it would appear that this joint effort produced nothing revolutionary. The Escape is built on a unibody chassis, has four doors and a liftgate, and is motivated by a four- or six-cylinder engine. Standard Escapes are front-wheel drive, with a four-wheel-drive system being optional. Yawn -- can somebody pass the excitement, please?
But it wouldn't be wise to quit reading here. Dig deeper, and you'll see that the Escape's design is evolutionary and therefore offers many improvements to the breed.
Ford considered using body-on-frame construction like its bigger SUVs, but unibody was clearly the way to go for this smaller type of vehicle. The Escape's unibody frame offers the advantages of lighter weight, better handling, easier entry and exit, and enhanced crash safety.
Scan the spec table, and you'll see the Escape is compact in length, but rather wide and tall. In comparison to the Explorer, the Escape is 18 inches shorter but has only an 8-inch shorter wheelbase. Its wheel tracks are surprisingly wide, measuring 3.5 inches more than the Explorer's.
The wide track and stiff chassis complement the Escape's fully independent suspension. The front consists of MacPherson struts, while the rear is a multilink design with semi-trailing arm with two lateral links and coil springs between the trailing arm and body. Steering is rack-and-pinion, while the brakes are discs in front and drums in the rear.
This is great and all, but it doesn't do much while the Escape just sits in your driveway. Movimiento, por favor. Ford offers two engine choices. First is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Zetec engine that generates 130 horsepower and 5,400 rpm and 135 foot-pounds of torque at 4,500 rpm. This engine comes exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission.
This output might be fine for a lightweight economy sedan like the Focus (where the Zetec is also used), but it's rather weedy for an SUV. Unless you enjoy traveling at a public transit-bus pace, the better choice is the 3.0-liter V6.
This one is from the Taurus, and it makes the same power: 200 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 200 foot-pounds of torque at 4,750 rpm. It's been slightly modified for use in the Escape, gaining a tougher oil pan (for off-road durability), composite intake manifolds (rather than aluminum), and revised exhaust manifolds. The only transmission offered for this engine is a four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy estimates are 23/28 city/highway for the Zetec four-cylinder and 20/24 for the Duratec V6.
With either setup, Ford's Control Trac II four-wheel-drive system is optional. So equipped, a switch on the instrument panel offers two choices: "auto" or "on." Auto mode should be fine for almost all conditions. During normal driving, engine power flows to the front wheels only to improve fuel economy. But if the front wheels start to slip or spin, progressive amounts of torque are instantly redirected from the front to the rear until traction is regained.
The "on" mode is comparable to the 4-Hi position found in bigger 4WD SUVs. When engaged, it distributes torque equally between the front and rear wheels. This setting will enhance performance when driving off-road or on especially slippery surfaces. However, Ford says the on mode is not recommended on dry roads because it can cause some binding in the driveline during tight turns.
Even when equipped with the 4WD system, it's clear that the Escape isn't designed to be a hard-core off-roader. The Escape's suspension is biased toward ride quality and handling on pavement. Additionally, Control Trac II lacks a two-speed transfer case. Given the Escape's limited purpose, Ford decided the extra expense and weight of a two-speed T-case were not worth the off-road performance gains.
There will be two trim levels available: XLS and XLT. The Zetec four is standard on both, with the V6 being optional. Ford anoints the XLS with standard equipment like air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with CD player, power mirrors and windows, and remote keyless entry.
In addition to that equipment, the upscale XLT has better-looking 15-inch wheels, a convenience package, antilock brakes and a rear cargo area powerpoint. A leather package, a tow package (3,500 pounds max with the V6) and an in-dash, six-disc CD changer are optional on the XLT only. Side airbags can be ordered on either model.
At the press launch, only XLT V6s were available for evaluation. Traveling on both backcountry roads and highway, the Escape impressed with its stable demeanor. The new unibody chassis and independent rear suspension are clearly the reasons for this. Plenty of SUVs wallow through corners and bounce around on uneven pavement, but that's not the case here. The 4WD system is quick on the job, and in auto mode, the Escape tackled light-duty dirt roads with no problems.
With 200 horsepower from the V6, acceleration is almost giddy. Well, giddy for a SUV. For comparison, a V6-powered 4WD Xterra weighs about 500 pounds more than an Escape and has thirty less horsepower. The Escape's automatic transmission isn't the smartest lump around, but it generally gets the right gear. Add in the responsive steering, and it's surprisingly easy to think that you're driving a car rather than a truck.
As a bonus, you can also haul around 63 cubic feet of cargo. Ford hopes buyers will use this space to carry bikes, camping and hiking gear, and other such "active lifestyle" paraphernalia. Sixty-three cubic feet of cargo space is competitive for the small SUV class and is achieved by folding the rear seat forward. To get the rear seat to fold completely flat, you need to flip the seat cushion forward and remove the headrests. The cushion can also be removed for additional space.
More impressive is the amount of interior room provided for the front and rear passengers. Thanks to its wide and tall stance, the Escape equals or betters the larger, four-door Explorer in headroom, shoulder room, hip room and legroom. As for smaller SUVs, only the CR-V comes close.
XLT drivers are greeted by white-faced gauges, a column-mounted shifter and a large, flat-black center instrument panel housing big climate knobs and a standard Ford stereo unit. Storage space is generous, with two large front cupholders, useable door bins, a large center bin and two centrally mounted cubbyholes. Material quality is the only disappointing aspect, as there are no soft-touch plastics to be found on the dash or on the doors.
The Escape goes on sale during the Summer of 2000. Pricing starts in the low-18s for a stripper front-wheel-drive XLS and tops out at around $25,000 for a fully-loaded 4WD XLT V6. Ford's last small truck-like thing, the Bronco II, was a heap. This is a billion times better.
In 1999, Edmunds.com compared six mini SUVs. The Xterra eked out a win over the CR-V. If the Escape was around for that test, it could have quite possibly won due to its advantages in horsepower, interior space and handling ability. But to really find out, the world will have to wait for another Edmunds.com comparison test. I can hardly wait. Now, is Regis still on? Damn.
Used 2001 Ford Escape listings and inventory: Shop Edmunds' used car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million pre-owned vehicles to find a cheap used and certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Ford Escapes for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 2,248 used and CPO 2001 Escapes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 3,495 and mileage as low as 78,284. Simply research the type of used car, SUV, or truck you're interested in and then select a vehicle from our massive database to find cheap pre-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the used 2001 Ford Escape. Then select Edmunds' special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 96 on a used or CPO 2001 Escape available from one of 2,804 dealerships in your area.
What's a good price on a used 2001 Ford Escape ?
Price comparisons for used 2001 Ford Escape trim styles:
The used 2001 Ford Escape XLT is priced around $4998 with average odometer reading of 122235 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
What options are available on the 2001 Ford Escape?
Available Ford Escape 2001 Submodel Types: Hybrid, SUV
Available Ford Escape 2001 Trims: SE, Titanium, SEL, S, Limited, XLS, HEV, XLT, XLT Sport
Exterior Colors: Ingot Silver Metallic, Magnetic Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Tuxedo Black Metallic, White Platinum Tri-Coat Metallic, Blue Metallic, White Gold Metallic, Lightning Blue Metallic, Sterling Grey Metallic, Deep Impact Blue Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Sunset Metallic, Black Clearcoat, Sterling Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Steel Blue Metallic, Silver Metallic Clearcoat, Sangria Red Metallic, White Suede Clearcoat, Black, Redfire Clearcoat Metallic, Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Canyon Ridge Metallic, Blue Flame Metallic, Gold Leaf Metallic, Toreador Red Metallic, Karat Gold, Titanium Green Clearcoat Metallic, Electric Spice Metallic, Frosted Glass Metallic, Sport Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Shadow Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat (Fleet), Ginger Ale Metallic, Norsea Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Kodiak Brown Metallic, Black Pearl Slate Clearcoat Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic Clearcoat, Blazing Copper Clearcoat Metallic, Light Sage Clearcoat Metallic, Gold Ash Clearcoat Metallic, Aspen Green Clearcoat Metallic, Bright Red Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Stone Clearcoat Metallic, Kiwi Clearcoat Metallic, Lime Squeeze Metallic, Red Fire Clearcoat Metallic
Interior Colors: Charcoal Black cloth, Charcoal Black leather/cloth, Charcoal Black leather, Medium Light Stone leather/cloth, Medium Light Stone cloth, Medium Light Stone leather, Charcoal Black premium leather, Camel leather, Medium Light Stone premium leather, Stone leather, Charcoal Black premium cloth, Stone premium cloth, Stone cloth, Camel premium cloth, Ebony Black, Medium/Dark Pebble premium cloth, Ebony Black leather, Medium/Dark Flint, Medium/Dark Flint cloth, Medium/Dark Flint premium cloth, Medium/Dark Pebble, Camel premium leather, Medium Parchment, Medium/Dark Pebble cloth, Stone premium leather
Popular Features: Tire Pressure Warning, Stability Control, Aux Audio Inputs, Trip Computer, Post-collision safety system, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Power Driver Seat, Back-up camera, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Heated seats, Mobile Internet, Leather Seats, Parking sensors, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Remote Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Navigation, Upgraded Headlights, Keyless Entry/Start, Upgraded Engine, Sunroof/Moonroof, Upgraded Stereo, Blind Spot Monitoring, Towing Hitch, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Pre-collision safety system, 3500lb Towing Capacity, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, AWD/4WD
Drivetrains: all wheel drive, four wheel drive, front wheel drive
used 2001 Ford Escape Overview
The used 2001 Ford Escape is offered in the following submodels: SUV. Available styles include XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), XLT 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and XLS 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Escape models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 130 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2001 Escape comes with four wheel drive or front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.