Really fun to drive. As it gets up in age, it shows that isn't ready for a long-term commitment. Difficulty keeping exterior free of rust. Nearly failed state inspection for it. Had it repaired 12/09, by 2/10 it shows signs of returning. Auto transmission isn't shot, but occasionally is prone to strange outbursts or improper shifting. Has been having brake issues... as it stands, I just went out to drive it and the brakes are non-existent and the "Brake" light is on. Master cylinder? Brake line (had one replaced in 7/09)? Time to call the mechanic -- just had a ball joint replaced 3 days ago. 158K on the odometer.
I've gotten compliments on the roominess of the backseat. From regular passengers, of course. Up until 4000 miles ago, I didn't have to put ANY money into it having owned it for 3 years at that point. Although since last summer, I have spent about $1000 in repairs.
Rust issue improved in later models with increased protection in the wheel wells. Door and trunk handles dislike opening. The car kind of acts like a poorly constructed prototype these days, so perhaps better quality parts would have been good.
I bought my 2001, first year model, new in 2001. It has been the best car I've ever owned. It has done every hauling and snow driving work ever asked of it w/o a problem. With 140,000 miles I still feel good enough about it to send my son to school in snow country with it. Keep up with regular oil changes and service and it will last a very long time. I am buying a 2010 Escape to replace it.
The originals look better than the newer ones.
Go back to the older, sleeker, less bulky body style.
Love the Escape. I will buy another one if this one gives out. I have had very little trouble. Take care of it and it will last. My only complant; can be tricky to work on. Have to remove air intake to replace spark plugs. Have to remove exhaust to replace oil pan gasket. Drive belt hard to get to with the side engine.
Rides very good, roomey, looks great, holds all the things I need to transport.
Put a light on the ignition slot. Hard to see at night to put the key in.
I bought this car the first year it was introduced and really enjoyed it for the first 85,000 miles. Eventually several small things started happening; radio sounds fine but the display hasn't worked in 18 months. Interior front door fabric material has come unglued on driver and passenger's side. Factory installed tinting on driver's side window has bubbled. Have spent a couple hundred dollars 2-3 times in the last 6 months for engine related issues, and still the engine light comes on intermittently. In general I've enjoyed the car, but it's not built to last - at least the first year edition's not.
Agile & responsive. Drives like a car ans is very nimble. Gas mileage is relatively good. Affordable and fun to drive.
So, bought one of these gently used from a friend, despite negative reviews. He had only put 68k miles on it after buying it new, and it was well maintained and clean. 2 months later, replaced the o2 sensor, and the transmission just went out. My wife loves the Escape, but the stories about the transmission are absolutely true.