Know that its not supposed to be a luxury vehicle or a sports car. Its a sturdy solidly built vehicle that is very reliable. My particular model is equipped with a v6. Its not going to get the best fuel economy in the world. Drive conservatively and you can easily go a while without getting gas. It makes a good first car for a teenager. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. Since I've owned it, I've put almost 10k miles on it. It's had oil changes routinely. It had one coil pack go bad so I went ahead and replaced all 6 coils and spark plugs which wasn't cheap, but I feel its saved me in the long run. It handles pretty good on the road. It's no sports car but its not going to slip out all the time either. The 4x4 is decent. It doesn't have low range which is somewhat of a bummer but it makes sense seeing as most people will be driving this on the highway. But its nice to know that if you live in a snowy place or out in the woods you have 4x4 available. It's very spacious inside. Plenty of room even for 5 people. Overall I'd say this is one badass SUV. As long as you take care of it, its going to take care of you too.
I bought this car when it had 114k mi. Black on Black. I had it for a year. the car was absolutely awesome. It had great pickup,good break system and great handling. I never took the car to mechanic for any reason. The only reason that I sold it was ,because I was trying to upgrade it but now I regret it. I changed 2 cars after that but I'm still not happy with what I have. I recommend this car 100%. If you can get the limited, because than the car would have all the options you would need, and there isn't so much difference in the price. the only good upgrade from this car is nissan murano or BMW X3, don't waist you time with other SUVs
I bought this vehicle about a year ago as my first car after much thought, and I must say I made the right choice. I chose it for gas mileage and looks, and was able to get a great deal off craigslist. The required maintenence was pricy ($1000 for a new timing belt), but expected. The vehicle is spacious inside, while being able to fit in almost any parking spot and turning around in places other cars can't. The standard transmission is the way to go given the 4 cyl's engine power.
Had it since 2002. Yes, I've had some major repairs. The engine went at 96K miles, so it cost us $7k to fix that. It cost me $4k to fix all 3 converters, and yes I had to pay to fix 3 of six coils. They said driving of fast accelerating and sudden stops could contributed to it, and we also drove it in England for 3 years, so that didn't help either. But it's always been there for us through the worse of times. Blizzards are no problem for me. I have better traction than most newer SUV's and trucks, including your MB's and Lexus. It does make squeaky sounds in the interior, but it's older. Not much you can do. With all the accidents, it's always gotten lesser damage and held up the most!
Purchased my Escape used w/80K miles on it. Three years later w/150K I'm now having BIG problems. Before it hit 130K the car was great! No problems, fun to drive, but now having big problems with E-Vap codes, check engine light always on, fuel hoses replaced, plugs/wires/coils burnt out, back seat release broke, falling apart all at once, cruise control won't work, CD player died, interior falling apart. Mileage horrible, no where near projected, getting 17-19mpg at best. Drivers seat wearing out, no cush left, but lumbar adjust ok. Have always had problems w/cargo door staying locked for days on end, the pits when groceries loaded & you gotta unload over back of seat.