Used 2004 Ford Escape SUV Consumer Reviews
Bought this sweet heart with 120k and have put another 50K on in the last 2 years. 4x4 easy to handle and shift. We live in Alaska atop the hillside in Anchorage. and have some pretty icy roads and rough weather. I can leave town and trust my bride, daughter and her baby will be safe in our trusted little rig. Tracks and climbs like one of the big boys, pretty reasonable on the fuel, though if your not towing anything and don't live at altitude you might consider the 4 cyl. The 6 is good but not needed most of the time. A delight to drive. Lost the Transmission and had to replace it, but found on out of a wreck, (crap shoot I know but 20K miles later it's doing fine.) Keep those fluids changed and topped off or you'll pay the same price, these rigs like to eat their trannys if you don't keep up the service. One of the most popular and trusted rigs in Alaska for family and general cross state travel.
I have a 2004 Escape with about 87,000 miles on it. It has always been a good car for me and its going on 9 years. I had to replace the front axil due to the gear that drives the anti lock brakes cracking. This repair was $350 which was not bad in my eyes. I do routine oil changes and have had all the other fluids changed once, including the brake fluid. I am a firm believer that if you want a car to last you need to put some money into them. I expect I will need to replace the spark plugs and serpentine belts in about a year. I drain the transimission fluid from the drian plag every couple of years and so far so good with the tranny.
Bought this vehicle new in Oct. 2003. No trade in got a good deal from the dealership. Car has been one of the best we ever had for the money. 202,000 miles and still running strong. I change my own oil, every 5,000 miles w/Motorcraft oil and filter and the 3.0 V-6 never uses any oil, average 1/2 qt. in 5,000 miles. Very happy with the car. Went out and bought another new one hope it is as good as the 2004 has been. Got 26MPG highway with Continental tires, went on the cheap with Cooper tires last set never again. Tires are loud, ride rough had them balanced twice, plus MPG DROPPED 2 MPG stay away from Cooper tires.
It is a fun vehicle on trips. I average 21-25 mpg on long trips. However at 92,000 the transmission went out. Quite an expense for a fairly new SUV. In early 2009 the torque converter and wheel bearings had to be replaced. The check engine light remains on (no one can find a problem). After less than an hour of driving the overdrive light starts flashing and the transmission starts shifting very hard (again no one can find a problem). Airbag light stays on now (sensors have been replaced). I am putting a daughter through college right now, otherwise it would have been traded. I have always been a Ford customer, but this has not been a great experience.
At 90,000 miles, all THREE catalytic converters failed. Happened to be when the auto companies were having probs so parts makers were scaling down causing us to have to wait 3 months for one of the parts. Three months in the shop and $3,600 to get it fixed. During this, our parts guy was told by Ford that it's normal for the CC's to fail at about 90K miles. Of course this also happened a month before we were planning on taking a camping trip with a couple of friends. Wound up using our Ranger w/trailer and friends bringing their car instead of all of us fitting in the Escape plus trailer.