2005 Ford Escape Review


Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V6, quick and efficient hybrid model, large cargo capacity, comfortable interior, carlike handling, optional side curtain airbags.
  • Four-cylinder models feel unrefined at high rpm, so-so interior materials quality.
List Price Range
$4,500 - $5,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Still one of our favorites in the category, the 2005 Ford Escape is a very capable small SUV thanks to its powerful V6 and hybrid electric engines, spacious cabin and carlike handling.

2005 Highlights

The 2005 Ford Escape gets a freshened look and some new mechanicals. Last year's base 2.0-liter engine is replaced by a new 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that's available with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. This new engine is a more viable choice for budget-conscious buyers, and like the V6, it can be matched with a new electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Meanwhile, the V6 engine has been tweaked to provide improved throttle response. Antilock brakes are now standard across the line. Interior updates include a floor-mounted shifter, new gauges, upgraded seats and additional storage. The most significant improvement inside is the addition of the optional Safety Canopy rollover protection system. Further, the vehicle's structure has been modified to better absorb offset frontal impacts, and the backseat gets a full set of three-point belts. On the outside, all Escapes have reworked front and rear fascias with a new grille design and headlights. Finally, an XLT Sport model joins the lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2005 Ford Escape.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Ford Escape purchased brand new
XLT Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
We picked up this Ford Escape new in 2005. So far in 2012, it has about 72,000 miles on it, with absolutely zero problems so far. (Well, I did have to replace the battery this spring.) This SUV still has the same tires, same brakes, same exhaust system. I've looked at the front and rear brakes, they look like they'll go many more miles before needing replacement. We might have to replace the tires this fall, this is Wisconsin, and we do have snow around here.
I Love my Escapee!
XLT Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I have owned this vehicle for just over 14 years. I've driven in all kinds of weather and road conditions. There have been typical age related services, but the vehicle has 189,000 miles and still running strong! It is a fun vehicle to own; whips in and out of parking spaces, turns easily, has lots of room to haul things when the seats are folded down and still rugged. Not my first Ford, but definitely my most favorite!
Rusty SUV, But Good
XLT AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I bought this SUV last winter with 100k miles on it. Took it to my mechanic to get all the filters, fluids changed, who found rust holes in rear passenger inner wheelwell that compromised the strut and safety of vehicle. Fixed that, and took all the plastic cladding off exposing more rust than I've ever seen. Driven 20k miles and no real mechanical problems except the exhaust needs replaced. Very simple interior compared to new vehicles. AWD system is excellent. I get 20mpg. 3.0 engine may have been powerful 10 years ago, but its relatively slow compared to today's SUV standards. These are great deals if you are looking for an AWD vehicle.
keeps on ticking...
XLS AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
176,000 miles plus..still a daily commuter, just lost the A/C compressor, that is the only major thing since I bought it in april 2005...other wise has preformed flawlessly


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2005 Ford Escape
More About This Model

After promising the debut of this vehicle for a good three years, Ford is finally bringing the highly anticipated Escape Hybrid to market. First shown as a concept at the 2001 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Escape Hybrid promises great fuel economy (in the range of 30 to 35 mpg) along with spirited V6-like performance. With the price of regular gasoline currently flirting (in L.A.) with $2.50 a gallon, the timing couldn't be better. Of course, there's also the benefit of reducing the consumption of a finite resource and reducing air pollution. But if Americans' appetite for gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs is any indication, it seems that those concerns aren't nearly as important as a serious hit to the wallet. In any event, we were eager to see if and how the Escape Hybrid lived up to the lofty goals Ford has for it. Could it really get nearly double the mileage of the V6 Escape without giving up zippy performance?

Looking at this Escape, you'd be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its "normal" siblings. A 2005 model, the Hybrid shares the same updates (such as a restyled front end and a console-mounted gearshift) that the whole Escape line received this spring. If you scrutinize the Hybrid, you may notice its unique wheels and "Hybrid" badges but other than that, you might as well be looking at any other Escape. And that's how Ford wants it -- why mess with the styling of the top-selling compact SUV?

The same philosophy holds true for the cabin, where the gauge cluster looks fairly standard until you notice the leftmost instrument that shows whether the battery pack is "assisting" or "charging." Within the tachometer face, there is a small, two-line message center display that shows average fuel economy, indicates estimated oil life and displays warnings such as "liftgate open." There is also the option of a navigation system, located in the center stack, whose screen can display graphics showing the energy flow to and from the various drivetrain components.

As with Toyota's Prius, the Escape Hybrid operates solely in electric mode at low speeds (up to around 25 mph or so) and low-demand (light throttle application) situations. This is why it gets higher mileage in the city, where it's quite possible to stay in electric mode most of the time. But even at low speeds, if you step into it a little more, the gas motor will fire up and kick in, relieving the electric motor and allowing the permanent battery pack to recharge. High-demand situations, such as accelerating hard or running up a hill, will have both motors running in tandem. Like the Prius, the Escape Hybrid's gas engine shuts off when the vehicle is stopped or coasting, automatically (and almost instantly) starting back up when needed.

The Hybrid's 2.3-liter inline four is essentially the same Duratec unit found in four-cylinder Escapes, except that it uses what's called the Atkinson cycle. For you gearheads among our readership, this means that the intake valve stays open longer than normal after the piston starts upward on its compression stroke, reducing "pumping losses" and sending some of the air-fuel mixture back into the intake tract, thus reducing fuel consumption. Optimizing fuel efficiency in this fashion comes at the expense of low-end torque. But with a torquey electric motor on hand to get the vehicle moving from a stop and assist when more power is needed, this doesn't present a problem.

The gas engine is rated at 133 horsepower, while the electric motor is rated at 94 horses. When combined, they make 155 hp, which may seem odd, as you probably think it should be 227. But there is a formula used to calculate total output and it isn't simply a matter of adding their output figures together. Although 155 ponies doesn't sound like much, the broad power band of the electric motor means that the net result is indeed V6-like performance. On our driving loop, which included running up the Hollywood Hills and cruising at 75 mph on the freeway, the Escape Hybrid felt as energetic as an Escape V6.

In place of the usual automatic transmission, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) does a fine job of delivering the power in a seamless fashion. It's also pretty quick to step down to a lower ratio (we'd say gear, except it doesn't have those) when you want some pickup. To maximize efficiency, the Escape Hybrid employs regenerative braking that in effect turns the electric motor into a generator upon deceleration. When the driver lifts off the gas pedal, the spinning motor sends energy back to the battery pack.

Unlike a full electric vehicle, the Escape Hybrid never has to be "plugged in" for a recharge. The battery pack is kept charged by the gas engine and the regenerative braking feature. The pack itself consists of a relatively compact unit under the cargo floor comprised of 250 D-sized nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Those worried about the longevity of the pack can take comfort in the 8-year/100,000-mile warranty that Ford provides for it.

In the spirit of this vehicle's mission, our day started with a contest to see who could get the best mileage on a brief six-mile loop around downtown Culver City, Calif. We paired up and set out, keeping in mind the tenets of maximizing fuel economy: going light and easy on the gas and keeping any sudden changes in direction or momentum to a minimum. My driving partner and I had an all-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid, which Ford estimates will pull 32 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Front-drivers earn higher estimates of 37 city and 30 highway.

For the record, this leadfoot, who drove as if an egg was beneath the gas pedal, got 35 mpg and was near the top of the list (for the AWD models). Alas, the celebration was short-lived, as my partner got 50 mpg on her go-round! Of course, she had almost all green lights, while my efforts were hindered by a string of reds... But all kidding aside, we were thoroughly impressed by the fact that we both soundly beat Ford's own city estimates for the AWD version. Our only complaint with the powertrain was a minor one -- the engine gets a little buzzy while maintaining speeds of 55 mph or above on long uphill stretches.

Beyond the cake-and-eat-it powertrain, the Escape Hybrid performs like any other Escape. That is to say, it delivers a pleasant driving experience with handling that is more sport sedan than SUV. The electric power steering (exclusive to the Hybrid) was natural in feel, so none of the enjoyment of taking an Escape through a twisty road was lost.

We have to admit, there were some jokes going around the office about when Ford was finally going to bring the Escape Hybrid to market. "They're waiting for gas prices to go up." "It's a Ford, look how long it took them to get the T-bird into showrooms." OK, so we had a few laughs at Ford's expense, but we're not laughing now and feel moved to congratulate the manufacturer. The company still managed to be the first to bring out a hybrid version of an SUV, a category that needs this fuel- and environment-saving technology a lot more than the small sedan segment does. The 2005 Escape Hybrid goes on sale later this summer and, considering how polished this first effort is, it's been well worth the wait.

Used 2005 Ford Escape Overview

The Used 2005 Ford Escape is offered in the following submodels: Escape SUV, Escape Hybrid. Available styles include XLT AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), XLT Sport AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), XLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A), XLT Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), Hybrid AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLS AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A), XLT Sport Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), Limited AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), Hybrid Fwd 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLT AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A), XLT Fwd 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 4A), Limited Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), XLS AWD 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 5M), and XLS Fwd 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Ford Escape?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Ford Escape trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Ford Escape Limited is priced between $4,500 and$4,500 with odometer readings between 185989 and185989 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. 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.

Which used 2005 Ford Escapes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Ford Escape for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2005 Escapes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,500 and mileage as low as 159538 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Ford Escape.

Can't find a used 2005 Ford Escapes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Escape for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,751.

Find a used Ford for sale - 5 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,502.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Escape for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,753.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $16,978.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 Ford Escape?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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