My 2008 had been diagnosed with a transmission fluid leak from the condenser on May 2 2013. I am 8 months out of my warranty and 10,000 miles under my warranty. This is a $300-$800 repair. The only way to get reimbursed for this issue is after a recall has been published. Only way to get a recall is for about 150,000 complaints to be filed. They must be filed through Ford (1-888-392-3673) and through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (888-327-4236). It take 5-10 minutes for each of those calls and we are steps closer to a recall being issued.
I bought my Escape 8 years ago. Only 85,000 miles on it at this point. Here are the facts: What I have had to have fixed: since new, Liftgate rattled: numerous trips/replacement by dealership. Ford engineer stumped. Put duct tape around the too-small latch pin and it rattles no more. Automatic part of dome light quit. Replaced once, then quit again. Left it that way. Waterpump needed replaced at 75,000 miles. Control arm starting to come loose at 75,000 miles. Replaced battery and tires once. Now I have a small oil leak starting at 85,000 miles. Was told that this year of Escape is notorious for leaking oil and eventually needing a $5,000 repair to head gasket to fix. Advised me to continue to drive it the way it is, as the repair worth more than the car. Leak is very minimal, no low oil between changes. Seat coverings are horrible. Water even stains them, and you can't get the stains out. Dealer told me he has no idea how to get them out either. Interior and exterior rusting, even though 100% garaged and regularly cleaned/waxed. You be the judge.
I bought my 2008 Escape used a year ago. Yes it had the faulty transmission pump already replaced. It is definitely not the most comfortable ride on the highway. My butt usually goes numb, but in-city driving is easy. The seat is powered on the driver's side helping me gain some more height (I'm only 5'6 making seeing over the steering wheel difficult in large vehicles). The controls are easy to figure out and are large enough that my monkey fingers can get control. This version does lack the Ford Sync of the newer vehicles but still has an audio jack. In town handling is easy but at higher speeds it is a bit of a challenge but has the stability control to help you out.
It still had the truck styling. Too bad the new ones look like space ships. We bought it as a small, safe, family car. It completely served the purpose. It had plenty of cargo space. The seats were cloth and a rough material. Water would leave rings in the material too. However, it was reliable.
Ok let me say this many post reviews based on the experiences in repair shops. And a bad experience with minor things. Overall the escape is a terrific vehicle as with anything it requires maintenence and fluid changes frequently as well as filters. I only have one negative from driving on freeways. Its the moonroof noise. I pirchased a wind deflector hopefully it helps. Over all no problems as of yet recently inspected. Repairs not so bad. But it adds up if your not quick to take care of problems as soon as it rises. Play it smart