My 2009 Ford Escape has been plagued with transmission issues for a year and a half now. I experience shift flares, hard and harsh shifting, and even times when it can't shift out of first gear. It will also frequently slam into gear when going from P to D or R, causing the entire car to shack violently until banging into gear. After the TSB updates, i get much worse gas milage and the tranny issues have increased. Now i get hesitation in acceleration when coasting or yielding and pressing the accelerator. It's extremely dangerous when making a left hand turn and the car is unresponsive for a few seconds. I have almost had 5 accidents due to this. This car is extremely unsafe.
I bought my Escape used in Sep 2010 to replace my 98 Grand Prix. These are the only two vehicles I've ever owned and I've been driving 15 years. The Escape is a challenge to rate for two main reasons: It is extremely reliable, has almost no mechanical issues, is smooth and fluid on the road and provides almost everything I need as far as cargo and transportation goes. On the other hand, it is uncomfortable to sit in. I mean, the seats are not good. In 6 years I've yet to get the seat/steering position perfect. My legs get cramped up or my back starts to hurt a little after only 20 minutes of driving. But this thing is so smooth and nice on the road, the road noise is low (compared to my wife's Civic which is ridiculously loud), and the steering is so soft and fluid you can control the the vehicle with a single finger. Other than some pretty stupid interior design (center stack mainly) and cheap materials, as well as an occasionally jerky transmission the vehicle is near perfect. Pros: - Extremely reliable - Drives very well - Easy to control - Excellent in snow/ice/rain - Great exterior styling Cons: - Jerky transmission when starting from a stop - Horrible interior stying/center stack design - Cheap plastic materials inside - Very uncomfortable seats - Lack of telescoping steering UPDATE: After 8 years of ownership my Escape is still performing really well. Non-routine maintenance is increasing in frequency, as would be expected, but the biggest expense to date was replacing some suspension components on the front end. No major mechanical issues have come up and the majority of expense is spent on routine maintenance, the most being spark plugs ($400), front brakes ($350) and a 100,000 mile tune up ($400). The biggest issue now is the rear passenger wheel well is rusting underneath and on the outside and there is rusting on the roof above the driver side where the windshield and roof meet. Other than that, this thing is doing really well with over 125,000 miles and I will likely drive it until it has close to 200,000.
I love this truck! I bought this with 33k miles to replace a Durango I could no longer afford to feed. It was an adjustment to go that small. I chose the Escape because it had the most interior room of the small SUV's. I'm 6'5 and I sit comfortably in it for an 8 hour drive twice a month. I have the XLT V-6. I get 28mpg round trip on that drive and I see 33 in certain spots where I behave with the throttle. It now has 75k miles on it and the only thing I have touched is the oil and transmission fluid and a new set of tires. Most dependable vehicle I've ever owned. And it pulls a 3050lbs RV and gets 12mpg doing it. I've been offroading in WV with it and even just 2wd, it holds its own.
I bought this vehicle new in the summer of 2009. About a month later the Transmission failed. It took a month and a half to repair because of back ordered parts. After the rebuild, the shift pattern was messed up and had to go back for reprogramming. This was all within 15,000 miles and covered by warranty. After warranty, the a/c condenser failed. $900 there. Then the power steering unit failed. This isn't a standard power steering unit either. In other words, $1400 more. I've also had some sort of an mid shaft axle support bearing fail. $400 more. All in all, I have put nearly $3000 in repairs into a 3-1/2 year old vehicle. Way too many mechanical failures. I'm done with Escapes
I read on the internet that the 2009 Ford Escape 6 speed trans has problems.I thought that this is not going to happen to the vehicle I purchase.Well much to my surprise I had to have trans work on my vehicle at 29000 miles.Very slow shifting from reverse to drive.Now I noticed that it has a ticking sound like a vehicle with bad lifters in an old car.The dealer does not seem to hear it ,I must be hullucinating.Loud exhaust and a growling sound when driving uphill.Got rid of a 11 yr old Chevy Tacker and it was a much quieter than this 2 yr old vehicle.