We had minor issue with the AC, fixed based on a notice from Ford that thankfully our mechanic saw. Overall I loved it. The four wheel drive and handling was great, it was sporty looking for an SUV, and had pretty good gas mileage for being an SUV. The interior was comfy with heated seats and plenty of storage.
My wife bought this car brand new in 2011. Worked great for 3 years and 1 month. 3 weeks after our 3 year warranty expired the back left window regulator went out. Ford would not replace it so we had to have it replaced for $200. One month later the back right window regulator went out. Soon after that the AC went out. And just recently the sun roof stopped opening and closing. We have owned this car for 4.5 years and have had to get more things fixed then any car I have ever owned. The car looks nice and drives fine in my opinion but the cost to own it is ridiculous. I will never buy an escape or a ford for that matter ever again.
I'm working in automotive industry as engineer for the last 30 years. I bought this new 2011 Escape in Canada for my wife as she liked it during the driving test. I wouldn't buy it for myself. The car is noisy, a combination of engine, exhaust and poor sound insulation. I also knew from customer reviews that transmission for the 4 cyl engine is a concern. From day one, an average 4 times per week the transmission STRONGLY jerks when I reduce the speed below 25 miles per hour or shift in reverse at start. Canadian dealer tried to fix it without any luck, now living in US the Americans tried as well, they just gave up saying by loading the latest shift software there is nothing else to do.
The cargo when rear seats are folded is excellent.
None, after so many hundreds of thousands of vehicles on such a popular car if Ford was not able to build a reliable transmission that is a big problem. I recommend to stay away of buying the 4 cyl version. It will annoy you all the time the transmission jerks.