By KBB.com Editors
In the auto business, it doesn't take long to go from the top of your game to playing catch-up. So it seems is the case with the Ford Escape; a versatile and fuel-efficient compact SUV, but one starting to grow old, and fast. Though given a thorough freshening two years back, the Escape finds itself surrounded by newer and larger compacts, some capable of carrying up to seven passengers. It does not feature the latest advancements in stability control, nor does it offer the latest gadgets such as DVD navigation. Still, the Escape is a sturdy and proven vehicle, one well-suited to the needs of individuals and small families with active life styles and tight budgets.
If you like the feeling of sitting up higher than in a sedan or wagon, and you also need an easily accessible and roomy cargo area, you'll like the Ford Escape. The Escape's manageable size makes it easy to maneuver in traffic and tight parking areas, and its big back seat offers lots of legroom for rear-seat passengers.
If you're looking for an SUV with a high/low transfer case for serious off-roading or a third-row seat, the Escape is not your vehicle.
A keypad entry feature is now standard on all XLT trims.
Driving Impressions While the base model's 2.3-liter engine can certainly move the Escape, it's no rocket. If fuel economy is not your top priority, the 3.0-liter V6, which produces a hardy 200...horsepower, is the engine of choice. The base Escape is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, but it offers an on-demand four-wheel-drive system designed to engage only when it detects wheel slippage. The Escape's suspension is engineered to give it car-like ride and handling characteristics, but is still tough enough to go off-road. Part of the secret to getting a smooth, quiet ride is in the choice of tires. In the case of the Escape, the standard tires are wonderful for highway driving, but may be lacking when going off-road. The truth of the matter, however, is that very few people actually do go off-road, but many drivers must deal with slippery conditions, such as snow or ice. For those situations the original equipment tires should be just fine.
Expandable Roof Rack
The Escape's expandable roof rack allows for maximum cargo loading.
Big Rear Seat
The Escape's big rear seat offers 35.6 inches of legroom.
The Escape's interior is practically luxurious, with high-quality materials used throughout the cabin. The instrument panel design is easy to live with, and the redesigned center console moves the shift lever from the steering column to the floor. A roomy rear seat with loads of legroom and a generous cargo hold are the other Escape strong points. Because the Escape does not sit high off the ground, the roof is relatively easy to reach, an important point when loading or removing equipment such as bikes or skis.Exterior
The Escape looks like a miniature Explorer. It's a handsome little SUV that projects an image of toughness and fun. Bright exterior colors, big wheels and tires and a number of exterior packages can convert the Escape into a weekend beach cruiser or a super-plush family vehicle.
The Escape XLS features a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, anti-lock brakes (ABS), air conditioning, rear defroster, engine immobilizer, illuminated keyless entry, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, folding rear seat, tilt wheel, power door locks, rear wiper/washer, power windows and 15-inch steel wheels. The V6 XLT Sport model adds a 200-horsepower 3.0-liter engine, automatic transmission, cruise control, six-disc CD changer, alarm system, six-way power driver's seat and alloy wheels.
Options include a four-speed automatic transmission, auto-off headlamps, four-wheel drive, 200-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, leather seats, roof rails, power moonroof, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, audiophile stereo system and side-step bars.
The four-cylinder engine is recommended for those seeking maximum fuel economy. It's peppy, provides good low-end torque and can be mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The V6 is more than adequate to move the Escape quickly, but is available only with an automatic transmission and gets slightly worse fuel economy.
2.3-liter in-line 4
153 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/29 (FWD manual), 23/26 (FWD automatic),
22/27 (4WD manual), 21/24 (4WD automatic)
200 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
193 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24 (FWD), 19/23 (4WD)
By bltour2014 on Monday, December 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "great size, decent value"
Cons: "bad gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Overall, the escape was a good vehicle. It was a perfect size for one person with a dog and occasional passengers. Roomy seating, sufficient hauling area. Horrible gas mileage, however, like 14 mpg! I was very satisfied with the value I got from it and loved having no payments for a few years. I no longer have this vehicle becasue it randomly caught on fire last week. I went to turn around in a parking lot and heard a "pop" and it immediately starting smoking and burning under the hood. Needless to say, I am now car shopping."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By escape driver on Monday, December 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 191,300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"My dad bought the escape 2nd hand in practically new condition, in 2002 or 2003. Passed it down to me in 2007 when my mom got a new kia sportage. It's held together just as well as the 6 year newer kia. It's ran perfect, except for the time my sister in law ran it out of oil & blew the engine :( replaced the engine with a 60,000 mile used engine, & it's ran great since the swap. The v6 engine is a stud. My only complaint with this car has been that the stereo doesn't sound good, even after adding subs and an aftermarket cd player - not sure if it's the acoustics or cheap factory speakers, but it just won't drown out the road noise, which can be pretty significant. Been a great car though."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Sunnyc on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Low Maintenance, Easy to drive, Relable"
Cons: "Texas Heat, some upholstery came loose"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Let me say that in the past 10 years I have had friends that have had 2 to 3 different cars because of problems they have had. None of them owned a Ford Escape. I cannot not stress enough how liable this car has been for me. The main reason I have kept for sooo long! You know when you have a good thing why change it. It has been low maintenance, great running car. The pick up this car has can leave a lot of other make cars in the dust. I enjoy the size, not too big and not too small. I will have to say I am not that impressed with the newer styles that the Escape has changed to. I still see several of us older models on the road still running strong. Love, Love this car!"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Jesse on Saturday, November 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 220,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Spacious, fun to drive, nice design"
Cons: "A lot of mechanical problems after 100k miles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I absolutely love the design, size, versatility and drive of this car. However, since I bought it used 2 years ago I have put almost half of what I paid into repairing it only to have it continuously break down to this day. I bought it used with 2 previous owners with 180k miles on it. After 6 months of having it I had to replace the alternator, radiator, and all three catalytic converters. Since then the catalytic converters have clogged twice. Several mechanics have said that this is a common problem with the Escapes. This may have just been one weird experience with this model but I have not found it very reliable at all."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Alby on Sunday, November 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Versatility and fairly economical. Nice design."
Cons: "A bit tight for big drivers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"bought my 2007 escape 4wd to get me through the winter. Had moved back to pa from fl. As it has turned out the car is so versatile and "handy" that I drive it most of the time. This was last year for the front end design, which I prefer to the truck like appearance of the newer escapes."
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Bonnie on Saturday, November 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to drive, dependable"
Cons: "Upholstery stains easily."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Outside of routine maintenance (brake pads, tires, wheel bearings, fluid changes) I never had a problem with this vehicle in 250k miles. It always starts, avg 23-25 mpg, handles IA winters well, super dependable! Biggest complaint is upholstery stains easily and is difficult to clean. The back seat is not the most comfortable for 3 people. Awesome vehicle for just my husband & I."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful