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2008 Ford Escape

Overview
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2008 Ford Escape Review

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It's easy to confuse the sleek shapes and wedge-like profiles that dominate today's compact SUV crop. The 2008 Ford Escape, however, displays the same boxy, bold and rugged look that defines Ford's Explorer and Expedition SUVs. With over a million units sold, the Escape has proven itself to be an appealing vehicle and, with a host of interior refinements as well as more standard equipment and a quieter, more upscale cabin, the 2008 model looks to continue to rack up sales.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for traditional SUV features, such as high ground clearance and a high seating position, but you want it in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package, the 2008 Ford Escape makes a good choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Escape's ride and handling are not as precise as many crossover utility vehicles, and its four-cylinder engine lags behind the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue in horsepower and torque.

What's New for 2008

Despite its new look, the 2008 Ford Escape's chassis, engines and transmissions are, for the most part, carry-overs from the previous model. What is new are the redesigned exterior and interior components, which include seat fabric made from 100-percent recycled material, a new dash backlit in "Ice Blue" lighting and standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC).

Driving the Escape

Driving Impressions The 2008 Escape gained a bit of weight compared to the 2007 model, but unfortunately didn't get any extra power to compensate for the extra padding. As a result, acceleration...

is underwhelming, even with the V6 model. Handling is best described as respectable, but not as tight or confident as experienced in more car-like utility vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rouge. A new electric-assist power steering system delivers good steering response and eliminates the need for a belt-driven pump, which draws power from the engine.

Navigation System
Easy to use and loaded with helpful features, the Escape's on-board navigation unit can hunt down hotels, coffee kiosks and out-of-the-way gas stations in seconds.

Center Console Storage Space
The revised center console features a storage compartment large enough to hide a laptop computer, a rubber-lined storage tray to keep electronic devices from sliding around and an optional 110-volt power outlet.

2008 Ford Escape Details
2008 Ford Escape photo Interior

The 2008 Ford Escape's interior gets a major overhaul, with better quality plastics, "Ice Blue" dash lighting and a new "top-of-dash" information center. Ford has repositioned the parking brake lever to the driver's-side footwell, creating a new center console storage space large enough to accept a laptop computer. A thicker headliner and carpeting, as well as laminated side glass, help quiet the interior, and the Escape's rear seat remains one of the roomiest in this class. Ford's standard Safety Canopy includes side-curtain airbags that deploy in the event of a side impact or impending rollover situation.

Exterior
2008 Ford Escape photo

The 2008 Escape shares a strong family resemblance with Ford's other truck and SUV models, giving it a rugged appearance worthy of a quasi-off-road warrior. The Escape's small dimensions make it easy to park and maneuver, while the large side-glass panels permit a nearly unobstructed view for both driver and passengers. Unlike more stylized crossovers, the Escape's squared-off roof line creates a tall hatch opening that permits maximum cargo cramming. Bling junkies can opt for the Limited's Chrome Package, which adds reflective trim to the grille, rear hatch and roof rails.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic Escape is powered through its front wheels by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission. Creature comforts include rear defroster, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a four-speaker CD player with auxiliary audio input jack. Standard safety features include traction control, stability control, front seat side-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include a 3.0-liter V6 engine, four-wheel drive, 320-watt Audiophile sound system, GPS navigation, 17-inch chrome wheels, six-way power driver's seat, leather seats, heated front seats, 110-volt power outlet, power moonroof, fog lamps, keyless entry pad and the Reverse Sensing System.

Under the Hood

The base 2.3-liter four-cylinder isn't much on power, but it does return impressive fuel economy figures, especially when driven at highway speeds. If you desire a manual transmission, this is your only engine choice. The larger 3.0-liter V6 is a carry-over from last year. It provides better acceleration and the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, but its fuel economy ratings are in the high teens and low twenties.

2.3-liter in-line four
153 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (FWD, manual), 20/26 (FWD, automatic), 19/24 (4WD, automatic)

3.0-liter V6
200 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
193 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (FWD), 17/22 (4WD)

2.3-liter, four-cylinder with electric motor
133 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
124 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/30 (2WD), 29/27 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 549 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Just a great car should still make them

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortabler and affordable"

Cons: "no trunk area seating due to the battery"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Just sorry they stopped making the hybrid escape or I would have bought another rather than hold onto it this long."

great value, great versatility and very dependable

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "price, fuel mileage and comfort"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"i use this for everyday errands all the way up to pulling my bass boat. easier to get in and out of than an import, gets better mileage and has more power and space. i did recommend this to a friend and he has one."

good vehicle

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,329

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"considering the road conditions this car has been one of the smoothest driving vehicles ive road in and the quality is pretty decent. the sync system is absolutely wonderful and very responsive."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great for 1st time SUV owner

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Small truck feel without truck price"

Cons: "Brakes not enough for vehicle of its size"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"If you are looking for an SUV that is not completely terrible on gas (I'd imagine my V6 guzzles a little more than the 4cyl.) , if you want some luxury options at an affordable price, if you want a higher / more spacious ride that has a small truck like feel but is easy to drive and park, then a Limited Edition second generation Ford Escape may be for you. I've tested many trucks and SUVs before I made my purchase of this car, and what made me buy it was simply getting everything I wanted at an affordable price while still getting the feel of small truck. The only thing I dislike is the brake power (yes I've changed the brakes), how there can be a delay when you are tryin to pick up speed on the highway and how easily the interior plastic can break or scratch. Other than that I can say I love this car, it's my second Ford, and I will remain loyal to Ford because it has not failed me yet."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A great small SUV wth decent cargo space.

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The box design creates space for people and cargo. Very reliable and has good gas mileage. Very good value"

Love this car!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very versatile. Great for hauling stuff."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is one of the few 2WD SUV's you can tow behind an RV. Ford discontinued that the following year. Wish they would bring that ability back."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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