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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 491 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

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

Have never had to use the warranty card

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, good visibility, very reliable"

Cons: "none"

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

"The car has been excellent, mileage as advertised. Car is tight and no rattles. Have done the routine services as required, but never had a warranty issue. Car does ride a little rough on certain pavements. Put the air down to 32 lbs in the tires made a noticeable difference with no change in gas mileage."

Lemon

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "good in snow, nice stereo"

Cons: "cheaply built, Ford doesn't stand behind it."

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

"I have had this car in the shop over 10 different times. Many times for the transmission that would shift while driving. The last 4 times have been for the AC that "quit" right after the warranty went out. Estimate-2,000 to fix. BUYERS BEWARE!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

It is the Best SUV ever.

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Space, ride, mpg, sound system, hp, looks, comfort"

Cons: "I'll let you know if I find any"

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

"This is my 3rd new SUV in the last 15 years and it's by far my favorite. I'm so glad that I got the V6 model on the last year before the redesign in 2013!! I'm a musician and have used my Escape to haul a PA system, a drum set, my guitars and amp, myself and my drummer! For a "little" SUV, it's got plenty of room. And the 240 hp gives me what I need with several hundred pounds of gear and men along for the ride. I really can't come up with anything I don't like about it. The MPG is good enough (up to 27 on all Freeway miles)- it's comfortable for driver and up to 4 passengers (granted, a couple of them were small, but I have had 3 adults in the back seat). It's been reliable and a total champ. Oh, and the sound system rocks!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

nice suv, lots of room for kid seats

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good room for car seats"

Cons: "little thirsty, 20-22 mpg"

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

"We have owned 4 escapes, and all have been good cars. good room, good quality, little rough on ride, but good enough. Gas mileage could be a little better, we have the v6 and get 20-22 mpg. no mechanical problems. drives right through snow. Very Good extra car. Lots of power."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best SUV ever

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value, Roomy. Cute"

Cons: "SYNC, No dash compass/outside temperature display"

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

"The 2009 Escape was my first Ford product, after owning several Chevy Suburbans and Blazers. My Escape has needed only basic maintenance, with no repairs or mechanical problems in almost 100,000 miles of driving. The only issue I've had has been with the SYNC, which doesn't want to communicate with my cell phone. My Escape is cute, roomy and fun to drive."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best handling vehicle in snow I have ever had.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good mileage and comfortable."

Cons: "Tailgate window molding leaked after 6 years."

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

"Best handling vehicle in snow that I have ever owned. Has heated leather seats, will never buy another vehicle without them. Previously owned 2 Explorers. Like Escape better. Although updated styling makes this 2009 Escape feel larger than my old 1996 Explorer. But driving feel and comfort are much better than the Explorers and 25 mpg in the Escape is great! Horsepower from 4 cylinder engine isn't great, but will go down the freeway at 80 all day long and is easier on the pocketbook. My Dealership is providing free oil changes and guarantees the engine for as long as I own the car. However, it would not make a repair on a tire with nail in tire. I like the 17 inch wheels but replacing all 4 of them will set me back almost a grand. We recently have had a lot of rain and the tailgate window molding leaked; my only complaint."

7 people out of 7 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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