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2008 Ford Escape

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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)

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2008 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 566 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

Avoid!

By on Sunday, August 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks; Cargo room for camping"

Cons: "Everything else"

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

"I bought my 2010 Escape in April 2014 with 69000 miles. By early March 2014 the air conditioner went out and I had to have the throttle body replaced after the vehicle went into limp mode while driving down the interstate. The throttle body was under what they call a 'customer satisfaction recall', or something like that, so it did not cost me anything to fix. the AC was a $1000 repair. One year later I was halfway through a cross country road trip with approximately 83000 miles on the car and the fuel injection system went out, costing me another $1000. These are all common issues that have been well documented on the various review sites, yet Ford does not seem to care to provide any recalls or assistance when it comes to the expensive repairs. I will never own a Ford again, and probably not anything made in America after the experience I have had with this. Mine was made at teh Ford plant in Kansas City, and even has the 'Union made" sticker on the window, a minor selling point when I bought it. However, I know this no longer means anything when it comes to quality. My sister has a 2010 Fusion, also from Kansas City, and has had virtually identical issues since buying it brand new in 2010. It is too bad, really, because I love the way my Escape looks and handles....when it is not broke down! I do a lot of camping and it has ample room for my gear, including a large mountain bike that fits in the back with the seats down. Be aware of this model and year, and if you do buy it be sure you are up to date on your AAA membership because you will eventually need a tow!"

Love my Escape -

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "handles great, perfect size, solid and reliable"

Cons: "small gas tank"

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

"My second Escape - loved them both. Great seat height - easy in and out. Handles the roads well, tight to the road, small enough to manuever like a car, big enough to get through snow, muck... Love it! It could use some convenience spots inside - more cup holders, pockets, places to stash stuff. And it has a small gas tank. But I LOVE it - will buy another when I've run this into the ground. Bought this '08 used and have never had any problems with it - at all."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good driving car.

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice ride. easy to get into and out."

Cons: "none"

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

"I've enjoyed owning and driving my Escape. Good on gas, not as good as some, but good. Quiet ride. Looks good."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best car ever

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10

Pros: "It is great to drive. Handles very welll"

Cons: "None"

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

"This car is a one owner. It is in excellent condition. It has 30,000 miles. Never had any problems. Interior is very clean. Outside is perfect condition"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Over all my Opinion is a 9 Rating

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,550

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "They Seem to Hold Value with proper Maintenance"

Cons: "Does have Adverage Road Noise"

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

"Dependable,4 cy, 2.5 motor, Just Great on Gas , Great Ride for around town or Road Trip, Does have average Road Noise, lots of leg and head room , seating is very comfortable"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Reliable car in all weather-never had a problem

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "a safe ride, excellent SUV"

Cons: "seats need work-not comfy"

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

"This SUV has been a safety, reliable car. It's performance outweighs the low interior and comfort-with the ability of feeling safe in this vehicle. I love this SUV it is very stunning in it's look better then the 2015 I think...I like it boxy looking. It doesn't get dings when other cars open car doors and or gets scratches. The interior seating has problems it's a material where it shows every drop, every little spill-so I don't like that I would prefer leather. The seats are not comfy but I bought lamb covers for the seats that look wacky but feel so good in all kinds of weather so I keep the seats protected. It is roomy and the seats go down and I moved everything from one apartment to another with only two loads for each room boxes filled the ceiling it was a smooth ride too. My SUV had some call backs and I had them fixed...but other than this-you cannot go wrong with the Escape SUV I love the car!!!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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