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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 484 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

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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Constant Problems

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,600

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Nice interior, Good speakers, looks sharp outside"

Cons: "unreliable, constant check engine lights"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I have had this car for almost four years and so far I have had three recalls on it. The brakes keep coming lose and recently the throttle body assembly broke causing the car to randomly lose power and to stall. It seems to be one problem after another."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Last of the great Escapes.......

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "All-around A-1. MPG on highway is 30-32, intown 25"

Cons: "none"

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

"I have enjoyed this SUV immensely......bought it with 25k on it.......been through all the New England messes and came out a winner."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

GOOD 8.3 score kelly book excellent Ford Escape, I

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,136

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "could use more space in back trunk area"

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

"Ilove this car drives like a new Ford suv Escape see milage ---its true. Bought at Texas Motors with 10000 and I have put only 10136 on it maitance is kept up at all times. This is great SUV!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Never left me stranded, ever!

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

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

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, responsive, great value and gas mileage."

Cons: "I haven't found any yet."

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

"This car is so reliable! Any problems have been minor with the security/ignition system and a water pump issue. Incredible pick up for passing on the highway, especially for a 4cyl. Rugged, compact, fun to drive. I just paid it off and hope to drive it another 200K!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

SMALL SUV

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"It looks like it should have plenty of room but it does not. The backseat is tight to fit a Graco SnugRide carseat, and the rear compartment is a squeeze for a full size stroller. Good if you don't want to carry much with you. I would recommend a full size sedan over this."

2 people 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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