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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 584 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

2009 Escape

By on Wednesday, May 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Practical and affordable"

Cons: "Cheap parts and plastic"

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

"Very practical vehicle. The 6 cylinder engine has plenty of power. Handles well in the snow even for being FWD. Not as reliable as other cars I've owned but the price is very good. Center counsel is not very visually pleasing."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

great vehicle, but uncomfortable seats

By on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000

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
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great value, dependable vehicle"

Cons: "don't get the seats made with recycled material."

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

"I loved the way my Ford Escape handled. It was easy to drive, easy to park. No mechanical problems at all. Very few minor recalls. I never really liked the color that Ford calls "sage". The seats were impossible to clean. Even water left spots that could not be removed. The seats were also hard and uncomfortable and I had to buy cushions. I plan to buy another Ford Escape, but in a different color with leather seats."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Alaska Tough

By on Monday, March 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Easy to drive in even the worst conditions."

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

"My Escape is the best midsized SUV I have owned hands down. In Alaska the winter roads can be very difficult to navigate and our Escape doesn't miss a beat. The automatic 4-wheel drive is amazing and has never let us down. We have taken our fair share of road trips through blizzard and ice conditions and felt safe each and every time."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love my vehicle

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very economical"

Cons: "I wish they had a/c controls for the back seat"

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

"I have had this vehicle for almost 5 years and still love it. Never have any trouble. When it comes time to get a new one, I do not know what to do as I don't like the new body style and love the style I have and the older ones as well."

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

125K miles and still going strong

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

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: "Dependability, comfort, durability, weather tight"

Cons: "Wish availability of 5 Speed was better in Escapes"

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

"Have been a very happy Ford owner for many years; the 2008 Ford Escape having been the best one yet. I've had this vehicle since its' infancy and have been loyal to keeping routine maintenance in check with one of our local Ford Dealerships in the area, who has in turn been loyal to me as a customer. I've not had any out of pocket major expense thus far, and other than normal wear and tear, and routine upkeep; expenses have been minimal. I've been without a car payment for more than 3 years and have been loving it. Last night, for the first time, my clutch acted out and I returned home when I realized I would need to get it in for a service repair. I didn't want to risk wrecking or getting stranded in inclimate weather. Where many would be upset and irritated that they were going to have to get their car repaired, I looked online to see what the average cost for repairs would be to find that my clutch had outlasted the "normal expectancy life" of a clutch by 2.5 times the mileage that was suggested. It's nice not having a car payment, but would definitely buy another Ford when the time comes I should need a new vehicle. This one has been very reliable and has great comfort as well."

7 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best SUV for travel

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,788

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: "Nice room, leg room, head room, and long drives"

Cons: "Navigation System in wrong place."

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

For a hybrid it's got power!!..

"I bought my Escape Hybrid Limited 2010 new after doing research on other SUV's in its class and loved all the addons. My Escape gets 36 miles to the gallon both city and Hyw total.. We have drove it up north a lot and it does well in stop and go traffic always in hybrid mod when stopped and when seeing the screen ( with the Navigation System being in the wrong place on the dash ) you can see how the system works. When others want to drive it and stopped at a light or stop sign they think it's cut off ,but it's in Hybrid mod. It's the box style watch means you can get a lot in the back with seats that fold down. The back glass opens with out opening the back hatch. Over all a fun SUV to have."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

For a hybrid it's got power!!..

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