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2009 Ford Escape

Overview
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2009 Ford Escape Review

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Last year, Ford gave its popular Escape compact SUV a cosmetic makeover, with a new interior and exterior design, and improved sound insulation and seat comfort. For 2009, Ford completes the two-year renewal process with a major overhaul of the Escape's engine, transmission, suspension and brakes – changes that also apply to the Escape Hybrid (reviewed separately). With over a million units sold, the Escape has proven itself to be an appealing vehicle, yet with the current economic downturn and increasingly tough competition, maintaining its strong sales presence is now the new Escape's number one job.

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 2009 Ford Escape makes a good choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for sleek aerodynamic styling, the Escape's boxy exterior stands in stark contrast to the more elegant design of the Honda CR-V and Saturn VUE. Unlike the Toyota RAV4, the Escape does not offer a third-row seat option.

What's New for 2009

An all-new 2.5-liter and improved 3.0-liter engines result in more power and improved fuel economy. A new six-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all but the base XLS.

Driving the Escape

Driving Impressions Last year's redesign saw additional weight but no improvement in power for the 2008 Escape. For 2009, an all new 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine remedies this situation, offering a big...

boost in both horsepower and torque. The available six-speed automatic operates effortlessly and helps the Escape see improvements in both performance and fuel economy. 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. The 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 wide 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.

2009 Ford Escape Details
2009 Ford Escape photo Interior

The 2009 Ford Escape's interior received a much needed overhaul last year, adding better quality plastics, "Ice Blue" dash lighting and a new "top-of-dash" information center. Ford moved the Escape's parking brake to the driver's-side footwell, permitting the creation of a wide 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

The 2009 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 trim, which adds reflective chrome trim to the grille, rear hatch and roof rails.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic Escape is powered through its front wheels by an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. Creature comforts include rear defroster, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, 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, a six-speed automatic transmission, the SYNC in-car communications and entertainment system (optional on XLT, standard on Limited), GPS navigation with 10GB hard drive storage, 17-inch chrome wheels, six-way power driver's seat, leather seats, ambient lighting, heated front seats, power moonroof, fog lamps, keyless entry pad and the Reverse Sensing System. Also available are remote start and a rear seat entertainment system.

Under the Hood

An all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine employs variable valve timing to see an eleven percent increase in power and one mile per gallon improvement in fuel economy over last year's 2.3-liter engine.
If you desire a manual transmission, this is your only engine choice. The larger 3.0-liter V6 has also been improved, with a higher compression ratio that adds an additional 40 horsepower. The 3.0-liter provides better acceleration and the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, but its city fuel economy ratings only reach the high teens.

2.5-liter in-line 4
171 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
171 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (FWD, manual), 20/28 (FWD, automatic), 19/25 (4WD, automatic)

3.0-liter V6
240 horsepower @ 6550 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (FWD), 17/24 (4WD)

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?

2009 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 490 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

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

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."

3 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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