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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 506 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

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

Love this Vehicle

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,500

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
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Lots of room, easy to maintain."

Cons: "Gas mileage."

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

"I bought my Escape new, and have had no problems at all. I keep up with the maintenance religiously, and this SUV has been very dependable. If, and when, I trade, more than likely I will buy another Escape."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love my Escape

By on Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handles well, good cargo space, dependable"

Cons: "Newer models may get better gas milage"

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

"I have a hard time thinking of anything negative, for anyone like me looking for a smaller SUV this is a good choice. It handles well in all conditions, I like the way the back seats fold completely down for cargo, and the heated seats..divine. Newer models may get better gas mileage, I average 21 - 22 with mostly in town driving with the occasional 100 mile round trip to Denver. I've had not trouble at all with this SUV, other than other people backing into it in parking lots,and plan on keeping it forever as I'm an older driver who wants to retire soon. I deliberately chose the Escape as I knew this would probably be my last car purchase, and I needed something for all weather, that is dependable, and that handles well. I prefer the tighter Ford suspension over a comparable Blazer I owned before. My Escape has plenty of pick up and accelerates well, I'm an older driver but not necessarily a slower driver! LOL! The Escape does not handle quite as well as my Outlander did, I notice a tiney bit more sway on corners but not much, and the Escape has had less trouble than my Outlander did. (Although I liked the Outlander a lot too, I ended up selling it because it was starting to have electrical issues, and the warrantee work would have had to have been serviced by a Mitsubishi dealer, and the only one within hundreds of miles is not a dealer I would take my car to for anything, much less service.)"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this vehicle a lot of $$$ savings in gas.

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "That is a value for your money."

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

"After a little invest in maintenance at factory authorized dealer it is works fantastic never have a issue with engine or tansm I did has a lot of driving with my family and works perfectly."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

4 years of trouble free driving

By on Saturday, October 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This was our main vehicle until this summer and has never given us any problems. One recent recall was no big deal and easily taken care of. The handling is like an SUV and not the greatest but adequate. New tires this year seemed to help the steering. All in all I've been very satisfied with this Escape. We had previously owned 5 Ford Explorers so this was a downsize for us. Very similar but like the little brother to the Explorer."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Adequate and dependable

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nothing special but a good value"

Cons: "Upolstery is rough, awful"

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

"The only thing awful about this auto is the upholstery. It has been very dependable, one very minor recall, no actual repairs required to date. Lots of "GO" in this 4 cylinder unit. Here in flat Delaware, gas mileage has been above average. Interior appointments are nothing special but then, it's not a Lincoln."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love my new car!

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,225

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I love everything about my car! The only thing I would change is the front bucket seat headrest is tilted forward a bit and you can't adjust the angle of it. The height is adjustable but that doesn't seem to help. I always feel my head is pushed forward a bit and when wearing a ponytail it is especially uncomfortable."

3 people out of 4 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

Buying this car?