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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 547 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

good vehicle

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,329

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"considering the road conditions this car has been one of the smoothest driving vehicles ive road in and the quality is pretty decent. the sync system is absolutely wonderful and very responsive."

Great for 1st time SUV owner

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Small truck feel without truck price"

Cons: "Brakes not enough for vehicle of its size"

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

"If you are looking for an SUV that is not completely terrible on gas (I'd imagine my V6 guzzles a little more than the 4cyl.) , if you want some luxury options at an affordable price, if you want a higher / more spacious ride that has a small truck like feel but is easy to drive and park, then a Limited Edition second generation Ford Escape may be for you. I've tested many trucks and SUVs before I made my purchase of this car, and what made me buy it was simply getting everything I wanted at an affordable price while still getting the feel of small truck. The only thing I dislike is the brake power (yes I've changed the brakes), how there can be a delay when you are tryin to pick up speed on the highway and how easily the interior plastic can break or scratch. Other than that I can say I love this car, it's my second Ford, and I will remain loyal to Ford because it has not failed me yet."

A great small SUV wth decent cargo space.

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"The box design creates space for people and cargo. Very reliable and has good gas mileage. Very good value"

Love this car!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Very versatile. Great for hauling stuff."

Cons: "None."

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

"This is one of the few 2WD SUV's you can tow behind an RV. Ford discontinued that the following year. Wish they would bring that ability back."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Best SUV for the money and Best Gas mileage

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Gas Mileage! Fun SUV to Drive"

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

"Really Really like this Ford Escape. This is our 2nd one.the first was a standard model 2006 and we bought it used with 26,000 miles and paid $14,500 for it. Traded it in 3 years later with over 100,000 miles for the 2011 used. The dealer gave us an extra $1500 as this Ford Escape is in demand! Our 2006 did not have awd but we had aggressive tires on it for snow and it did very well. But the 2011 is awd and we are extremely happy with it! Wow it handles great, snow, rain, sun, and the mileage has been next to spectacular! On a long trip of 300 miles we managed 34mpg! Around town we consistantly get 27-28. This is in summer. in winter the mileage drops about 2-4 mpg depending on how cold it is. Now we have over 50,000 miles on it and the tires are still like new! Everything works like it should! We would like it if there was less road noise and a bit more leg room for driver. Other than that it is a WINNER!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car and would buy it all over again.

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "A really good value, nice and solid."

Cons: "Back seat has limited leg room, fits 2 ok 3 crowd"

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

"When I was asked what kind of car I wanted, I said something like the Ford Escape or Rav 4. I am so happy we got the escape. It is perfect if you don't like to climb up to get out of a car. Plenty of room in the front and bac storage area. I would have liked a little more leg room in the rear seating area. All the controls are accessible to the driver. Very comfortable to drive both in the suburbs and the highway. I have never had any mechanical or cosmetic deficiencies with the car. Although Mother Nature decided to put a tree on the roof and side. The repairs were painless and you would ever know that it happened."

3 people out of 6 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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