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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 527 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

Traded 07 Rav 4 in for it.Great decision.

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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: "great price,fun to drive"

Cons: "emergency brake release hard to reach"

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

"This is a great suv. It still rides,looks & handles like it did when I bought it new. There were a couple of recall problems & dealer took care of them. Glad I bought the 6cyl. avg. 22.6 mpg with plenty of power."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car. Best car in the snow.

By on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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

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: "Great price, very good mileage."

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

"This car is just the right size. Very manueverable, great gas mileage. I love all the features of my Limited edition. It is the best car I have ever driven in the snow. I used to be concerned about the weather and roads, now I don't even check it. Great peace of mind. I have told many people, if I am having trouble, no one should be out on the roads. We should all be home."

Vehicle is wonderful!

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive; wonderful gas mileage"

Cons: "need a bigger cargo & separate cooling control"

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

"The only reason I'm considering selling/trading this vehicle in is I want a bigger vehicle for my dogs. I'm looking at a minivan which will accommodate 2 dog crates as well as 4 people (or more dog "stuff"). The gas mileage is awesome (averaging 30.4); it's comfortable; and I adore the back-up camera."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great truck for Michigan winters! Handles GREAT!

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

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: "Looks, handleing, fuel milage."

Cons: "Gas tank could be larger."

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

"Nice sized for me. We have had three of these vehicles so far, all have been VERY reliable and for the MOST part trouble free. Ford and our dealer have taken care of any troubles at no cost. They put in a new tranny at 18K after they tried to fix it...has been trouble free ever since. Fantastic in the snow. Great handleing on rain slicked expressways, snowy roads in the country, on down the line. I recommend these to anyone and everyone."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great all around vehicle to drive -"

Cons: "None that I am concerned about"

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

"Bought this vehicle at the beginning of 2014 with 18,235 miles on it. Since then have driven it quite a bit. For a new car it is dependable - no issues - use the sync - doesn't have the gps screen nor the backup camera - I know how to turn around to look behind me. However it does have GPS directions using services - which is a subscribed to provider free for a year. The best I have done over the road on the highway was around 24 MPG. However on a trip to upstate NY I did manage to average 28 MPG for awhile. The V-6 is the way to go - plenty of power - automatic lighting system - headlights come on by light sensor. Great Great visibility all around - the side view mirrors have a small magnafied lense for blind spot view. Heated leather seats along with heated side mirrors when you turn on the rear window defroster. The vehicle has been great easy to park - and the price of tires won't kill you - 16" can be bought for under $100 ea. The front bumper is plastic but all new vehicles are doing that so even though it's an issue for some people that's the way it is. Great car and got it for a great price"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Dependable,drives well,storage capacity is perfect

By on Tuesday, January 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Priced right and dependable"

Cons: "Changed model looks in 2013. Now a hybrid."

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

"Use this vehicle for my business deliveries and pick ups. Cargo space is more than adequate easy to lower seats and return to regular position. Comfortable driving seat, AC/Heat is exceptional. Regular Maintenance will keep this vehicle running a long time. Use it for personal us, recreational use."

14 people out of 19 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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