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I am compelled to write a review on my families 2009 Ford Escape Limited. We picked it up back in March 2009, and at the time of this review we have put on nearly 11k miles. I will begin my review with the interior. At first I didn't think much of the interior accent lighting but I have grown to love it. Our choice color is deep blue, but with the flip of a switch you can chose other colors. The seats are acceptable. As a commuter vehicle I drive my parents Honda Ridgeline and have to say the seat materials are not as good as the Ridgeline. Plus the seats lack the comfort and support of the Ridgeline's seat. I know it's a bad comparison since the Ridgeline is a more expensive vehicle but it's something I always noticed. Overall though it's only a minor peeve. The interior is roomy for a vehicle it's size. This Escape has the same footprint as our old Accord but it offers more interior room. Plenty of leg room up front, decent leg room in the rear. The hatch offers plenty of space for luggage and other cargo. The storage system under the rug holds all of our automotive related items with room to spare.

Something I really like about the interior is the black piano finish plastic trim. I have to say it looks very classy. It's located around the shifter, the center stack, and the arm rest of the driver and front passenger doors. My only peeve with this trim is Ford didn't put it on the arm rest of the rear passenger doors. My mother always sits behind the front passenger seat and she rest her hand on the arm rest located on that door. I noticed after a few months of ownership that a film developed on the plastic (Probably from my mother always resting her hand there). It comes off but it takes a good amount of elbow grease. If this piano finish was located on the rear doors not only would it look better but it would be easier to clean. The only other thing I didn't like about the rear seat was the lack of rear arm-rest.

The most attractive feature of the interior is the center stack. I am glad when Ford did the MCE of this vehicle they moved the shifter from the column to the floor. The materials they put on the shifter are high quality, it doesn't feel flimsy at all. My favorite feature of the center stack is the LCD display located on the top. This blue LCD screen displays the dual zone auto climate control temperatures (Driver on the left, passenger on the right), the full date in the center, and the outside temperature on the bottom right. If you use the radio it will display some of the data in the center where the date would be if the radio was off. I think Ford was smart to display this data here instead of the navigation screen since you can quickly glance at it without taking your eyes too far off the road. The climate controls consist of a two knobs and a few buttons. Simple to operate and the materials here are top notch. Overall with the exception of the seats the interior is top notch in my opinion.

The infotainment system was another well done feature. Sadly though I haven't got a chance to use the Sync system yet. We were supposed to upgrade our phones but it has been pushed back to December-January and our current phones are ancient so I can't Sync them. When I get Sync set-up I will post a separate review on it. I only used the voice recognition a few times but found it to be cumbersome compared to the Ridgeline's. For example in the Ridgeline I would utter "XM Channel 23" to select my desired radio station. In the Escape I have to utter multiple commands before I could set the radio to the station I wanted. I haven't had much time to play with it and only skimmed the instructions so I might be over-complicating the process somehow. Navigation works as well as the Ridgeline's, it has always got us to our destination on the several dozen occasions we used it. However I would like to note the database seems to be a bit outdated. On one or two occasions it didn't display the roads we were on. It routed us to our destination even with this problem. Something to note the same exact roads are missing from the Ridgeline's navigation disk. Not a big deal since 99.9% of the roads we used were in the database. Traffic-Nav is another neat feature. While we didn't get many chances to use the traffic re-routing feature we did find the weather data, and movie data (Time's, what's playing, and location) very useful. Sound quality of the audio system is great IMO. Sirius/AM-FM sounds great through the speakers provided.

The exterior of the redesigned Escape is very handsome in comparison to the pre-2008 Escape. The all chrome front grill is very attractive. Our Escape is Sterling Grey, at first I wasn't too crazy about getting a grey color but it looks good. The automatic headlamps/fog lamps have been very useful. We have the controls set to automatic and the lights always come on at the perfect time. The only thing I don't like is the high beams, they're ok but them seem a bit weak. The capless fueling system is another Ford exclusive feature I have grown to love, especially now that it's cold. Another handy feature offered on this vehicle remote opening rear glass. Hit a button on the keyfob twice and the glass on the hatch opens so you don't have to fumble with the hatch. Real useful when carrying small-medium sized objects. However in the past few months I noticed the glass doesn't always open. It comes unlatched but it doesn't open fully. The vehicle will be going in for it's next oil change either this month or next I will be asking the dealer to look at it. It probably needs an adjustment.

Something weird I noticed about the rear of the vehicle is how dirty it gets compared to the rest of the vehicle. Why this happens I can't explain, maybe the mud flaps are too small and the road dirt is being kicked up? It takes a lot of hard scrubbing to clean the dirt off. This is our first SUV so maybe this happens with them all? Overall I like the exterior, more so than any of the competition (RAV-4, CRV, Equinox). However I wish Ford integrated the AM/FM antenna into the windshield or body of the vehicle. I think these old fashion whip antenna's detract from the overall appearance of the vehicle.

The final part of my review will cover the powertrain. We opted for the 3.0L 240HP V6 with the AWD system. The engine has some kick to it. The only thing we don't like about it is how the transmission sometimes hesitates. It really likes to stay at a certain RPM (I believe around 2200-2500). Some GM vehicles that use the same 6 speed automatic seem to have similar issues so I think it comes down to programming. I believe it does this to maximize fuel economy. Over time though this problem has become less pronounced. If you give the pedal a good tap the engine gives you all the power you could want. Did I mention how agile this vehicle is? We driven it through NYC and it's easy to handle in traffic.

We really haven't had a chance to use the Escape in any significant snow but we drove it through some bad weather and the vehicle got us through it without a struggle. Fuel economy has steadily risen since we bought the vehicle. Earlier in the year we were only getting between 18-20 MPG combined. Now we are averaging around 20.8-21.8 MPG city and between 21.7-23.6 MPG highway. On thanksgiving we took the Escape on a 500+ mile trip. On the way back home I was averaging between 75-80 MPH with the cruise control on and I was still able to average about 23.4 MPG for the last 170 miles of the trip. All these figures were gathered from the fuel economy computer but manual calculations showed that these figures were accurate. These figures match or exceed the window sticker.

Thats all I have to say about the Escape. My family loves it, and I love it. In my review it might seem like I complained a lot but really most of my complaints are just picking at the few weak points this vehicle has. This vehicle has impressed me to the point that all of Ford's current and future products will continue to be on my shopping list when I am ready to buy my own vehicle. Kudos to Ford you did a great job with this vehicle, keep it up. :clap:
 

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Escape-PA- said:
Did I mention how agile this vehicle is? We driven it through NYC and it's easy to handle in traffic.
I would never drive in NYC, I've been there and it's crazy! But I have taken my Escape to some pretty tight city streets in old Quebec and Montreal, and I have to agree the veh is just small enough to be comfortable and at the same time offeres a nice elevated seating possition and good visibillity. I find my Escape a cinch to sneek into parking spots with.
Thanks for the review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jonas1022 said:
Pay it forward! Good idea! :thumb:
Indeed, thats how a blog is supposed to operate under ideal circumstances.

rehctelf said:
I would never drive in NYC, I've been there and it's crazy! But I have taken my Escape to some pretty tight city streets in old Quebec and Montreal, and I have to agree the veh is just small enough to be comfortable and at the same time offeres a nice elevated seating possition and good visibillity. I find my Escape a cinch to sneek into parking spots with. Thanks for the review.
Actually we were heading to Brooklyn, my birthplace. However we got arrogant and didn't use the navigation system. We took the wrong turn and ended up in Manhattan. Luckily it was early Friday afternoon when we drove in so the traffic wasn't too bad. We drove past ground zero, the seaport, and over the Brooklyn bridge. It was a very scenic drive. We are not familiar driving through that part of New York so the navigation system saved our butt's.

I agree with your assessment of the Escape. It's got the footprint of our old Accord so that helps a lot in tight areas, but it has more room and better ride height/visibility so thats an asset driving through the city.
 

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Escape-PA, I think you and I pretty much have the same Escape except mine doesn't have NAV. I think even the colors are the same. I agree with everything you wrote about on the Escape.

Regarding the rear glass openining by itself, mine also no longer pops open by itself 100% of the time. I think somewhere around 10K miles I noticed it. While having the Escape in for service I mentioned it as a repair item. The response was that the glass door has no provisions for it to automatically pop open and I'm lucky that it opens by itself at least some of the time. I'm curious to hear what your dealer tells you. Maybe the struts begin to weaken by 10K miles or so.

On gas mileage, I'm getting much better highway mpg than what you're experiencing. I'm always in the 26-28 mpg range on 87 octane at 65-70 mph with cruise control on and windows closed.

Some of the things I don't like about the '09 Escape are:
Plastic chrome clad wheels (still haven't decided if I'm going to replace them).
Rear drum brakes.
No cargo area tie-downs.
Almost no compartment storage in the cargo area (mine doesn't have the wet trunk which is of limited use anyway).
Rear seat cup holder too close to driver. With a bottle in the cup holder I always hit the bottle with my elbow when putting my seatelt on/off. Maybe my arms are too long.
No handles above windows for the rear seat passengers.
Upgraded audio system sounds OK, but still not very good.
No driver's seat lumbar support. But, I do like the firmness of the seat.
Having to remove the rear seat headrests to put the rear seats down. Then, the folded down seats still take up some cargo space.

Overall I love the Escape and those are just some of my minor complaints. I've used SYNC but not extensively. I really like the USB port as I use it with a flash drive for music. I think SYNC works well but I'm not a big fan of voice recognition systems and would rather just press a button. I'm very impressed with the quality of the Escape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DaveJ said:
Escape-PA, I think you and I pretty much have the same Escape except mine doesn't have NAV. I think even the colors are the same. I agree with everything you wrote about on the Escape.

Regarding the rear glass openining by itself, mine also no longer pops open by itself 100% of the time. I think somewhere around 10K miles I noticed it. While having the Escape in for service I mentioned it as a repair item. The response was that the glass door has no provisions for it to automatically pop open and I'm lucky that it opens by itself at least some of the time. I'm curious to hear what your dealer tells you. Maybe the struts begin to weaken by 10K miles or so.

On gas mileage, I'm getting much better highway mpg than what you're experiencing. I'm always in the 26-28 mpg range on 87 octane at 65-70 mph with cruise control on and windows closed.

Some of the things I don't like about the '09 Escape are:
Plastic chrome clad wheels (still haven't decided if I'm going to replace them).
Rear drum brakes.
No cargo area tie-downs.
Almost no compartment storage in the cargo area (mine doesn't have the wet trunk which is of limited use anyway).
Rear seat cup holder too close to driver. With a bottle in the cup holder I always hit the bottle with my elbow when putting my seatelt on/off. Maybe my arms are too long.
No handles above windows for the rear seat passengers.
Upgraded audio system sounds OK, but still not very good.
No driver's seat lumbar support. But, I do like the firmness of the seat.
Having to remove the rear seat headrests to put the rear seats down. Then, the folded down seats still take up some cargo space.

Overall I love the Escape and those are just some of my minor complaints. I've used SYNC but not extensively. I really like the USB port as I use it with a flash drive for music. I think SYNC works well but I'm not a big fan of voice recognition systems and would rather just press a button. I'm very impressed with the quality of the Escape.
Our Escape is Sterling Grey, it's hard to tell from our pictures but it looks like the same color. Once I get the vehicle serviced I will report my results back here. The main reason why you're getting so much better fuel economy is because your Escape is FWD, mine is AWD. Plus I average 75-80 MPH on the highway. When my father was driving he did a brief part of the trip at 70 MPH, the fuel economy kept going up. I am sure if we kept at 70 MPH our fuel economy would have broke the 24 MPG mark.

As for the wheels I don't think mine are plastic clad chrome wheels, don't know if ours had upgraded rims. When we bought this vehicle the dealer found it on another dealers lot so we got a few extra's we didn't order like the upgraded audio system. Not at cost though. I had no idea the rear brakes were drums, during this day and age I thought only the cheapest vehicles use drum brakes. I was also upset that the cargo area didn't get tie downs, I forgot to mention it though. We found the wet trunk to have plenty of space to hold our automotive related items. So much in fact we didn't use the storage pockets on the doors. We also have no complaints with the rear cup holders. I can agree with you on the rear door handles, I tried hanging some clothing from those hooks and they easily fall off. Seats were one of the cons I mentioned. The sound system is fine for our needs, and we don't lower the rear seat enough to list removing the head rest as a con. We have a truck when we need that kind of room. Different strokes for different folks comes into play, nothing is perfect after all.

I am eagerly awaiting a chance to use Sync and the quality is as good as it gets IMO.
 

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Thank you for the review [my '09 is only at 2,600 miles]

Re: The dirtyness of the rear section / liftgate.

This is actually a problem with all vechiles that have a flat back. As a vehicle travels down the road, it is constantly pushing air out of it's way. Well the flat back side of the SUV design creates a vacuum for all that air that is moving around the vehicle. This vacuum then sucks the air to the rear surface of the Escape where dust / dirt can collect and build up.

Simple remedy would be to install a small turn down spoiler at the back edge of the roof rack to divert some air across the rear section of the Escape and help break up the vacuum / low pressure zone back there.

Re: Drum Brakes.

Rear Drum setups have two advantages over a rear disk:

1) Better parking brake functionality for holding the Escape on a steep hill.

2) Longer Lasting rear pad [shoe] life than a disk and as an extra benefit, the brake components are not exposed to the elements.

Since the rear brakes only do about 30% of the work, it is logical to have drums.

Again, great review.
 

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sleeve said:
Re: Drum Brakes.

Rear Drum setups have two advantages over a rear disk:

1) Better parking brake functionality for holding the Escape on a steep hill.

2) Longer Lasting rear pad [shoe] life than a disk and as an extra benefit, the brake components are not exposed to the elements.

Since the rear brakes only do about 30% of the work, it is logical to have drums.
Bingo! Our MDX with rear discs is such a pain. They would be nice to have in less harsh climates though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
sleeve said:
Thank you for the review [my '09 is only at 2,600 miles]

Re: The dirtyness of the rear section / liftgate.

This is actually a problem with all vechiles that have a flat back. As a vehicle travels down the road, it is constantly pushing air out of it's way. Well the flat back side of the SUV design creates a vacuum for all that air that is moving around the vehicle. This vacuum then sucks the air to the rear surface of the Escape where dust / dirt can collect and build up.

Simple remedy would be to install a small turn down spoiler at the back edge of the roof rack to divert some air across the rear section of the Escape and help break up the vacuum / low pressure zone back there.

Re: Drum Brakes.

Rear Drum setups have two advantages over a rear disk:

1) Better parking brake functionality for holding the Escape on a steep hill.

2) Longer Lasting rear pad [shoe] life than a disk and as an extra benefit, the brake components are not exposed to the elements.

Since the rear brakes only do about 30% of the work, it is logical to have drums.

Again, great review.
Thanks Sleeve.

Thanks for explaining how the tailgate gets so dirty, I think I will do some research into a turn down spoiler. If it doesn't look unsightly we might get one. I guess drums aren't too bad but I still feel a bit cheated since drums are only found on the cheapest of vehicles now a days.
 

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Thanks for the review. Couple of small disappointments so far. 1.) You cannot mix and match AM/FM/SIRIUS on memory keys like my Saturn does (you have to scroll through each category). 2.) Remote start shuts off when you open the door and it is a seperate key fob. 3.) Wet trunk does not lock. 4.) Visor mirrors are quite small. All very minor and I love my new escape that I got yesterday.

P.S. this forum is very helpful, thanks
 

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My concern with the Escape's brakes are the truck's long stopping distance, and I'm assuming it's because of the rear drum brakes. According to Edmunds.com, they tested the brakes on the 2008 Escape and found at 60mph the Escape took 25 feet longer to stop than the class average. It is for this reason that Edmunds.com couldn't give the 2009 Escape their full endorsement.

It wouldn't bother me that the Escape has old technology rear drum brakes if it would just have comparable stopping distances to the vehicles in its class. But hey, I knew this before I bought the Escape and I still love it. Here's a link to an earlier post I made listing all the things I like about the '09 Escape:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2722
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
topman118 said:
Thanks for the review. Couple of small disappointments so far. 1.) You cannot mix and match AM/FM/SIRIUS on memory keys like my Saturn does (you have to scroll through each category). 2.) Remote start shuts off when you open the door and it is a seperate key fob. 3.) Wet trunk does not lock. 4.) Visor mirrors are quite small. All very minor and I love my new escape that I got yesterday.

P.S. this forum is very helpful, thanks
No problem. I have to take a closer look but I believe the wet trunk can be locked. My wet trunk has a small tab so you can use a pad-lock. However it only looks big enough to use one of those suitcase pad-locks.

DaveJ said:
My concern with the Escape's brakes are the truck's long stopping distance, and I'm assuming it's because of the rear drum brakes. According to Edmunds.com, they tested the brakes on the 2008 Escape and found at 60mph the Escape took 25 feet longer to stop than the class average. It is for this reason that Edmunds.com couldn't give the 2009 Escape their full endorsement.

It wouldn't bother me that the Escape has old technology rear drum brakes if it would just have comparable stopping distances to the vehicles in its class. But hey, I knew this before I bought the Escape and I still love it. Here's a link to an earlier post I made listing all the things I like about the '09 Escape:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2722
Thats my point, why have drum brakes been largely replaced by disk brakes? Better performance right?
 
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