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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am looking for a compact SUV, hoping for fair to good gas mileage and came across the Escape/Tribute. I was looking at the Mitsubishi Outback but for four wheel drive and V6 it is a 2007 and up which is out of my price range. I was thinking SUV because I can put my beach stuff in the back, I can have room for passengers, they sit more comfortable than a compact car, and I thought it might be just plain fun to have the AWD (just in case). Also the V6 really doesn't get that much worse gas mileage than the bigger four cylinder's and gives you more power. (No offense to those who have four cylinders.)

Is there a major difference between the Escape and Tribute, enough I should look to buy one or the other?

When comparing the AWD and FWD is there a major difference positive or negative to go one way or the other?

Would the air intake mod and a performance exhaust up the gas mileage enough to make it worth while to mod it?

Do they have a mechanical factory defect to look for? (Like some year Explorers the transmission always goes at X miles.)

I found a Mazda 2005 AWD, V6, leather, loaded, etc. with 83500 miles on it for $8600 plus tax, tag, etc. The lip of the inside roof cover is messed up at the tailgate end and underneath the bolt that holds the spare tire is rusted and so are a few other bolts, nothing major. ( Used in Michigan for 5 years) Does that sound like a good deal? Will it rust out in like four years? lol

Thank you ahead a time. Sorry for all the questions.

(Yeah I could just go buy a used Honda civic if all I wanted was great gas mileage but other than gas mileage they dont offer much.) :D
 

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These twins are identical except for some minor body panels. I looked at the nadaguides.com for pricing. Your stated figures would be good when compared to the nadaguides figures but....there are regional differences and what is the service history of the vehicle? Carfax?

Issues:
-Transmission. Look thru this site about known issues with this transmission. More threads stating issues in vehicles with V6 engines than the 4 cylinder. Reports of transmission woes at low and high miles. Expensive to repair if it comes to this.
-Fuel Economy. Those with the 4 cylinder engine are usually reporting 4-6 mpg difference compared to the 6 cylinder via reports on this website. You are going to lose 2-3 mpg with the 4WD version compared to the FWD version. The 4WD version engages from every stop even in dry weather. 4wd system works well in snow.
-Coils. Those with the V6 engine are reporting on a need to replace this item more frequently than one would like.

Have a mechanic check out the vehicle. If the vehicle is at a dealer's lot, insist on some type of engine and drive-train warranty for so many miles at no cost to you.
 

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As far as the transmissions go, as long as the CD4E (transmission up to 2008 model. The late 08's may have the F635 as well,research) has a transmission cooler it should be fine. the transmission called 6F35 have problems that have not all been fixed. you can look up the problems on the Ford Fourms.com, or something similar, I lost the link when switching computers.Also there are some noises that annoy some people that are in the tail section of the 2nd Gen escapes but other then that I think the rigs are solid. My suggestion is whatever you purchase be sure it has a carfax report and a transmission cooler. I've had my rig for a few years I think and I beat the hell out of it. I wouldn't trade it for anything right now. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's. So the transmission is a Ford or a Mazda?

Hate to say it but I was hoping for a Mazda transmission. This mixing of parts makes me nervous. Ford transmissions are well...not the best. No offense.

I checked the vehicle out myself, not a mechanic, engine seemed clean, ran well, and the transmission worked good. I took it on a test drive with the sale guy and nailed it as hard as I could on acceleration and deceleration to see how it up-shifted and downshifted. No sludge in motor as far as I could tell and the transmission fluid looked good as well as the dip stick. (looked for burn looking stuff on oil cap and on engine and transmission dipsticks. Plus looked at the timing chain in through valve cover.)

AWD takes off kind of funny/different compared to FWD or a RWD vehicle. You can feel it going, scooting right down the road if you know what I mean.

Any more information would be great. I thank you for taking the time.

EDIT: Just answered my own question by looking up the transmission referred in one of your guys post. OMG its the big brother to the transmission I had in a Ford Escort ZX2. The one in the ZX2 was a piece of garbage. (Another Mazda/Ford hybrid) Which I blew straight to Hades, even with a huge transmission cooler and running Mobile One synthetic transmission fluid. I parted out my Escort ZX2 rather than get the transmission fixed it was so expensive to fix. Cost more to fix the transmission than the car was worth...lol. It wasn't funny then though.

I bet the AWD version of this transmission would be out of sight in cost.

http://atxprobes.com/cd4e.html Check this link out.

May have to go to the transmission shop to ask them about this one, before I buy. (No offense if you like Ford transmissions.) :D
 

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That transmission has all the bugs worked out of it. Since 2007 or 2005 I believe. If I was unsure as you sound I'd go elsewhere, however, the escort was a long time ago. Ford seems to have really out done themselves with the Escape. As posted prior, the Mazda and Ford are the same rig with a few different different body parts. Same mechanics..
 

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I am sure that if you buy the Escape, or Tribute you will be happy with it. Many here will agree, but some have been unhappy with their purchase. Then again, if you read between the lines, those that have been unhappy with the SUV go off an buy something completely different. So, maybe the issue is with the owner in knowing what they really want to own and drive, and not the vehicle. Be sure you want to own one. Most cars are more efficient than the SUV, but not as flexible by any means.

The posts above pretty much sum up what' s with or not with the Escape tranny. Our ZX2 had two transmissions. The original, that lasted 22K miles, and the replacement that went the other 200K + miles. Same driver, same roads, same everything else, except the transmission. The other Escort that we owned never had a transmission issue. It too went drove on longer than we cared to drive it. If there is no history of transmission problems on the SUV you are looking at, I wouldn't be too sensitive to the trucks tranny.

It isn't always a good thing to change the oil in the transmissions or engine to something other than what is specified by the manufacturer. So, Mobil1 may have been the cause of your transmission going to Hades. I have too many friends that have learned that lesson with their Bullitt, Mach 1, and Cobra Mustangs. My car I bought used and it was having transmission problems shortly after purchase. I took it to the dealer and that shop changed it back to the original spec. fluid (under warranty), and that solved all the shifting issues I was having with the car. Just because someone has developed something to sell you as being a superior product, doesn't mean that it's the best for you or your car.

On the subject of transmissions...I have a F-150 with a Ford tranny. It has been bulletproof ever since I bought it new in 1994. My nephew bought another F-150, same engine, same bodystyle. But it had the Mazda transmission. That transmission was a real PITA, at least untiil the warranty expired and he got a Ford transmission in it. My point being, the reputation isn't always deserved. None of them are perfect, especially when dealing with a truck of any sort.

Like posted above, have the dealer do a Carfax. That will point out any warranty and insurance claims. None of the SUV's that I know of will give you Civic reliablity or economy. Good Luck on whatever machine you choose to buy. :peace:
 

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I chose the Escape after years of Honda ownership. It was the right fit for me after testing all the alternatives, and it reminded me of my 99 CRV that I loved.

On the 09+ models, owners seem to report about the same mileage for 4 cyl or 6 cyl, fwd or 4wd. I am getting around 22-23mpg with the V6 4wd in mixed driving, and i consider that very good.

On the tranny Issue, I worked in auto service for over a decade and Ford transmissions were never an issue. Sure, there were some that failed, but compared to Chrysler (!!!!!!), GM, and Honda, the failure rate is far, far lower.

Don't get hung up on Mazda either. Ask anyone who owns one out of warranty and you may learn some new vocabulary that you can't use in Church. Not too reliable, and not too cheap to fix once they hit 60,000 miles. In fact, a Mazda technician I know said the most trouble free model they sell a toss up - either the B series pickup or the Tribute. Coincidence?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of great reply's, thank you. True it could have been the Mobile One fluid that downed that Escort ZX2 transmission. I guess factory recomended fluid plus a yearly flush, refill and filter change would be good enough in most cases. Plus the addition of a cooler. (Florida weather.)

I am credit rich cash poor so I dont want to get into a vehcile that will require a lot of repairs that I have to pay for now. The monthly payment stinks but hey, my old beater/back up ride is gonna die soon. I did have a 2002 chevy blazer and loved it until a accident totaled it. The 4.3 and that transmission is practically bullet proof but the gas mileage is low on that SUV and its kind of a old design over all.

On the flip side I found a 2003 Blazer RWD fairly good condition for $4000.

Funny I was reading some posts here on peoples thoughts of why they bought a Tribute/Escape and they went through a similiar process I am going through. Investigation, weighing options, wanting a lot of truck for the money, etc.

I like a small SUV and have narrowed it down to the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mazda Tribute. Best and most SUV for the money. Old Kias are cheap but a 4x4 gets 13mpg city! I also like the V6 option as its not a gas hog, in most cases, yet has the power I want.

Guess I could buy a warranty through the credit union when I finance. Just in case.

This is what I feel like searching for a car: :wall:

I guess because I am not made of money and I need this vehicle to be a all purpose ride and last a long, long, time. (like 20 years! ) (my beater S-10 with a 2.5L has lasted for 24 years)
 

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Most of the third party warranties are "worthless". Save the money for something else. Better yet, insist on the dealership repairing anything in the drivetrain free for so many miles after the purchase.
 

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Billyk said:
Most of the third party warranties are "worthless". Save the money for something else. Better yet, insist on the dealership repairing anything in the drive train free for so many miles after the purchase.
Agreed. Dealer will do a lot right now, just make sure you get it on paper or have the credit union give you a list of shops that will honor there warranty. Dealership do not have to honor 3rd party warranties regardless of who tells you what. Ford came out on national radio and informed the public when they were closing down a bunch of dealers in the Midwest. Tragic cost for customers but at least they informed the public.

Sounds like your a younger adult and I think you may benefit by the 4X4 if financially possible. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I will keep my eyes open when it comes to the warranty issue. Supposedly the way it works is you take your vehicle to a shop and get it fixed. The shop faxes over the bill to the insurance company and the insurance company pays the bill. That is the theory I think. it would stink to have to fork over big bucks for a repair and fight to get reimbursed.

I guess I could go with a manual transmission for longevity and reliability. Then again who wants to shift.

What about a vehicle that has seen five years of Michigan salt or similar with some rust like on a few bolts underneath? They gonna rust to pieces?

I am not that young, just at a cross roads figuratively speaking. That and I try to take the long view which is, yes I would use the 4 x 4 at times at the beach, when I go to the NC mountains, other travel, moving, etc. yet I see that gas is going up. No doubt if something crazy happens (Israeli bombing Iran, etc.) or even if nothing crazy happens we can expect Europe like prices in gas, $10 dollars a gallon, overnight in the first case and gradual climb if things just remain the same.

Then we would all be running for hybrids, scooters and mopeds, etc. :bill:
 

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As far as the salt air, it should be treated and it should have been treated. Just keep an on on the under coat and you can tiger wheel what you can reach then zinc it. I live on the water in WA and have no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
True a tiger wheel and zinc based paint or rusty metal paint from Rustoleum, after treating it with a ospho or something would help a lot.
 
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