I don't have any definite numbers, but the transmission and alternator are the weak points in this otherwise capable soft-roader. The transmission is a heavy-duty version of the Escort transmission, and the V6 seems to be near the top end of what it can handle. The AWD system seems to always get praise both off-road and in the snow - that system coupled with the Escape's light weight makes it unstoppable outside of rock crawling and mud holes, providing you don't need lots of ground clearance (the biggest lift is around 2-3 inches before you stress the CV joints). The alternator is mounted low on the engine, which exposes it to water and mud. Dirt roads and water crossings up to the hubs should be fine for the alternator, but I would avoid extended mudding and always wash the alternator after off-roading. There was a get-together a few years ago where a good amount of the members who tried a mudhole had alternator failures soon after.