Hello, this summer our family plans on buying a new vehicle to replace our aging Accord. This time around we wanted to get something that was more capable and roomier than the Accord. We need the following capabilities from the vehicle we choose:
Capability- Needs to be able to handle the snow/wintery conditions of our area.
Fuel economy- We want a vehicle that can average at least 25 MPG highway. BTW, not interested in the hybrid.
Roomy- Big enough to hold 3-4 adults and their luggage on long trips.
Cost- Our family doesn't want to spend much more than $25k.
After doing some research I narrowed it down to the Ford Escape Limited 4x4/4 cylinder and the Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4. I already asked about the Patriot on forums related to that vehicle, they had very good things to say about the vehicle. A lot of people that own the Freedom Drive One Patriot get between 24 and 28 MPG highway, it works well in the snow, they find the vehicle to be roomy, and they got very good deals on them. I also told them I was cross-shopping the Patriot with the Escape, surprisingly they had to say good things about the Escape. In fact many members on that website are currently deciding between the Patriot and Escape. So to complete my research I came here to gather some data from owners.
I just wanted to ask a few questions and see what owners think of the Escape. So please share your experiences with me. We plan on getting a fully loaded Escape with most of the factory options: Moonroof, Navigation, Heated Seats, Dual Zone Auto Climate Controls, Auto-Dimming mirror, etc. Now I wanted to ask a few questions. Does the 4WD Escape come with a locking differential? We have another 4WD vehicle with this feature and we found it to be extremely helpful in the snow, especially getting up snowy driveways. What do you guys think of the stock tires? Especially in the winter. Is it possible to order the Moonroof and Navigation on the same vehicle? When I went to the Ford website and built an Escape the build your own tool would remove the "Sun/Tune package" when we selected the navigation option, is the Moonroof part of the navigation option? Finally what do you guys think of the rear seat legroom and storage space in the rear?
That's about all the questions I can think of. Right now we are leaning towards the Jeep Patriot since it seems to get great fuel economy while giving the driver confidence in the winter and it seems like they can be had for cheaper. I understand the Escape comes with more features on the Limited, but we really want to keep the price around $25k. We will visit the local Ford dealer and see what he is willing to do. Just to tell you guys now we didn't sit in or drive either vehicle yet. I have come to this website just to see what you guys think of the Escape so I can get an idea if the Escape is right for me and my family. Thanks for your time.