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So what do you think of the Escape?

17832 Views 159 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Escape-PA-
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.
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I think your choice depends on what you want in a vehicle. The Jeep is more capable off-road and likely has better aftermarket support. The Escape has a more car-like ride, but the unibody construction and FWD-based layout means you can't lift it much and can't venture too far off-road. The AWD Escape is unstoppable in the snow even with no locking differential, but the Jeep is probably just as capable. So, if all you need to do is go through snow, both vehicles fit the bill. If you want to go into mud fields or climb on rocks, the Jeep will be better. If you want a softer and more car-like ride, the Escape will be better.

The stock tires on the Escape are horrible in the snow. If your snow is heavy enough to need AWD/4WD, I strongly recommend winter tires.
Escape-PA- said:
Oh I have no plans on off roading with either vehicle. We just need a vehicle that is very capable in the snow, and is easy on fuel. We are considering snow tires but if possible we would like to stick with all seasons, sometimes we get snow storms that dump 1 foot of snow. We require that the Escape can get through snow like that. Thanks for responding.
Keep in mind that no vehicle can possibly compensate for tires. 4WD Jeep or FWD Ford, they all stop the same and turn the same. 4WD only allows you to get into deeper trouble.
The numbers for the 2.3 L that I have seen here have been about 23 MPG city and 27 MPG highway.
The 2009 is still pretty new, we only have a small handful owners on here.

Finding information on the new Duratec 25 is tricky, as Ford now has two different engines named "Duratec 25" (the other being the older V6). If you trust Wikipedia, the D25 is supposed to increase mileage by 1 MPG over the D23 using an aggressive deceleration fuel cutoff, among other measures.
Escape-PA- said:
Thats the problem, I don't believe EPA estimates or Wikipedia when it comes to real world fuel economy. For example one of the vehicles we own on average gets 1-2 MPG less than what the EPA states. Only owners can provide real world data and they are hard to find since this vehicle is new.
I don't think the EPA numbers are supposed to tell you what to expect in the real world - it is more of a controlled evaluation to allow you to compare different vehicles. But some engines do respond better to a light foot and can get better than EPA numbers, while other engines are sensitive to a lead foot and will easily go below the EPA numbers. So yes, real-world figures are best, but we have to find those owners. ;)

Escape-PA- said:
29 MPG is great for a small SUV, however I am going with the 6 speed automatic. Hopefully it will be in that area. These "Fortera Triple Treds" are they all seasons or winter tires? I will keep the tires you mentioned in mind if we chose the Escape, thanks for the information Leviathan.
The Fortera TripleTreds are an all-season tire that is rated for severe snow - a good compromise tire if you don't have room to store dedicated winters. They will be much better than all-seasons without the snowflake symbol, but you may have to replace them long before 2/32" tread to maintain good winter performance.

(Not to be confused with the Assurance TripleTred, a passenger car tire without a severe snow rating)
prowler said:
You keep saying "4WD" - I haven't followed the later models (mine is a 2003), but I thought ALL Escapes were either FWD or AWD.
All the systems are AWD systems, but Ford tries to market it as 4WD. :shrug:
Another all-season tire to consider is the Nokian WR SUV - a bit more winter-oriented than the Forteras, but still very good in the summer. It was probably the tire that started all the severe-snow all-seasons.
You can get the Forteras at TireRack and any tire retailer that carries Goodyear - which should be the majority of them. I'm not sure who carries Nokian tires in your area; you can check online at
No more personal insults or I'll start kicking ass. :box:
The I4 Duratec 25 is more like an updated, bored, and stroked version of Mazda's L3-VE, of which the Duratec 23 is a slightly modified version. The Duratec 25's cylinder liners are updated with some fancy stuff to increase durability and reduce friction, similar to what those Honda commercials have been going on about.

The rated output might be approaching the Duratec 30 numbers, but I don't think the I4 engine will match the V6 engine's torque curve.
Hey it's where I get most of my information from! :lol:

Ford's engine lineup is confusing. The Duratec line is generally a twin lineup with Mazda's MZR engines, but sometimes there are minor differences, sometimes Mazda's engine has VVT, and sometimes they're identical.
My service DVDs don't tell me what's different between the engines, unless I went through exploded diagrams and counted parts. Usually those technical Wikipedia articles are too, um, "technical" for the vandals to bother with. We'll know something's up when Wikipedia compares the Duratec 25 to Mazda's "YOUR 2.0 L MOM" engine. :lol:
I removed the parts of his posts that contained personal attacks (as I did with yours), but the rest of it is just his opinion and I don't want to censor it. We've moved on, please let this drop. Anyone reading this thread has a pretty clear idea now that the Escape has an AWD system.
All-Terrains would be the tire of choice if you live in an area where all you see is deep snow in the winter and dirt roads in the summer. Due to the tread compound, lack of biting edges (sipes), and tread void ratio, they are near useless on ice. Just ask all the ambulance drivers in Nova Scotia who went upside down into a ditch because of A/T tires. They were using severe-snow rated A/Ts, too.
I agree that the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revos look like one of the better winter-performing A/Ts out there. But if your parents are even considering winter tires and you get a lot of ice, I would push them strongly in that direction. Take a look at the tread pattern for the Dueler A/T Revo and the Bridgestone Winter Dueler. It's obvious which tire will perform better for your conditions.

And this is the tire that the ambulance service in Nova Scotia used with disasterous results (BFG T/A KO):

I run Michelin LTX A/Ts in the summer and I don't even wait for the snow to fall to take them off. They're gone as soon as temperatures drop below 7'C (45'F). You can get a set of cheap steel wheels from the junkyard, as a lot of vehicles come with a 5x114.3 bolt pattern. You would put half as much mileage on each of your two sets of tires, so the overall cost is not much more. There is a cost disadvantage if you put very little mileage on the vehicle, as most tires have a service life of five to seven years regardless of tread wear. However, the safety benefits of better turning and better stopping in ice and snow outweigh that.

Have them watch the videos in this thread:
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I kept my stock tires for 3 years before having them destroyed/recycled. I was young and stupid and thought I could run all-seasons in Canada - those tires sent me spinning 540 degrees on a six-lane highway while I was following traffic. In my defense, half the population here still thinks all-seasons work in the winter. :doh:

The last straw was during the summer. Light rain, and I was coming up to a yellow light where I was right on the edge between making it and being able to stop. I tried to stop, ABS kicked in immediately, and I went right through the intersection. Luckily, the intersecting road had no cars on it.
Did your mileage steadily improve while your stock tires wore down? You typically always see a mileage drop when going from a worn-out tire to a new one.

Spark757 said:
x4 :)

When my mom bought her '02 in late fall of '07, it still had the stock Conti's from when it was bought new, over 40k miles on them. They were ridiculous. The people we bought it from refused to buy new tires before we bought it, so we had to cough up enough after the cost of the car to pay for new tires, but it was so worth it once we did a month or two later. My mom still doesn't have excellent tires (again, we live in VA, not much need lol)-- mine when it was bought had brand new Destinations on it. They aren't even A/Ts and I can drive through snow easily. They have great traction and I've never skidded in the obnoxious amount of rain we sometimes get.

Go on and see how the Conti's rate versus basically ANY other good tire...
How often do you even get snow in Virginia? From your excited post over a light dusting of snow :D I think your climate is the perfect place for all-season tires. Some snow for a couple of days or weeks every year, clear roads for the rest.

"I can drive through snow easily" hehe you're funny. :lol:
Hah, take that, JEEP, we win! :D
Love the colour choice. :thumb:

They really dressed up the interior since my 2003. "Chrome Clad Alloy wheels" I thought the chrome-clad wheels were steel with a shiny cover. Is this something else?
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