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I have a Jeep Cherokee and a Dodge Dakota in addition to my Escape. Both of those vehicles have the compass, thermometer, trip computor built into the overhead console. I really like that feature and wish my Escape had it.

Was such a feature available on the '03 Escape? If so, how easy would it be to add it? If not, have any of you used any aftermarket trip comutors? Which ones do you like and how do they fit aesthically?
 

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The 2001-2004 Escape had no compass or exterior temperature from the factory, and the only thing close to a trip computer like Chrysler's was a "message center" under the tach, and only on Escape Limited models.

There are several things you can do:

To add the message center, you'd need to replace the instrument cluster with a 2003 instrument cluster equipped with the message center, then add the switches and a new center trim panel. Since these are pricey parts from the factory, you're better off trying to find a scrapped 2003 or 2004 Limited. 2001 and 2002 models had slightly different clusters and wiring.

I remember seeing a thread where someone replaced the Escape's small overhead console (between the visors) with the overhead console from a 1995-2001 Explorer, which had a large compass and exterior temperature display with the same green color (although some 1997 and earlier models had a bluish-green color like Chrysler's). This required some cutting of the headliner and some wiring to make it work, and you do need to have the correct temperature sensor for it, but it did fit. Personally, I also like all of that information up there, since everyone in the car can see it. Here's an example of that console (which you can find in other colors as well): http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... 0464062523

You may even be able to wire up the overhead console from a 96-98 Grand Cherokee, but 1) I'm not sure how you'd get fuel economy or trip info, and 2) you'd need to change the display color, since most Chrysler products still use the (very cool) blue-green color.

Then there's the ScanGauge. Personally, I like fluorescent displays (like the Chrysler overhead consoles and the newer Ford information panels and message centers), but the ScanGauge gives you a boatload of information.
 

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You could also replace the factory inside rear-view mirror with a Gentex or Donnelly compass/temperature mirror. I did that when I had my 2005 Escape (using a Donnelly 19701 mirror).
 

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+1 on the rear view mirror upgrade, mine had one in it when i bought it, temp reads a little hot, so b sure to mount the sensor in a location away from engine heat
 
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