Why it matters
The small and midsize SUV segments are heating up with redesigned models, all-new competition, and a whole slew of new products falling under the crossover designation. Many offer the comfort and convenience of premium cars, remarkably powerful engines, and room for up to five or seven passengers. It's a tough segment in which to fight, yet the Escape has done well to hold its own, and for struggling Ford, that's important. To remain competitive, Ford needs a product that attacks on all fronts – size, style, power, and efficiency. With its evolutionary design and array of powertrains, the 2008 Escape should continue to win buyers, if not exactly dazzling them in the process.