Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Passenger Car-Like Handling, appearance
Cons: Very Noisy & Harsh Continental Tires
Advice: Be prepared to buy new tires! The Original (Continental) Tires are terrible. Replace the tires and you will have a MUCH quieter and softer riding SUVVery enjoyable driving experience. Drives and handles like a passenger car. V6 very fast but just OK on Gas mileage (18 mixed city/highway Long Island area) and a bit noisy on hard acceleration. Leather interior very comfortable and looks sharp. Small SUV on the outside, but very roomy inside. The original Tires (Continental) are terrible; very harsh and noisy ride. After changing the tires, it was like driving a different vehicle; much softer and quieter ride, though still some wind noise on windy days at 65 mph. (I never knew how important tires are regarding the ride quality). No outside temperature or compass; I bought a new rear mirror on ebay.
Pros: The standard radio - great sound and it plays mp3 CD's
Cons: The optional AC outlet is probably not worth it- it maxes out at 150Watts, so it can't run a lot of things
Advice: Expect mileage of about 25-28 mpg for typical driving. Expect lower mileage in the winter, as the car only runs on battery if the engine is warm enough. In severely cold weather, it stays on engine way longer than I expected-The Hybrid Escape definitely has more 'umph' than you think of a hybrid as having. If needed, it is able to accelerate and marge into fast-moving traffic. -However, living in Colorado, I do find it has difficulty making it up I-70 to the mountains with the rest of the traffic - I usually keep it to about 60mph or the engine revs scarily high. -The gas mileage is much lower than the estimates. I get: 25 mpg solid highway driving and 28 mpg on mixed highway and local, and that's with me accelerating rather gently (as opposed to my husband who jams down the gas and gets more like 24-26mpg) -If you fold the seats down you get lots of room, but there's nowhere to put the headrests, so I shove 2 of them behind the front seat, and have to leave one in the garage.
Pros: Premium leather package and exterior looks
Cons: Inaccurate estimated gas mileage
Advice: Consider the difference from a 4 cyl to a 6 cylI bought the 2006 Escape Hybrid in November of 2005 and so far I am fairly pleased with it's overall looks and performance. However, the estimated MPG, in my experience, is not at all accurate. I am averaging 27.2 MPG and can only recall 1 instance when I reached 29 MPG. This is all highway driving, but I have never averaged more than that whether it's city or highway. I also felt that it didn't hug the road at higher speeds (granted I was descending down the Grapevine in Los Angeles and it is very steep)to the point that I felt a little uneasy. The Winding of the transmission (because it is a 4 cylindar) is a little hard to get used to as well. I did get the premium leather package, Navigation and all of the bells and whistles, and as my first brand new vehicle I am pretty happy.
Cons: cup holders need more room
Advice: worth the waitIt was strange driving when the engine shut off, but you get use to it quickly. I have the 4wd model,purchased in May 2005, average @ 28 mpg. Best mpg 34 while city driving. Mpg goes down @ 5 mpg when if is 20 degrees or lower.
Pros: Power and handling. 2005 redesign for interior/exterior.
Cons: The gas tank is way too small for the real world mileage.
Advice: If you want a smaller SUV with good power and handling, you should check out the Escape.The Escape is much better than I was expecting. Strong engine power. Excellent handling without harsh ride. Not the tippy feeling of SUV driving. Small size is not too small, but spacious interior. Great fog lights. Tight turning radius. O/E Tires are very noisy and not confidence inspiring in the wet. I bought new Firestone tires. Quiet after unloading junk tires. With the V6 engine, I wasn't expecting Honda CRV gas mileage. But the gas mileage is not much better than my 2002 Grand Cherokee 4x4. The difference here is that the Jeep has a larger gas tank capacity. Wish the ventilation system had flow thru. Overall, a fun driving SUV that will surprise you at how well it goes about its operation.
Pros: The Price
Cons: They way it drove
Advice: Test drive it first, then go to other dealerships and test drive their vehicles....You'll see a differenceAfter a week of research on the web I decided I would test drive SUV's tonight. My first stop was the Ford Dealership that was close to my house. On paper and the reviews I decided I had to test drive the Escape...OOps big MISTAKE. The Escape was comfortable until I started driving. When I first got out of the lot I really was disappointed. It didn't get any better as I drove you because yuo could feel every bump in the road. From a performance standpoint Stay away.
Pros: the color and look
Cons: the overall maintenience
Advice: don't get caught up in the bells and whistles3 years ago I purchased this car new loving the way it looked, drove, and felt. It's served me well, but I have to say that every year I went to get it inspected it cost me over $500. The parts on this car are cheap and do not wear well. My newest mechanic said he would NEVER suggest anyone buy an Ford Escape or Focus. It has cost less to maintain my husbands 12 year old truck. I cannot wait until this lease is over and after this I will never buy american made again!!!!!!!!!!