TTAC - 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4WD

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    There's no escaping this cute ute's generic design

    By Samir Syed
    April 23, 2007

    In an era where Explorers are MIA and Expeditions can't make it out of base camp, Ford's cute ute is a mission-critical machine. If Ford's going to Escape its financial woes, their compact SUV has to at least keep the lights on. To find out if the new Ford Escape is "the end to boredom" (as the website proclaims) or simply "the end of the line," I ran America's most popular softroader up the Adirondacks, down the interstate, into Manhattan traffic and ‘round the ‘burbs.

    Now that Honda's gotten edgy with the CR-V and Toyota's RAV-4 is too intelligent to be classified (says them), Ford opted to cowboy-up the Escape. To that end (front?), Ford added a shiny new chrome grill, hood and headlights; rounder wheel arches and new taillights– all designed to link the Escape to the Explorer. And there you have it: the Ford Five Hundred of SUV's. Or, as Ford puts it, "One look and you know it's built for people on the move."

    Escaping the exterior's old ennui for the Escape's cabin is like putting your accountant on hold so you can talk to your tax attorney. Even if you forgive the interior's blandness as a reflection of the brand's utilitarian remit, the cost-cutting measures used to create the Escape's aesthetic sterility are both obvious and extreme. The center stack's plastic knobs are almost whimsically flimsy.

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    True grit?

    Ford is trumpeting the fact that all the Escape's controls respond with the exact same tactile feedback (a la Audi). This "switch-feel uniformity" is an admirable achievement for a mass market automaker. But it couldn't overcome the fact that the interfaces involved are made of plastic that Fisher Price wouldn't inflict on its core clientele. I might have been more impressed if the Escape's controls hadn't been arranged with meaningless uniformity (the volume knob is the same size and shape as the fan control) and mind-numbing symmetry.

    The rest of the Escape's dash offers more of the same, with a ho-hum set of dials and a steering wheel made of materials that only a company that lost $9b in a fiscal quarter would dare use. I'm willing to tolerate cheap plastic where fingers fear to tread, but I can't abide nasty shifters and steering wheels that offer only slightly more haptic happiness than 150 grit sandpaper.

    My steed was equipped with Ford's ancient and venerable 3.0-liter Duratec V6. With 193 horses motorvating 3547 pounds (plus driver), the powerplant proved both smooth and acceleratively adequate: slow but not sluggish. On the highways, the Escape attained 80mph quite easily, even considering the extra weight of the 4WD components. In the mountains, where the car was obliged to ascend gen-u-ine gradients, the engine's shortcomings were obvious.

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    Onomatopoetry: symmetry in motion

    On anything resembling a moderate slope, the Escape's four-speed autobox had to downshift to maintain speed. The puff problem reminded me of an underpowered Focus that I guided through the Albertan Rockies; I guess these things run (walk?) in the family. I can only imagine how hard that little Duratec would have to work to haul an entire crew, their luggage, whatever's on the roof rack and a bass boat (tow rating: 3500 lbs.) up those hills. Anyone attempting the same feat in the base model's 2.3-liter four would find themselves going nowhere slow.

    The Escape's ride was reasonably compliant and its handling acceptable, though not class-leading in either respect. As with most SUVs, it's best to stay south of 80 mph in a straight line and avoid corners. On the upside, the 4WD Escape scythed through a light snow in upstate New York without any problems, which could well be the whole point of this exercise.

    My tester stickered at $28k. That puts the Escape in a neighborhood crowded with well-established, highly evolved cute ute competition. After having driven the field I can report that the Escape isn't as refined or practical as the Japanese, as cheap as the Koreans, as hardcore as the German-Americans or as sexy as a packet of processed cheese. While the Escape is not so bad as to provoke derision, neither does it float to the top of the discerning buyer's list. The Escape is average in every way one can possibly imagine.

    Except, perhaps, affordability. Let's face it: the Escape isn't destined to remain at that price point for long.
    Once a prison break of '08 Escapes clear the sales floor, it's only a matter of time before low-cost financing, dealer cash, customer incentives, employee pricing, special lease deals, etc. work their usual magic on the Escape's bottom line. At some point, it'll be one of the (if not the) cheapest vehicles in its class. At that point, I'd still rather be driving something else.

    [​IMG]
    Escape this!

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=3570
     
  2. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    Definate improvement
     
  3. MCohen

    MCohen #NotMyPresident #AmericaIsAlreadyGreat #GoSolar OT Supporter

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    :bowrofl:
     
  4. bhunda

    bhunda New Member

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  5. Xin

    Xin OT Supporter

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    no one cares about this car.
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Ford is doomed.
     
  7. DJ

    DJ PECKAH OT Supporter

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    Why are they still using the 3.0 Duratec? It's freakin 2007.
     
  8. borborygmus

    borborygmus Guest

    I fucking LOVE trishield threads :bowdown:
     
  9. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    :werd:

    Seriously, one bomb after another. Have you seen the new Edge commercials?

    "Have you heard that the Edge is faster than a BMW X5?" :rofl:
     
  10. bokhan

    bokhan i love you

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    frumunda cheese~!
    mehhhhhh.
     
  11. guest

    guest 

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    ford falcon FTW
     
  12. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    Uh. What?
     
  13. mucky

    mucky .

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    Actually, the Ford Escape is a pretty decent SUV. Not really class leading, but decent. One thing I'm glad they kept is the hinged rear window. Having a hinged rear window is uber-useful when carrying long items like lumber for home projects. I'm still pissed at Honda for taking that feature out in the new CR-V.
     
  14. SilverStang01

    SilverStang01 A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upo

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    It's a nice looking small suv.
     
  15. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    good job ford at putting out another piece of shit on the american roads
     
  16. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    decent for $28k? :ugh:
     
  17. ///M

    ///M New Member

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    :werd: and toyota, honda, etc

    that looks a lot better than the previous escape, which looked like a toy, but even if I needed a car in that segment, i'd spend my money elsewhere :o
     
  18. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    :werd:
     
  19. pyehac

    pyehac if she's old enough to cross the street, she's old

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    So, what's left for Ford is the F150, Explorer, and Mustang?
     
  20. mucky

    mucky .

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    It has a navi and V6 option added on to that sticker, plus, once you factor in negotiation and other incentives, it is decent.
     
  21. P7

    P7 You have something on your tongue, let me get that

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    I have an 01 (will be gone in about a week for a Grand Cherokee). Piece of shit, and the last ford I buy short of a fox body for obvious purposes.
     
  22. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    you call an Escape a POS and yet you are buiyng Cherokee :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    THe Cherokees value goes down faster than Tomashs zipper at a girl scout meeting
     
  23. kaygee08

    kaygee08 Get me a Jäger Drip, Nurse!!!

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    You are not Trishield...Oh Wait, Carry on :mamoru:
     
  24. mucky

    mucky .

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    First 2.5 years of the Escapes were a big piece of shit.
     
  25. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Fucking Dot.

    My dad just traded his '03 Yukon XL Denali for an '08 Cherokee and he wants the Denali back.

    He hates the fucking thing.

    He says the only good thing about it is the Hemi.

    Hates the switchgear, hates the seats, hates the ride, and there isn't enough room in the back for the dog. But it hauls ass apparently.

    Get something else.
     

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