2008 Ford Escape

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2008 Ford Escape Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Ford Escape was new.

The redesigned Escape delivers a more comfortable interior and a tougher exterior than prior models, leading to a good ranking in the top half of this large class. However, its driving dynamics still lag behind top competitors.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 8.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet cabin is more refined than previous Escape models
  • New "muscular" exterior is generally liked
  • Comfortable, spacious seating
  • Stale driving dynamics
  • Replacement of rear disc brakes with drum brakes for 2008 disappoints some experts

2008 Ford Escape Overview

The 2008 Ford Escape earns praise for its upgraded exterior and interior design, more comfortable ride and more mature appearance than its predecessor. However, many reviews report mixed opinions on the driving dynamics offered from the Escape's engine and the "downgraded" brakes. When describing the new Escape, Automobile Magazine considers it "as a face-lift plus a tummy tuck and a butt lift. Its appearance is completely revised, but much of what's underneath remains the same. Luckily, the Escape has good bones." Ford has sold more than one million Escapes since they were first introduced in 2000, and lowering its base price by more than $1,000 this year might continue this trend.

Also contributing to the value equation is the Escape's relatively good gas mileage.  Even gas-powered Escapes place near the top of the small SUV class in fuel efficiency, an important consideration for many buyers this year.

The Escape is available in three trims -- the base XLS, XLT and top-of-the-line Limited. A four-wheel drive system is optional. The Escape also comes in a hybrid version, which is reviewed separately.

  • "This makeover makes sense. Still a top-selling compact SUV in a crowded market, the Escape may now be more appealing to people downsizing their vehicles but not their expectations. The 2008 Escape rides quieter and feels more comfortable." -- Detroit News
  • "For 2008, the Escape, a pioneer among carlike SUVs and third-best-selling SUV in the country, is quieter, smoother, uglier outside and possibly inside, burdened by long-in-the-tooth gasoline drivetrains..." -- USA Today
  • "Ford hopes that the changes will help the Escape continue its success ... The competition is getting tougher, however, as most automakers have brought new or significantly redesigned compact crossovers to market over the past year. They include the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Pontiac Torrent, and Suzuki XL-7." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "With lower prices and new features, the Escape is worth a good look, although it doesn't have an entirely new design." -- Chicago Sun-Times
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