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2009 Ford Escape Review

The Ford Escape received engine updates for 2009, and critics praised the improved power and acceleration. The Escape also has plenty of interior and cargo space, though it’s not as refined as many of its rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior
  • Ample available features
  • Ride lacks refinement of rivals
  • Aging interior design and materials




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Ford Escape Overview

When it was new, critics said the 2009 Ford Escape achieves respectable fuel economy and has better engine power with the updates to its engine lineup for 2009. They also noted the Escape’s improved handling. The base engine in the Escape is a 171-horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the available V6 puts out 240 horsepower. Most critics said the updated powerplants offer reasonable acceleration, but don’t expect to be overwhelmed. Front- or all-wheel drive is available, and though an automatic transmission is available across the board, a manual transmission is available on four-cylinder, front-wheel drive models. Four-cylinder models with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission average 20/28 mpg city/highway, which is reasonably good for the class. V6 and all-wheel drive models average slightly less. The Escape carries decent safety ratings.

Inside, the Escape received mixed reviews. With recent updates to its interior, some reviewers found the cabin pleasing and well-designed, while others griped that the Escape was showing its age in the wake of newer, more modern rivals. Seat comfort was largely deemed adequate, but some critics complained about the lack of sliding rear seats that are found in some competitors. Standard equipment includes cloth seats and a basic CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Upper trims add features like leather seats, Ford’s SYNC infotainment system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a power sunroof and navigation. With the rear seats folded, the Escape can carry up to 67.2 cubic feet of cargo, which is good for the class.

See the full 2009 Ford Escape specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re considering the Escape, you should also consider the 2009 Subaru Forester. The Forester is not the most upscale choice in the class, but critics said it offers comfortable handling thanks to its standard all-wheel drive, and ample engine power. It also has a spacious interior with seats that critics said are very comfortable in the front and back.

Another 2009 compact SUV worth considering is the highly-ranked 2009 Chevrolet Equinox. Critics said the Equinox has a comfortable, spacious interior, and they liked its sliding rear seat. They also said it offers plenty of power with its two available V6 engines.

Compare the Escape to the Forester and Equinox »

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