2008 Ford Escape Review

2008 Ford Escape The 2008 Ford Escape is a refresh, not a full redesign, though Ford and Ford dealers would have you think otherwise. For the most part, changes were cosmetic – the platform is a carryover, as are the engines and transmission. From a looks standpoint, the Escape looks much more like a baby Explorer than the cute-ute look of past years. I have mixed feelings about the look – I’m not big on vehicles that look tough but can’t back it up. However, I think it’s a much better look than last year, and I’m going give it the OK.

Now if only Ford had gone more than skin deep. The same 153 HP 2.3 liter four banger powers this vehicle – and it’s just not working anymore. Remember, this mini SUV weighs a whopping 3792 lbs – it’s not a lightweight by any stretch of the imagination. Couple that with an absolutely archaic and unacceptable 4 speed automatic transmission, and acceleration is a problem. And, of course, fuel economy isn’t there either.

Ford, we know you sell a lot of Escapes. And overall, they’re nice SUV’s, and reasonable priced. However, you need an updated Escape to stay competitive. The Japanese rivals are constantly updating and improving their offerings, and you must do the same. Here’s what we need to see, within the next year or two : More powerful AND more fuel efficient engine choices, a lower curb weight ( 3300 lbs is a bit on the porky side for a vehicle this size ) and a 6 speed auto or CVT. These changes are simple ( excerpt the weight reduction – that one’s tricky ) and will be very effective.

2008 Ford Escape Specs

  • 153 HP 2.3 liter 4 cylinder engine
  • 200 HP Optional 3.0 liter V6
  • 4 speed automatic transmission
  • Available AWD
  • Hybrid model available
  • Standard side & side curtain airbags
  • Curb Weight : 3304 lbs
  • EPA Says : 20 MPG city / 26 MPG highway ( 4 cyl )

2008 Ford Escape Reviews

TTAC reviews the 2008 Ford Escape and expresses concern with the powertrain – ‘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.’

Edmunds reviews the 2008 Ford Escape and writes – ‘A new electric power steering system in the ’08 Escape delivers surprisingly good road feel and response. Handling is respectable, with the SUV remaining flat through corners and composed in quick transitions. Sadly, the ride quality is more trucklike than carlike. Although the 2008 Ford Escape’s suspension absorbs larger bumps without drama, smaller road imperfections can make the small SUV feel busy.’

Automobile Mag reviews the 2008 Ford Escape and writes – ‘Engines and transmissions carry over: either a 2.3-liter four or a 3.0-liter V-6 that is coarse and painfully slow off the line. The four-speed automatic’s long, widely spaced ratios may help fuel economy, but we wonder whether any SUV really needs to hit 89 mph in second gear. Speaking of fuel economy, the 2008 Escape is one of the first vehicles to reflect the new EPA test procedures. So while on paper the EPA numbers have decreased from last year, Ford assures us that the improved aerodynamics beget slightly better fuel economy in the real world.’

Canadian Driver reviews the 2008 Ford Escape and writes – ‘etween the front seats you’ll find a huge storage container/armrest. It’s big enough to swallow a couple of laptop computers and more. When not hiding your electronics, fitted storage bins function as receptacles for your small items. These bins attach elsewhere in the Escape when removed from the storage container, and can be used as handy garbage bins for rear seat passengers when required.’

Detroit News reviews the 2008 Ford Escape and writes – ‘Gone are the girly honeycomb grille and the flabby plastic cladding that covered the sides. Instead, the Escape touts a big new chrome grille and creased hood. The front end looks chunkier and sturdier. The new Escape looks less like the first-generation model and more like an Explorer. While Ford kept the Escape the same size, designers used a few tricks to make it look bigger. They raised the beltline and created a thin plastic rocker at the bottom of the doors. The optical illusion makes it look taller.’

Published on April 28, 2007 in Ford

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