2001 Ford Escape XLS 2.0 4 cylinder Mazda from North America


Pleasantly surprised by this Mazda built Ford


Sway links rattle.

Idles lumpy.

General Comments:

I was not sure what I wanted when I started searching for a used car.

My options were a Toyota FJ Cruiser, 4runner, Dodge Dakota, Ram, Challenger, Chevy Shortbox, Subaru Impreza, or a Ford Ranger.

I had not even considered an Escape at first.

After 3 or 4 weeks of searching I came across my 01 Escape. With the Mazda built, made in Japan, 4 cylinder 5 speed drivetrain it caught my attention.

I had a B2200 years ago and a 626 years before that.

I stopped buying Mazda vehicles after Ford took them over in 1994. I found out the 4cyl Ford Escape had a Japanese made engine and that helped me decide to buy it.

My previous car, which I still have, is a 97 Honda Civic Hatchback. I tend to stick with cars that I can drive cheaply as far as fuel mileage.

My 01 Escape only costs me about $5 more per week to get to work Mon-Fri. My Civic costs $20 per week and my Escape costs $25 per week. I didn't realize they even made an economical SUV anymore. The Escape is even better on fuel than either my old 89 4runner or 92 4runner, both of which had the 22re / 5 speed. I never really thought my 22re 4runners were that great on fuel. The only other option I knew about was the Suzuki Tracker or Samurai. Which have no room and are more suited to use as a street legal ATV and not as a daily driver.

This 01 Ford Escape has surpassed all expectations. It is better on fuel than a 22re 4runner and has as much room as anything this cheap to drive.

I am not a Ford fan, but this is actually Japanese built where it counts. That is my opinion. I was a mechanic by trade for over 12 years and I avoid badly designed cars completely. I drive a front end loader garbage truck now as mechanics is something I enjoy on projects more. Doing the same brake jobs and computer scans over and over is just not the same as working on a weekend project for enjoyment.

I'm happily surprised by the 4cyl/5spd 2wd Ford Escape. I am thankful I did not skip over it just because it has Ford badges. I have only had 3 Ford trucks in the past. A 88 ext cab F150 4x4, a 1974 ext cab longbox 2wd, and a 1972 reg cab dump box. All of which I was not as happy with as I have been with other vehicles I have owned.

This 01 Escape has changed my mind about my experiences with Fords. It's great!

Probably has a lot to do with the fact it is actually a Mazda underneath. Although even the Ford built parts of the vehicle are quite nice. It was always the drivetrain I didn't like in the past on other Fords I owned.

I also had a 79 fullsize Bronco 4x4 on my acreage, but it constantly was breaking down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th April, 2016

2001 Ford Escape 2.0 four cylinder from North America


Try to find this model with the 2.0L engine and 5-speed


Since I bought this recently, it's irrelevant.

General Comments:

I was surprised to find how much I liked this old car, which was purchased just to resell for a quick profit. I avoid U.S. brands because of a poor history of reliability. Now here was an old rusty warhorse with a quarter of a million miles on it, and I didn't expect much for the $1500 asking price.

But it drove like a dream and shifted like it was new. The car handled better than my beloved Honda CRV, and got shockingly better gas mileage. This car has the tiny 2.0 litre 4 cylinder Zetec engine (same as Ford Focus) and 5-speed manual transmission, which is actually Mazda running gear. You can choose with a dash switch AWD or 4WD, very handy. The body seems rigid and tight despite the rust, and the brakes are very capable. It rides comfortably over pavement, gravel or rough terrain without losing feel. It turns very tightly. The interior has great handle placement for passengers to hang on when the going gets rough, which adds to its character too. The seats, which have seen a tremendous amount of duty, were not ripped or pushed out of shape. Good dual horn, nice opening rear hatch window, nice fold down flat back seat, good visibility, A/C is cold, heater is terrific, and even the fog lights still work.

Although the tires were not aired up properly, I still got 26.5 MPG in most city driving, which suggests that highway mileage may be as high as 30 MPG. I am going to switch it to synthetic oil and put low roll resistance tires on it.

So... I am actually keeping this car, knowing that it has every right to croak at any second. It feels like it's got at least two more years in it. The engine is not using oil, or leaking it.

What I don't know is what kind of care came before me. The struts are original looking, so the front end hasn't been redone. But I just have to marvel at how well this car works for its age and miles. I may replace it with a newer Escape later; I hear the 2.4L four is almost as miserly as the one I have now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st September, 2014

28th Sep 2014, 03:39

The 2.0 4-cylinder/5-speed team is a solid choice for an AWD Escape. You avoid the power losses of the automatic, as well as the reliability issues with it.

Please keep us posted - and enjoy !!!

21st Feb 2017, 23:24

Where can I get parts for this transmission?! I've looked high and low and can't find a thing, any advice???