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.
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