2003 Ford Escape XLS from North America


Might have been great when new


Too many repairs to name. I spent 3 times what I paid for it in repairs. Just to name a few:

Hatch lock, had to disable the daytime running lights because the wiring went bad, struts, brakes, engine has been leaking oil despite changing 3 different seals in an attempt to fix it, transmission has a slow leak which I was advised to leave alone lest I open up Pandora's box, and, as of today, the frame is now cracked in half despite bringing it in 2 years ago for a recall and supposed fix to prevent exactly that problem.

Good job Ford.

General Comments:

I bought this used, so who knows what the original owner did or did not do to it. Every oil change came with an additional repair.

It handles amazingly well for a SUV, and turns as sharply as any car. The ride's a little rough, but typical of a SUV.

Gas mileage was about what I expected at about 5-600kms/tank, on the highway. Winter tires noticeably tank this mileage.

It was rusting when I got it, but it was pretty solid overall, especially for its age. I travel 1400km round trips a few times a year and have bad shoulders etc., so I can say with confidence that this is actually a pretty comfortable vehicle. Lots of head and leg room, and the seats aren't too hard.

Lots of storage in the center console, too. The cargo area at the back is pretty pathetic. My old Corolla had just as much room in the trunk. I'd expect a SUV to do better than a car for storage, but this failed. The bench seat doesn't fold all the way down and only kind of bends. That is super annoying when you have a long object that you don't want aimed at your head all the way home.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2017

2003 Ford Escape XLT 3.0 from North America


Get a Liberty only if you love poor stability, gas mileage, space, and ride for a higher price


- Brake oil hose.

General Comments:

Why there are more of those blue pieces of junk called Liberty on the roads? The Ford is smoother, quieter, more spacious, better performing, much more reliable, and better looking, while being better on gas and cheaper as used!

- Good looking American SUV; it's hard to find that today!

- Reliable, quiet, smooth, good on gas, performs decently.

- Gets around 18 city and 30 highway. It's a FWD only though.

- Fully foldable back seats, great for carrying large furniture and profane activities :)

- Cheap American plastic dashboard, but it holds itself.

- Brakes are horrible and ABS kicks in with moderate braking. It's worse in FWD models because of the uneven weight distribution.

- More stable than a Jeep Liberty, but a shopping cart is more stable than a Liberty, so it doesn't count!

It does the perfect job for everyday uses, carrying lots of stuff, giving soccer moms a false feeling of security in an SUV, etc... while AWD models perform pretty good off-road and get better mileage than all Jeeps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2013

2nd Mar 2013, 07:07

Unclear just what this review is talking about, as it keeps referring to the Jeep Liberty (which has gone out of production anyway, to be replaced by the revived Jeep Cherokee).

2nd Apr 2013, 03:34

I was referring to the double priced Liberty by everyone over the Ford. I keep seeing those ugly looking pieces of junk on the road way more than the Ford. Mechanics know about them better and more stores have parts for them, because there are more on the road and they breakdown more often. Can't find a reason for the preference. Both cars have been replaced, regardless of the name change.

2nd Apr 2013, 17:28

The Ford Escape is, of course, a very well-built and reliable vehicle far ahead of the competition. That is a given. But I feel that the now-defunct Liberty is being judged a bit harshly. First off, it cost about the same as the Escape, not "twice as much". I test drove a new one a few years ago and it was actually cheaper than the Escape. My godson owned a Liberty, and though certainly no match for Ford, it was not a bad vehicle at all and very reliable.