Peeling gold paint on the roof. After owning the vehicle for 4 years and 11 months/66000 miles (well out of warranty), I took the Escape to my dealer, and they repainted the roof, with Ford covering 50% of the cost. While 100% would have been better, I am happy to have gotten the 50% considering that the vehicle is well out of warranty.
Creaking/squeaking back hatch - The dealer fixed.
Poorly designed garage door opener holder - The dealer could have fixed correctly, but didn't.
Great little SUV. Good gas mileage considering engine power, off road capabilities, decent amount of room on the inside, heated seats are great, tows my 19' boat well.
Ford could have done better on the inside (i.e. door panels, dash board vents, etc.
I went offroading with one of my friends, who has a '05 Jeep Wrangler (6 inches of lift and 33's). I went everywhere he did, including submerging the Escape to the middle of the headlights, then towed his Jeep offthe trail and back to his house. The Jeep has been in and out of the shop for warranty work, for the last 4 months (never spending more than 2 weeks between shop visits). The Escape suffered a bent front license plate, and some water/mud in the fog lights (and it was a pain to clean the underside). I only wish there were a low gear sytem available, and a decent lift kit available. My friends don't laugh at the escape being "not a true 4x4" anymore. The truth is that it is not a true 4x4, but it is durable and handles a lot of abuse well.