2003 Ford Escape XLT 6 cylinder from North America


Economical and functional vehicle for varying climate and terrain


Paint peeling on lift-gate at glass corners and on rear quarter panels where bottom edge of cargo glass meets body panel.

General Comments:

Paint began peeling several weeks prior to scheduled appointment for annual inspection (at time of appointment paint was only peeling on lift-gate - has since spread to side panels). We requested the service department examine the paint problem and advise on warranty and/or Ford's position on repair. We were informed the peeling paint is not covered under warranty and not covered by Ford. The estimate to repaint the lift-gate only was just shy of $500.00 USD.

Excellent vehicle for varied terrain and climate prone to weather with snow and ice, i.e. Central Pennsylvania. Definitely not an "SUV" or off-road vehicle though.

Excellent fuel economy and agile - drives and handles like a car/vehicle with lower center of gravity.

Very poor materials both interior and exterior.

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

Review Date: 4th October, 2007

2003 Ford Escape XLS V6 from North America


I purchased a 2003 Escape in June 2003. It is one of the gold colored ones. It has only 17,000 miles on it.

The paint has just begun to peel off of the rear tailgate close to the window. There is no primer below, just metal.

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

Review Date: 27th August, 2007

13th Mar 2011, 20:34

The same thing happened with mine. Same color of paint. Chipping started in back by hatch, passenger side. Now is peeling in sheets off of the top, no primer underneath. Awful! I have seen this on several others in the same year.

I called Ford, they told me it was the harsh environmental conditions in my area that was causing the paint to peel (I live in Missouri). I took it to a paint shop and was told that it was definitely a factory defect.

2003 Ford Escape Limited 3.0 from North America


Great vehicle which suits my needs, but unacceptable delays when dealing with a serious recall


Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited has determined that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 2002 through 2004 Escape vehicles.

On my vehicle, it is possible that the accelerator cable may prevent the throttle from returning to the idle position, possibly resulting in elevated engine speeds while driving. An unexpected increase in engine idle speed may increase stopping distance and may result in a vehicle crash without warning.

General Comments:

My recall notice was sent out on January 18, 2005 and after receiving the notice I called to book an appointment to have the issue resolved. I was told that the parts were not in stock at my dealer and that they would call me once they received the parts.

It is now February 21, 2005 and to date, the parts are still not available at my dealer. They confirmed that other dealers would most likely not have the parts in stock as well, considering that each dealer received an equal amount of parts.

My concern is that this is our family vehicle and we have a 13 month old which rides is in vehicle. Should the accelerator become stuck and I get in an accident, I wonder who will win this court case... little me or Ford with their group of Super Lawyers.

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

Review Date: 21st February, 2005

3rd Mar 2005, 21:11

My Recall was taken care of as soon as I read about it online, I called the dealership and set an appt. Upon getting there we realized my front rotors were warped and my front brake pads were worn, they "turned" my rotors and left the worn pads. the following month I was back complaining that the 'turned" rotors were warped already and THEN they replaced them, but wanted me to pay for the labor and new front pads, I told them NO. We went round and round until I began to yell, I'm disabled, that they were trying to take advantage of disabled veterans and to "hush" me up I got the work done for free, but was guaranteed it would never happen again even though I bought an Extended Warranty when I bought the 2003 Escape LIMITED 4x4 with my insurance settlement money. I paid cash for the Escape,$31,800. that includes the Extended Warranty and I really like my Escape, but I find it uses A lot of gas. I realize it has a VERY small gas tank, but still, this thing gulps down the fuel. I put a K&N Air Filter in it and a Tornadoe Air & Fuel Mixer to help, but it didn't, it still gets terrible fuel mileage. Any suggestions?

7th Sep 2005, 19:43

We hadn't even heard about the recall you mentioned when I took the Escape in for an oil change in January. They called me up, told me there was a recall, did the work, and sent me on the way, same day, no hassles. It sounds like most of the problems you guys are having is dealer related, and has little to do with the vehicle. Too bad... a good dealer can make or break your experience! The only problem I've had with this vehicle is the cheap plastic parts, such as the temp control knob which broke off during our last Saskatchewan winter. Not covered by Warranty, but the dealer took care of it anyway, because they know how to treat a customer.