2004 Ford Escape XLT 3.0 Duratec from North America


Decent daily driver if you need AWD


Driver's side seat wears out quick and the interior isn't the best quality.

Rear pinion seal at 105,000.

Passenger side output shaft seal at 105,000.

Sway bar link at 105,000.

General Comments:

This is a reasonably reliable car with reasonable comfort, performance, and fuel economy. But if you take it to the dealer for its scheduled maintenance, it can get a little pricey.

My Escape averages 19 MPG, which is reasonable for what it is. It offers good cargo space with the rear seats that fold flat with the removal of the rear headrests. The AWD system is amazing in any weather condition with a decent set of tires. On long road trips the car can be uncomfortable for the driver and passengers, but only after hours on the road. Also the car has a pretty good towing capacity, even though it can seem kind of gutless. I pulled an enclosed 6x12 U haul from Georgia to North Carolina loaded down, and it worked pretty hard, but did a steady 65 mph on the highway with the overdrive off.

Maintenance can be a pain and a little on the pricey side for this car. The intake manifold has to be removed to change the back 3 spark plugs, which is around $300 at the dealer or a nervous 2 hours with a Haynes manual for the DIY. I was personally a little bummed that the pinion seal, output shaft seal, and sway bar link failed at 105,000 miles, but those aren't really major repairs and can be done by DIY or for $600 at the dealer. Also the transmission has a none serviceable internal filter, so I pay the $150 to have it flushed every 30,000 miles... better safe than sorry.

All in all, this is a really decent daily driver if you need AWD. I wish the maintenance and repairs were little cheaper, but technicians need to make a living too, so set a little money aside for it. If you can do your own maintenance and repairs, it really does pay off with this car.

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

Review Date: 7th April, 2014

2004 Ford Escape XLT 3.0 V6 from North America


If you can buy it and get rid of it before warranty runs out, you may be OK


Brake rotors had to be replaced at ~35000 miles. Not covered by warranty.

Passenger door has always been hard to shut. Mechanics say it's "normal".

Transmission began jerking taking off from a stop a few weeks ago. Now OD light is flashing and transmission is being looked at.

General Comments:

We really liked the car. It wasn't a luxury vehicle, but it did it's job with only the occasional problem that wasn't very big. Now all of a sudden with 56K miles the transmission has started messing up. Regardless of whether it turns out to be a complete replacement or a valve, etc... This is unacceptable. I bought this vehicle via Ford family discount. I still wouldn't buy another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th September, 2007

6th Jan 2009, 21:54

When and at what mileage was the transmission fluid changed, if ever?

14th Dec 2012, 08:51

The Escape CD4E transmission is not meant to have filter and fluid changes. There is a filter and it is only changed when the transmission is rebuilt. There is no pan to drain and replace the filter like older transmissions. This one has a drain plug and a cover to get to the solenoid pack and valve body.

2004 Ford Escape from North America


Great car, terrible transmission and bad service quality


Transmission dies at 40k miles.

General Comments:

I loved my ford Escape... for the first 40k miles. Then the transmission died. Despite the fact that it was under the 3-year waranty, and just above the warranty on miles, Ford made no effort to help with the costs. They would not repair the transmission, only replace it with a "factory refurbished" transmission at a cost of $3700. I have only owned Fords for the last 25 years. I'll never buy another one, and am trading this one in for a BMW as soon as it's repaired.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th February, 2007

3rd Feb 2009, 10:00

BMW is a nightmare for parts and labour. As you will find out if you do trade. Get a Toyota or a Honda and save yourself the grief.

11th Mar 2009, 10:05

Lol, yeah if you're worried about parts and labor on a FORD, then you're in for a real treat when you purchase your BMW.

17th Jun 2010, 22:00

Buy a Honda or Toyota, hello people - let's get it together and start buying American cars instead of these terrible imports. And for the record, the reliability is no better on the imports, ever.

22nd Oct 2010, 10:43

I own a Honda that was built in Marysville, Ohio and a Toyota Tacoma pickup that was built in Normal, Illinois. They are American vehicles.

8th Nov 2010, 17:50

Last time I checked, Honda and Toyota are not based in the United states the money goes overseas. Those are foreign cars.

10th Sep 2011, 22:54

My 04 Ford Escape has gone 435k with no problems with the power train or transmission. My last vehicle was a Voyager, which needed 4 transmissions (I drove it 450k). The Escape has been the best vehicle I've ever owned... and I plan to buy a new one.