I love this lttle SUV. It is a perfect SUV for a small family. The V6 has enough power. The 4WD works well. The cargo area is versatile.
The V6 has enough power to satisfy me. It can tow a small to medium trailer. On several occasions, I have packed it full to go camping and I can feel the weight of the load. The engine struggles a little going up hills when I have packed it full. Granted, it was packed to the brim and I had a rooftop cargo pack on it, it still should not have been straining as hard as it was. I could not imagine how hard the 4 cyl. would have handled that load. on that note, I would not recommend getting the 4 cyl. if hauling anything more than groceries. Ford should have put a little bit bigger of a V6 in there, like a 3.5 or something.
The 4WD does great for what is was intended for. this SUV is not built on a truck frame, nor does it have exceptional ground clearance. it was not intended to tackle the Rubicon Trail. My Escape has definitely surprised me and some of my friends with its capabilities. I have definitely had fun with the Escape. it lacks the low gearing, ground clearance, and strong frame of a true off road vehicle, but it does do very well for the average person's needs. unless you are planning on doing some serious off roading, this should do everything you need it to. it also does great in the snow and ice.
The Escape is an awesome SUV. it does well in every aspect. but it is not great in any one thing. it only seats five, good for a small family, but not much more. it has a V6, but it is not a big strong V6. It can tow, but only up to 3500 pounds. it can go off road, but lacks ground clearance, low gearing, and a rigid frame. it is a good all around suv and it's price tag is not too bad either, but if you want more space, towing capacity, and off road capability, go with something else.