2002 Ford Escape

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2002 Ford Escape Review

A very small and capable SUV thanks to the powerful V-6, handsome looks, spacious interior, and carlike handling.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Ford Escape can battle the likes of the Jeep Liberty, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Xterra quite well. With a five-passenger capacity, a spacious interior, and multiple benefits, the Escape ranks at the top of the category. Possibly one of the best assets remains the low price of owning the SUV. Collaborating with Mazda develops a sport utility vehicle similar to the Tribute. The Escape uses four-wheel or two-wheel drive.

The powerful engines include a 127-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four and 201-hp 3.0-liter V-6. The V-6 models accelerate to 60 mph within 9 seconds and can tow 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

The Escape feels more like a car than a truck. The durability, affordability, and long list of features make the 2002 Ford Escape an excellent purchase for families.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Escape XLS, Ford Escape XLS Choice, Ford Escape XLS Value, Ford Escape XLT Choice, Ford Escape XLT Premium, Ford Escape XLT Midnight, Ford Escape XLT Sport

What's New

The 2002 Ford Escape offers a better value with the additional standard features. The Ford Escape XLS receives a CD/cassette stereo, while the XLT adds privacy glass, power seats, a V-6 engine, and a six-CD changer. Sport packages for the XLS Sport, which includes alloy wheels, embroidered mats, darkly tinted glass, side-step bars, and larger tires launch as well. The Ford Escape XLT Sport gets a No Boundaries rack for the roof, alloy wheels with thicker rubber, and four colors that start new for 2002.

Exterior

The exterior of the Ford Escape measures 173 inches long with a 103-inch wheelbase. All models have 16-inch alloy wheels or steel 15-inch wheels. The Sport gets 16-inch aluminum wheels and a special cargo rack. The 2002 Ford Escape has four doors and a rear liftgate with a flip-up window just like the larger Ford SUVs. The XLT Midnight comes with Ebony Black Clearcoat exterior finish, while the other models offer bright, vibrant colors, as well. Additional exterior features include tube running boards, a rear defogger, privacy glass, cargo tie-downs, a roof rack, and rear wipers.

Interior

The 2002 Ford Escape offers five-occupant seating in two front buckets and a three-place rear folding bench seat. The XLT has a split seat for extra cargo volume. The 35 cubic feet cargo space behind the seat expands to 68 cubes by folding the seat forward to create a flat loading floor. Secure mounting points come standard inside the liftgate to accommodate mountain bikes or sporting equipment. Air-conditioning, a tilt steering column, a CD player, power locks, power windows, and remote keyless entry also come standard.

Performance & Handling

Highway stability and easy driving mark two excellent qualities of the 2002 Ford Escape. The base engine, a two-liter four-cylinder, produces 130 horsepower. The base engine couples with a manual five-speed transmission. The optional three-liter V-6 generates 200 hp and mates with a four-speed automatic. The gear selector for this transmission sits on the column. Ford offers front drive or four-wheel drive Control Trac II. The Control Trac II engages automatically for maintaining traction when needed. Adding the optional towing package allows the V-6 Escape to tow cargo up to 3500 pounds.

Driveline noise becomes more evident at highway speeds, though ride comfort remains good in town. The V-6 emanates frisky performance in acceleration. Swift, smooth transmission shifts round out the excellent overall driving experience.

Safety

Anti-lock brakes remain optional on the 2002 Ford Escape XLS and come standard on the XLT. Side airbags remain optional for both models in the front seats. Additional safety features include child seat anchors, an engine immobilizer, a remote anti-lock alarm, and electronic brake force distribution.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Escape XLS: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLS Choice: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLS Value: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLT Choice: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLT Premium: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLT Midnight: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape XLT Sport: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Carlike road manners
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Spacious cargo area
  • Strong V-6

You Won't Like

  • Unimpressive interior materials
  • Shoddy build
  • Barely adequate engine
  • Lacks off-road capabilities of rivals

Sum Up

A very small and capable SUV thanks to the powerful V-6, handsome looks, spacious interior, and carlike handling.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Nissan Xterra
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Mazda Tribute

See the New 2014 Escape.

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