Unleashed upon the roads of the world in 2001, the four-door crossover compact SUV Ford Escape was designed to fill in the slot just below the popular Explorer line. Recognizing that the vast majority of SUV owners did not actually take their vehicle’s off-roading, Ford decided to abandon the more common truck-based body design equipped with solid rear axles made to haul heavy loads, and replace it with a car-like design with independent suspension and rack and pinion steering instead. Hence, the Ford Escape was born.
Quick out of the gate back in 2001, enjoying some time in the auto-industry limelight, the Ford Escape’s initial overall attractiveness is beginning to wane a bit, especially in the face of some of its recent class competition. Missing some of the latest technological automotive advancements common in practically every other SUV out there, the Escape’s freshness has soured some. Plus, whereas many competitors can seat up to seven passengers, the Ford Escape seats fewer. Still, if a shopper on a budget and in need of a reliable crossover SUV that’s easy on the eyes, the 2007 Ford Escape may be just what's needed.
Body Styles: four-door compact crossover SUV
Engines: 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual; four-speed automatic
Models: 2007 Ford Escape XLS, Ford Escape XLT, Ford Escape XLT Sport, Ford Escape Limited
The 2007 Ford Escape features only minor alterations, specifically a standard keypad feature on all XLTs, an increase in warranty coverage of five years or 60,000 miles, a move away from two-tone exterior color to monochromatic for the XLT Sport, and an inclusion of an optional Silver Appearance Package, good for a splash of exterior metallic accents across trims.
Looking a lot like a mini version of a Ford Explorer, the 2007 Ford Escape’s exterior design conveys enough strength and ruggedness for most car consumer’s in search of a compact SUV that’ll fit the bill. Bright colors, big wheels, a good assortment of exterior packaging, and a smooth sleek body design remain major selling points of the Ford model.
While not terribly exciting or even unique, the 2007 Ford Escape’s interior is nonetheless functional and easy to navigate. A healthy amount of passenger space in both front and rear cabins, coupled with 33 cubic feet of storage space behind the back seats that turn into 65 cubic feet once folded, makes for an acceptable compact SUV room rate. The base Escape XLS comes with the bare minimum of on-board niceties: keyless entry, CD changer, power doors and windows; while the XLT packs a bit more for a tad more dough: power seats, upgraded upholstery, and cruise control, plus the V-6. From there, the biggest sells are the moonroof, 320-watt audio system, leather seats, and heated mirror/seats available all at the Limited tier.
Performance & Handling
With a moderate towing capacity of 3500 pounds, the 2007 Ford Escape comes with two different engine options. Going with the base XLS and XLT nabs buyers the 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder good for 153 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque. Moving into the second group, the Sport and Limited, brings in some more power via the three-liter V-6 that generates 200 hp and 193 lb-ft of torque. If fuel-economy is more of a priority than engine spunk, then go with the 2.3-liter; for the opposite, opt for the three-liter.
In terms of safety, the biggest surprise is the absence of a stability control on any of the 2007 Ford Escapes. Still, there are ample protective features that should ease passenger nerves: standard anti-lock brakes across trims, front seat-mounted side airbags/full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. These are available through the optional Safety Package, and a reverse sensing function comes as an option as well but only on the Limited trim.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Escape 2.3-liter, FWD, Manual: 24/29 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape 2.3-liter, FWD, Automatic: 23/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape 2.3-liter, 4WD, Manual: 22/27 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape 2.3-liter, 4WD, Automatic: 21/24 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape 3.0-liter V-6, FWD: 20/24 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape 3.0-liter V-6, 4WD: 19/23 mpg city/highway
- Smooth, attractive exterior
- Good cargo space for a compact SUV
- Low sticker price
You Won't Like
- A engine power with either engine
- No stability control
- Poor fuel economy with V-6
- Not really an off-roader
A decent compact SUV option for those on a tight budget who don’t require a hefty engine or off-roading capabilities.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Toyota RAV4