Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
Expert Reviews 1 of 11
By Rick Popely
April 27, 2001
Vehicle Overview Ford already has the best-selling and largest sport utility vehicles, the Explorer and the Excursion, and for 2001 it adds another SUV, the Escape, to its lineup. The Escape is Fords first car-based SUV, derived from the Mazda 626 platform. Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, and the Japanese brand gets its own version of this vehicle, the Tribute.
Escape will compete with other car-based SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and the new Hyundai Santa Fe. All are smaller than traditional truck-based SUVs and offer the security of four-wheel drive with carlike ride and handling.
For now, Escape comes with gasoline engines. By 2003, Ford will introduce a hybrid version powered by a small gas engine and an electric motor.
Exterior Escape comes only as a four-door wagon, and the rear liftgate has a flip-up window that opens separately, as it does on Fords larger SUVs. The 103-inch wheelbase matches that of the Honda CR-V, and its overall length of 173 is 4 inches shorter than the CR-V and 17 inches shorter than the Explorer.
With unibody construction and four-wheel-independent suspension, the Escape has carlike qualities, but it comes wrapped in traditional SUV styling that resembles some of Fords trucks.
Interior Escape seats five in the usual fashion two front buckets and a three-place folding rear bench (split on the XLT model). Cargo volume is 35 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 68 with the rear seat folded forward, creating a flat load floor. Ford says there is room for two mountain bikes with the liftgate closed, and mounting points are standard. Air conditioning; a CD player; power windows, locks and mirrors; a tilt-steering column; and remote keyless entry also are standard.
Under the Hood Most Escapes will come with an optional 3.0-liter V-6 engine that generates 200 horsepower (the same engine used in the Taurus) and teams with a four-speed automatic transmission mounted on the steering-wheel column. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 130 hp is the base engine and comes only with a five-speed manual.
Both engines are available with front-wheel drive or Control Trac II four-wheel drive, which engages automatically as needed to maintain traction. An optional towing package for V-6 models allows towing trailers up to 3,500 pounds. Antilock brakes are standard on the XLT and optional on the XLS, and side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional on both.
Driving Impressions Escape has ample cargo space, room for five people and enough offroad capability to qualify as a bona fide SUV. Smaller engines and less weight than midsize SUVs like the Explorer will mean better fuel economy, and its trimmer size makes it easier to handle in traffic. Better still, a fully loaded 4WD XLT model with the V-6 will cost around $25,000, thousands less than an Explorer.