In 2008, Ford's smallest CUV lost its cutesy exterior and interior for a new bold styling direction. For 2009, the boxy brute gets added firepower and increased fuel efficiency. The Escape's competition includes the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Saturn Vue.
New for 2009
Available six-speed automatic transmission, redesigned seats, available Sync multimedia interface.
The Escape looks more like a Ford Explorer now, but with a plunging chrome grille in some trim levels that would be equally at home on a Volkswagen Jetta or Golf. A raised hood and higher beltline may make the SUV look tougher, but they probably don't do much for visibility. At 174.7 inches long and 71.1 inches wide, the Escape is the shortest of its competitors, but not by much.
- Fuel cap removed in favor of capless refueling nozzle
- New 16-inch low-rolling-resistance tires
- New aerodynamic refinements
- Larger front air dam
The 2008 Escape got a totally revised interior, making it blocky and square. Along with improved materials, the cabin is quieter and the seats more environmentally friendly, with seat fabric made out of 100 percent post-industrial-waste plastic. Passenger volume remains the same, at 99 cubic feet; that's slightly tighter than the CR-V and RAV4 but larger than the Vue.
- Cruise control now standard
- Available ambient lighting
- Available Sync multimedia interface
- Standard auxiliary input jack
- Blue backlighting
- Redesigned seats use environmentally friendly construction
Under the Hood
Changes under the hood include many performance and fuel-efficiency modifications that help the Escape sip less gas, provide more passing power and handle more securely.
- New 171-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder (171 pounds-feet of torque)
- New 240-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 (223 pounds-feet of torque)
- Available six-speed automatic transmission
- Five-speed manual
- Drive-by-wire throttle control
- Chassis system upgrades improve ride comfort and handling
The 2009 Ford Escape features an array of standard safety technologies. The Escape's braking system has been revised in an effort to improve brake pedal feel and allow shorter stopping distances.
- Antilock brakes
- Roll stability control
- Dual-stage front airbags
- Front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags
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