Pros: Longer warranties; Roomy cargo; Remote control opening of rear window.
Cons: Cheaper look & feels interior; Only 1 interior lighting for cabin; So-So gas mileage.
Got this compact SUV since December 2007. It has same engine as Mazda Tribute but more AMERICAN look & feel inside. It also has longer warranties and better safety ratings than Tribute at roughly same price (with year end incentives, of course). Average of 20 MPG City is what I got out of this vehicle. Interior dial gauges on dashboard have less distracting colors of green numberings and red hands. The glossy but scratchy panel in Tribute is what I don't like so I decided on Escape even though it doesn't look as nice. The drive and handling is smooth and responsive enough. The cabin is quieter than some other car. Sometimes I do hear this soft high pitch when start up the vehicle in the morning but that noise comes & goes at random. Rear seats can be folded down by removing the headrests first - a little annoyance that only occur occasionally. Once rear seats are down, the cargo space is sufficient to transport a disassembled Queen sized platform bed. The rear seat windows can only be rolled down half way. The automatic driver side window can roll down with just 1 short click but to bring it back up I have to hold the button up until it reaches all the way to the top. When you buy this SUV, do check the spare tire storage area of the vehicle you intend to purchase because a more expensive one will have a nicer plastic panel to hide it instead of this compressed wood panel.
What I like is the separate buttons you can press to open rear door & rear window. You can also use the remote to open rear window...a feature I love. Stereo system is not bad at all and will remain on for 15 minutes after key is removed & door is not opened.
One of the things I dislike is the front seat covering for the backrest. The cloth material is fairly thin and as a passenger I can feel the bars and the cavity behind the seat. Another short change on this vehicle I found is the 1 interior lighting unit located in the front. There is no separate lighting unit for rear passengers. All in all, you do get a fairly good ride out of the Escape at a good price.