At first glance, Ford's new Escape seemed like all the other SUVs--- an over sized car with a few truckish accessories. But the Escape was surprisingly different and deserves a hearty thumbs up. The Escape is the baby in Ford's family of SUVs, but don't let that steer you away. The Escape holds its own with fun, sporty aesthetics and a surprisingly roomy interior According to the 2001 auto addition of Consumer Reports, the Escape has 29 inches of leg room, 2 inches more than the CRV from Honda and 3 inches more than Toyota's Rav 4. The Escape also boasts 33.5 cubic feet of luggage space and a powerful 3.0 liter 201 horsepower V6 engine.
With gas prices lingering around the 2 dollar mark in many major cities, fuel economy is an important consideration when buying a vehicle. Although SUVs are cursed as gas guzzlers, the Escape defies this label, getting 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. But car-like mileage doesn't mean that the Escape has abandoned its SUV-hood. The Escape is perfectly capable of towing 3500 lbs plus and performs well off-road and in bad weather with its unique 4 wheel drive system.
The downside to the Escape is the prospect that its reliability might be similar to the reliability of other Ford vehicles, none of which received higher than an average reliability rating from Consumer Reports. However, the Escape received an excellent side crash test safety rating and has a good chance of surpassing its competitors in the upcoming years.
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