Ford Escape

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Ford Escape
2001-2004 Ford Escape
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
ClassCompact SUV
Body style(s)4-door SUV
LayoutFront engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
PlatformFord CD2 platform
RelatedMercury Mariner
Mazda Tribute
ManualsService Manual

The Ford Escape (designated U204) is a compact SUV sold by the automaker Ford Motor Company introduced in 2000 as a 2001 model year and priced below the Ford Explorer. The Escape was sold in Europe as the Ford Maverick.[1] It was jointly developed with Mazda, in which Ford owns a controlling interest, and was released simultaneously with the Mazda Tribute. In the United States, Ford's Mercury division released a luxury version called the Mariner starting with the 2005 model year.

A hybrid version of the Escape was released in 2004, making it the first hybrid SUV.

The Escape is built on the Ford CD2 platform, which is in turn based on the Mazda GF platform, which was used by the Mazda 626.


First generation
2005-2007 Ford Escape
Also calledFord Maverick
Mazda Tribute
AssemblyAvon Lake, Ohio, USA
Jhongli City, Taiwan
Claycomo, Missouri, USA
Hai Duong, Vietnam
Hōfu, Yamaguchi, Japan
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
St. Petersburg, Russia
Engine(s)2.0 L Zetec I4
2.3 L[2] Duratec 23 I4
3.0 L[2] Duratec 30 V6
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
4-speed CD4E automatic
Wheelbase103.1 in (2619 mm)
Length2001-04: 173.0 in (4394 mm)
2005-07: 174.9 in (4442 mm)
Width70.1 in (1781 mm)
Height2001-04: 69.1 in (1755 mm)
2005-07: 69.7 in (1770 mm)
Fuel capacity16.5 US gal (62.5 L; 13.7 imp gal);
Hybrid: 11 US gal (41.6 L; 9.2 imp gal)

The first generation Ford Escape was released in North America for the 2001 model year. It was slotted below the larger truck based Explorer in Ford's lineup, but was larger than the small SUV offerings from Honda and Toyota.[3] At the time, most sport utility vehicles used a truck based Body-on-frame design. Solid rear axles were commonly used due to their ability to carry heavy loads at the expense of a comfortable ride and good handling. Ford realized that most SUV owners did not take their vehicles off road, and decided instead to use a car-like Monocoque design with a fully independent suspension and rack and pinion steering for the Escape.[4] Although not meant for serious off-roading, a full time all wheel drive system supplied by Dana was optional which included a locking center differential activated by a switch on the dashboard.[5] The all wheel drive system normally sends most of the power from the engine to the front wheels. If slipping is detected at the front, more power will be sent to the rear wheels in a fraction of a second. The entire braking system was built by Continental Teves including the ABS and various related suspension components.[6] CKD production began in 2002 at Ford Lio Ho Motor Co. in Taiwan for various Asian markets.[7]

Safety and security

Crash test results for the Escape have been mixed. In the New Car Assessment Program administered by the USA based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car received 5 out of 5 stars for driver protection and 4 out of 5 stars for passenger protection in a 35 mph (56 km/h) frontal impact.[8] The SUV received 5 stars for both driver and rear passenger in the side impact test. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 40 mph (64 km/h) frontal offset test, 2001-2004 Escapes received a score of "Marginal".[9] Vehicles equipped with the optional side air bags received a score of "Good" in the 31 mph (50 km/h) side impact test, while those without the optional air bags received a score of "Poor".[10]

All Escapes are equipped with a passive Immobiliser called SecuriLock. This feature includes a RFID chip embedded in the key which is read by the car each time the vehicle is started. If the vehicle fails to receive a valid confirmation signal from the key, the vehicle will not run even if the key is perfectly cut to match the original. Theft, Injury, and Collision losses reported to insurance companies for the Escape are among the lowest in its class.[11]

Hybrid version

Main article: Ford Escape Hybrid

In 2004, the Ford Escape Hybrid was released. This hybrid electric vehicle is 75% more fuel-efficient than the regular Escape according to Environmental Protection Agency tests and was the first sport utility vehicle available to the public with hybrid technology. The Escape Hybrid also offers a 110 volt AC (150 watt) plug-in outlet, for powering small household accessories, as an option. The internal combustion engine in the hybrid model uses the Atkinson cycle for improved efficiency.

In January 2006, at the Washington Auto Show, Ford showed a prototype for an Escape Hybrid that would allow E85 fuel to be used.

2005 changes

The Escape and Tribute were updated for 2005 with a new base engine (the 2.3 L [2261 cc, 140 cu in][12] Duratec 23), which replaced the Zetec 2.0 L (1983 cc, 121 cu in) 127 hp (95 kW) 4-cylinder.[13] The most powerful engine remained the 200 hp (150 kW) Duratec 3.0 L (2976 cc, 181 cu in)[12] V6, with new engine mounts. Ford also added advanced airbag and seatbelt safety systems, an intelligent all wheel drive system, and exterior changes. 2005 was the first model year an automatic transmission was available on the base four-cylinder models. The automatic shifter was moved from the column to the console on all models equipped with automatic transmissions. Ford also deleted the recline feature on the rear seats to improve the safety of occupants in the rear seats in the case of a rear crash.

European model

Ford Maverick (German specification)

From 2001 to 2004 the Ford Escape was sold in Europe under the Maverick name, and replaced a rebadged version of the Nissan Mistral/Terrano II. Only two versions were made, the 2.0 L Zetec inline 4 engine with manual transmission and 3.0 L Duratec V6 with automatic transmission, both using gasoline as fuel. The absence of a diesel version did not help sales and the vehicle was temporarily discontinued in late 2003.

The Maverick was reintroduced in 2005 in certain European markets with the Duratec V6 engine. It was announced that the Maverick would be assembled in Russia for the Russian market. As of 2006, the Maverick was no longer sold in Europe, leaving Ford without a compact SUV until the 2009 Ford Kuga was introduced.

The Maverick was primarily designed for on-road use - sold with normal road tires, and to be used with front-wheel drive most of the time. A second "gear lever" for the transfer gearbox enabled four-wheel drive mode with no centre differential and a limited slip rear differential - this precluded using full-time four-wheel drive on the road as it caused undue wear on the transmission and tires.

2007 changes (Asian/Pacific)

Second generation (Asia)
Taiwan-built Ford Escape (Russian specification)
AssemblyJhongli City, Taiwan
Claycomo, Missouri, USA
Hai Duong, Vietnam
Hōfu, Yamaguchi, Japan
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
St. Petersburg, Russia
Engine(s)2.3L I4
Transmission(s)4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2620 mm (103.1 in)
Length4400 mm (173.2 in)
Width1825 mm (71.9 in)
Height1700 mm (66.9 in)
ManualsService Manual

A revamped 2007 Escape went on sale in the second half of 2006 for the Asian and Pacific markets (except South Korea, where the North American-market Escape is sold).[14] Major external changes include a redesigned front bumper, grille, headlights and hood, and rear bumper, as well as LED taillights.

On the inside, changes include a floor-mounted automatic transmission shifter, in place of the old column shifter, as well as a redesigned center stack comprising of audio and climate controls. Climate control is automatic on all models except the XLS. The Limited model also features full color-coded bumpers, wheel arch and side moldings, as well as side mirrors with integrated LED indicators. Rear drum brakes have been replaced by disc brakes all round.

The 3.0 L V6 has been modified to reduce fuel consumption by over 10%, while the 2.3 L 4-cylinder has improved mid-range torque and an electronic throttle, as well as a slight increase in power to 109 kW (146 hp). Both engines had been certified to meet Euro III emission regulations. A four-speed automatic carries over and is the sole transmission choice.


In the USA, the Escape has been recalled 10 times, although the bulk of the problems only affected the first model year.[15] In April, 2007 Ford announced it would recall nearly 500,000 Escape SUVs produced between 2001-2008 due to reported engine fires. Ford recalled those Escape year models because of improper sealing in the anti-lock braking system that could cause contamination and a short.[16] Ford has said the fires did not cause personal injuries and the Escape hybrid was not affected.


Second generation (North America)
2008 Ford Escape
AssemblyClaycomo, Missouri
Engine(s)2.3 L[2] Duratec 23 I4
2.5 L Duratec 25 I4
3.0 L[2] Duratec 30 V6
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
6-speed 6F automatic
Wheelbase103.1 in (2619 mm)
Length174.7 in (4437 mm)
Width71.1 in (1806 mm)
Height2008: 67.7 in (1720 mm)
2009-Present AWD: 67.8 in (1722 mm)
2009-Present FWD: 67.9 in (1725 mm)
Fuel capacity16.5 US gal (62.5 L; 13.7 imp gal)
Hybrid: 15.0 US gal (56.8 L; 12.5 imp gal)[17]

The 2008 Ford Escape debuted at the 2007 Los Angeles International Auto Show.[18] The North American-market Escape and its Mazda Tribute/Mercury Mariner siblings were redesigned in order to stay competitive with other new compact SUVs, however most of the internals have been carried over for the 2008 model year. The Escape still uses the CD2 platform[19]. Ford also included an electronic stability control system standard on the 2008 Escape.[20]

The updated Escape received some styling cues from the Explorer, Edge, and Expedition. Changes include a new grille with larger headlamps in the front fascia, while the sides were revised with cleaner lines and rounder wheel arches. The interior is also completely redesigned, including the newest standard Ford family navigation system.[21]

A new concept version for the Asian market, called the Ford Escape Adventure Concept, was revealed at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. It features a revised front and rear fascia, incorporating Ford's three-bar grill styling theme and restyled LED tail lamps.[22]

2009 changes

At the 2008 Washington Auto Show, Ford introduced new changes to the Escape for the 2009 model year. Ford's new 6-speed 6F automatic replaced the previous 4-speed automatic on both the I4 and V6 models. The 2.3 L Duratec 23 is replaced by a new 2.5 L (2488 cc, 152 cu in) Duratec 25,[23] which boosted standard power to 171 hp (128 kW) and 171 lb·ft (232 N·m) of torque, while increasing fuel economy by 1 mpg-US (240 L/100 km; 1.2 mpg-imp) on both urban and extra-urban cycles. The optional 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 was thoroughly updated, resulting in a 40 hp (30 kW) increase, bringing power output to 240 hp (180 kW) and 233 lb·ft (316 N·m) of torque. The Duratec 30 also sees a 1 mpg-US (240 L/100 km; 1.2 mpg-imp) fuel economy improvement. The "Escape" badge is entirely removed from the front doors.

The Hybrid is also upgraded to use the 2.5 L (albeit still using the Atkinson cycle for better fuel economy). Efficiency improved to 34 mpg-US (6.9 L/100 km; 41 mpg-imp) city and 31 mpg-US (7.6 L/100 km; 37 mpg-imp) highway according to the USEPA. The 2.5 L engine brings the Hybrid's power output up by 22 hp (16 kW) when the electric motor is added in.

Other mechanical changes include a new 18.5 mm (0.73 in) rear stabilizer bar, revised suspension tuning, a new air induction system for the 3.0 L V6, and a new exhaust system on all Escapes. The braking system for the Hybrid versions has been revised with a vacuum assist unit that reviewers have said give the brakes a consistent feel over the entire travel of the brake pedal.[24] Previous versions of the Hybrid were reported to have a slightly mushy brake feel, primarily due to the fact that for the first part of the brake travel and braking the system is regenerating power instead of engaging the brake pads against the rotors.

Also in 2009, Ford's SYNC system is standard on the Hybrid, Hybrid Limited, and conventional Limited models, and optional on the XLS and XLT.

The Escape underwent some minor aerodynamic changes for 2009, including a revised front chin spoiler and rear tire spoilers. Along with the addition of rear tire spoilers is an optional 17" chrome-clad wheel equipped with a new Michelin "Low-Rolling-Resistance-Tire", slightly increasing ground clearance and improving traction over the standard 16" wheels and tires. Another new feature is Ford's Easy-Fuel capless fuel filling system.[25]

According to the IIHS, the 2009 Ford Escape, along with its cousins, the Mercury Mariner and the Mazda Tribute, received top marks for its performance in the frontal, side, and rear crash tests.[26] The vehicle received an overall score of "Good" in all categories and was named a "Top Safety Pick".


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [1]
  3. Jamieson, Scott (August 2001). "Escaping debt: a reasonably priced alternative to full-sized pickups and SUVs, the Ford Escape has all the power and comforts required". Canadian Forest Industries. Retrieved on 15 April 2008. 
  4. Ford Motor Company (2006-11-03). FORD ESCAPE SALES CROSS THE MILLION MARK. Press release. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  5. "Dana Gets 4WD Contract for Ford/Mazda SUVs". Autoparts Report. 2000-04-25. Retrieved on 15 April 2008. 
  6. "Continental Teves Supplies Brake System To Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute". Autoparts Report. 2000-06-02. Retrieved on 15 April 2008. 
  7. "Dana Corp. To Supply 4wd System 2002 For Ford Escape In Taiwan - Brief Article". Autoparts Report. 01-11-2002. Retrieved on 15 April 2008. 
  8. "New Car Assessment Program: 2001 Ford Escape". NHTSA. 2001. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  9. "IIHS-HLDI: Ford Escape". IIHS-HLDI. 2001. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  10. "IIHS-HLDI: Ford Escape". IIHS-HLDI. 2003. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  11. "Injury, Collision, & Theft Losses 2001-2003". HLDI. September 2004. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  12. 12.0 12.1
  15. "FORD ESCAPE Recalls". 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  16. "Recalls Summary". NHTSA. 2007-04-23. Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  17. [2]
  18. "Ford toughens Escape for 2008". Retrieved on November 29, 2006. 
  19. "2008 Ford Escape gets new look". Retrieved on March 16, 2006. 
  20. "Ford To Make Stability Control Standard by 2009". Retrieved on September 13, 2006. 
  21. "Sneak Peek: 2008 Ford Escape". Detroit News. Retrieved on April 19, 2006. 
  22. - TOKYO 2007 LIVE: Ford Escape Adventure Concept - October 24, 2007
  25. [ Press Release] - February 2, 2008

See also

External links