Drive Ford Escape Used Car Review

24 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Drive Ford Escape Used Car Review отключены
Ford Escape Electric Cars

David Morley

Make Ford Family Escape Series ZB Year 2004 Badge Description XLS Doors 4 Seats 5 Transmission Automatic Engine Configuration Description V60 Gear Num 4 Cylinders 6 Build Country Origin Description JAPAN ANCAPRating 4 Car Size Large Overall Green Star Rating 2.5 Fuel Type Description Petrol — Unleaded ULP Drive Description 4X4 On Demand Warranty KM 100000

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So, a compact SUV is the next must-have vehicle in your driveway. But if you can t afford to buy new then the solution is to step back in time and sort out the wheat from the chaff in the vehicles of a generation or so ago, and then find the best of those.

And when you do that in the context of compact SUVs, the Ford Escape comes into focus. It s not that the Escape was a class leader, but it was one of the first smaller SUVs to catch on and there are plenty out there to choose from.

And thanks to decades of model sharing between Ford and Mazda, there was also a Mazda-badged version of the Escape called the Tribute. So close were the two in mechanical specification and intent that the respective brands elected to launch them at the same time in 2001. Which means, of course, that to consider one and not the other is a mistake and narrows your chances of finding the right one.

The best buys now, since the car remained fairly unchanged mechanically, are the early Escape/Tributes, and those from 2004 or so are still less than 10 years old. As well as that, the middle of 2004 marked a facelift that brought an improved four-cylinder engine.

Perhaps the best thing about the Escape/Tribute was that it was available with a V6 engine. While most of its competition persisted with four-cylinder motors of various sizes, the V6, at 3.0 litres and with about 150kW, suddenly gave the Ford and Mazda a real performance advantage.

That s particularly important if you plan on using the vehicle for the sort of tasks many owners do; namely fully laden trips to the snow and even towing small trailers.

There s a fuel consumption penalty to pay, which will vary according to how hard you use the thing, but the V6 is immediately smoother and more refined than the 2.0-litre four-cylinder (initially offered only on the Mazda variant) and there s so little price difference now, we d go for the V6 every time.

By the middle of 2004, Ford also had a four-cylinder version, this time a 2.3-litre unit making 108kW, and Mazda upgraded to the same engine at that time.

The all-wheel-drive system in the vehicles was an on-demand set-up, which meant that only once the car s computer had detected the front wheels starting to spin would it send drive to the rear wheels. In normal use, this makes the Escape/ Tribute effectively a front-wheel-drive vehicle and, as is the case with most soft-roaders, it has barely, if any, claim to any off-road ability. That said, that s not why people buy SUVs anyway.

Recognising that most people shopping in this segment didn t want to shift their own gears, the vehicle was exclusively a four-speed auto.

The shifter was mounted on the steering column, too, in a bid to maximise front-seat space, but it compromised ergonomics a bit.

As always, the devil was in the detail.Mazda offered the Tribute with dual front airbags on the base model and anti-lock brakes only on the V6.

The Escape got ABS brakes only on the up-spec XLT, the base-model XLS missing out. But it did include ABS on the four-cylinder version when it arrived. Again, Mazda followed suit, meaning that those looking for a four-cylinder car should search for one made after June 2004.

And if all five seats are to be used, we d suggest a post-2005 model as the 2006 version finally got a three-point seat-belt in the centre-rear position.

Any test drive of either version should include a careful check of the automatic transmission. Any refusal to select a gear or stilted, jerky shifts should be viewed with suspicion. Enough of these units have failed for it to be considered a flaw with the model.

The four-cylinder engine needs timing-belt changes at the appropriate interval while either engine should have been treated to the correct oil-change regime by the previous owner. The service record should reveal all.

Check the area around the front cross-member (under the engine). Any oil or fluid here could be a sign that the steering rack is leaking. This is often due to a crack in the power-steering unit and this can be expensive to replace.

Our rating: 3/5

Decent size and boxy body make for good interior space.

Automatic gearbox makes sense.

V6 engine really opened up the usahe option.

Column gear-change is clumsy and obscures part of dashboard.

Four-cylinder could feel underdone

V6 could be thirsty if pushed.

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