My advice would be to stay away from the '01 model- there were a number of
recalls and numerous problems with it. That was the 1st year for the Escape/
Mazda Tribute and I guess the engineers had all but a few bugs worked out.
Check out here for recalls:
Check this site for what other Escapees have to say:
I waited until the 2002 model year and the only recall I've had was for the
stalling problem (which didn't happen to me), and the only problem I had was
a cracked radiator clamp that leaked when the SUV got hot (fixed under
warranty). I love my Escape- I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Don't get a first year model.
I rent one about once per month for business and put on about 1000 miles
each time. Great machine. Stable - if you raise the tire pressure.
Good visibility. Feels comfortable and controllable to at least 107 mph.
Both 3.0 engines seem to be good. 4 wheel drive is nice but nearly useless
here in Texas - except for the one time I went mudding across a construction
zone. Dislikes: needs a better sound system (but still better than any GM
rental). No padding on arm rests is hard on long trips.
Would I buy one? Yes.
We actually just got rid of our '01 for an Explorer (had a baby, needed the
room). *Overall* a good vehicle, but she did have to bring it back for a
couple recalls. The transmission acted up as well, requiring a flush and
ECM flash.. and it still slipped occasionally. Personally, I'd go with an
'02 and up.
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