Don’t Overlook the 2008 Ford Escape

The 2008 Ford Escape is about to turn 15 years old. But this used SUV holds up surprisingly well on modern roads. If you want an efficient and capable used SUV, don’t overlook the 2008 Ford Escape.

The 2008 Ford Escape has proper SUV looks

A promo photo of a light green 2008 Ford Escape SUV.
2008 Ford Escape | Ford

Ford and Mazda introduced the Escape family of SUVs in 2001. It had styling similar to the Honda CR-V of the era. Then in 2008, Ford redesigned the Escape. The redesign featured a large, flat grille and larger headlights. The second-generation Escape looked much more like a Ford Explorer or Expedition.

One result of the Ford Escape redesign is its excellent passenger room. Edmunds actually gave it 4.2/5 originally, citing its comfortable interior. The tall greenhouse also resulted in excellent visibility. KBB cited the high ground clearance when it gave this year of Ford Escape a 4.4/5. The SUV also earned four out of five stars in government crash test ratings–according to VehicleHistory.com.

Ford made the second generation of the Escape from 2008 through 2012. On the used market, these SUVs are still prized for their Mazda engineering and rugged American good looks. In 2013, the third-generation Escape returned to a much more rounded crossover style.

The 2008 Ford Escape is relatively fuel efficient

The side of a green 2008 Ford Escape hybrid SUV.
2008 Ford Escape | Ford

The Ford Escape’s base engine was a 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder. A FWD version with the 4-cylinder earned 20 city/26 highway MPG (22 combined) from the EPA. The 4WD version did not do quite as well: 19 city/24 highway MPG (21 combined).

These fuel mileage numbers don’t make the second-generation Ford Escape the most efficient vehicle on the road, but they’re pretty competitive. Compare this with the V6 2023 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited’s 20 MPG combined or the V6 2023 Toyota Tacoma’s 18 MPG combined. The second-generation Ford Escape does pretty well for a vehicle that is up to 15 years old.

The 2008 Ford Escape has downsides

Promo photo of a black 2008 Ford Escape SUV.
2008 Ford Escape | Ford

If you are shopping for a second-generation Ford Escape, you will want to seek out a low mileage one. You also would be wise to have it looked over by a mechanic before you buy. This is because the most common issue owners have with the 2008 Ford Escape is the automatic transmission failing. This can happen at just 90,000 miles.

A less common issue is an engine misfire which eventually causes serious damage, so definitely look for a check engine light in a used Ford Escape. Ford issued six recalls for the Ford Escape, including one for water pump failures. If you are considering a used Ford Escape, run the VIN to see if it had these recalls addressed.

Vehicle History estimates that you’ll pay $515 each year to maintain your second-generation Ford Escape. But if the transmission does fail, replacing it will cost you $3,500 on average.

Next, check out the most reliable used American crossover SUVs or watch Kelley Blue Book’s review of the Ford Escape in the video below:

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