Check last-generation Escape for transmission troubles
History/Description: Selection, style and capability were arguably the biggest draws to the outgoing generation of the Ford Escape. With four- and six-cylinder power, front- or all-wheel drive, generous ground clearance and a large span of options and packages, this Canadian favorite offered a variation that was just right for virtually any shopper.
The 2008 Escape offered a 153-hp, 2.3L 4-cylinder and a 200-hp, 3.0L V6.
Model year 2009 saw engineers fit a new 171-hp, 2.5L four, while the V6’s output was bumped to 240 hp. A 5-speed manual was offered on base trims, while a 6-speed automatic was standard on the rest of the line-up.
All models were five-seaters, and feature content included heated leather, SYNC, steering wheel audio controls, a sunroof and automatic climate control. Key competitors included the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue.
What Owners Like: Performance from the V6 engine, off-road capability with all-wheel drive, a sporty and comfortable ride and a flexible interior were all rated highly by owners. A commanding driving position, comfortable seats and exterior styling are also owner favorites.
What Owners Dislike: Common complaints include transmission ‘gear hunting,’ noisy engines, poor performance from the factory stereo system and higher-than-expected levels of road noise.
Common Issues: Approach your used Escape looking for signs of automatic transmission trouble. Hard shifting, ‘flaring’ or slipping during gear changes could all be signs of trouble. Ensure the unit shifts between Drive and Reverse as quickly as you’d expect, too. Apparently, a problem within the transmission itself is to blame. Some reports of transmission failure have been made, too.
Ensure the transmission on the used Escape you’re considering operates as expected, and have a mechanical inspection completed regardless. Additionally, an issue with the transmission cooler may cause a potentially damaging fluid leak.
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