What Changed for 2008:
- Redesigned inside and out
- Industry-first seating from 100-percent recycled material
- Top-of-dash instrument display
- Refined chassis
- Unique Ice Blue interior lighting
- Abundant interior storage
- Standard stability program
- Optional lockable hidden wet trunk
- Optional DVD-based navigation system
- Optional reverse sensing system
2008 marks the eighth year of production for the Ford
Escape compact sport utility vehicle (SUV), which shares its platform with the Mercury Mariner
as well as the Mazda Tribute
. For 2008, the Escape has received a new exterior featuring Ford's three-bar grille design that maintains the family resemblance with other Ford products. A new interior adds innovative storage, improved overall quietness, and an industry first: seating fabrics made from 100 percent recycled materials. The Hybrid model carries on for 2008 and receives the same exterior/interior upgrades as gasoline-powered Escapes.Model Lineup
The 2008 Ford Escape is available in four separate trims: XLS Manual (standard with manual transmission; all others have a standard automatic transmission), XLS, XLT, and top-of-the-line Limited. The Hybrid model offers no trim options. There are two engines to choose from (excluding the Hybrid), and a choice of front- or 4-wheel drive (4WD) for all models including the Hybrid.
Standard on all models are air conditioning; power door locks/mirrors; rear window defroster; 60/40 split/fold seatbacks; tilt steering wheel; tire-pressure-monitoring system; auxiliary input jack; and a rear cargo light. A flow-through center console, storage bin with removable trays, and space for purse or laptop storage also is standard on all trim levels. The Escape XLT gives you the option to upgrade to a bigger engine, and includes front and rear floormats, foglamps, and cruise control. The Limited model features the V-6 engine as standard equipment, along with AdvanceTrac (Ford's stability control program), anti-lock brakes (ABS), leather seats, and the Convenience package that includes dual illuminated visors, compass, keypad entry, outside temperature readout, overhead console, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.Powertrain
Two engine choices are offered on the 2008 Ford Escape; both carry over from 2007. The 4-cylinder engine is a 2.3-liter Duratec that makes 153 hp and 152 lb.-ft. of torque. The Duratec 3.0-liter V-6 engine is good for 200 hp and 193 lb.-ft. of torque. Either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission is offered. Fuel economy on the manual transmission when matched to the inline 4-cylinder is 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway regardless of drive mode. The automatic transmission with the 4-cylinder engine gets 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway in 2WD and 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway in 4WD, while the automatic transmission and V-6 engine gets 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway in front-wheel drive and 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway in 4-wheel mode. The Hybrid uses a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder gas engine that features Atkinson-cycle combustion to produce 133 hp. A 70-kilowatt electric traction motor adds boost to the drive wheels under maximum power. Combined output is 155 hp, but acceleration is equivalent to the V-6 Escape. The only transmission offered on the Hybrid is the continuously variable transmission (CVT).
All 2008 Escape models receive electric power-assist steering, which uses an electric motor to reduce noise as well as help improve fuel economy and overall steering feel, according to Ford.Safety
Many Ford products feature the automaker's "Personal Safety System," designed to protect all occupants in the event of a collision. The entire restraint system has been revised for 2008, and includes new air bags, seat belts, energy-absorbing steering column, and new steering wheel. Other standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, side curtain air bags to protect outboard passengers at all rows, seat-mounted side air bag in the front row, and impact foam on the bolsters and door beams designed to distribute crash forces during an impact.Technology
Ford's Intelligent 4WD system is automatic and provides maximum traction when needed. The system operates in front-wheel drive until sensors at each wheel, the accelerator, and the computer sense slippage. At that point, the computer sends exactly the right amount of torque to the rear wheels as needed for grip, Ford claims. The company states further that the system can even predict slip and stop it from occurring.
Ford says that its 4WD system avoids the binding effect during tight turns and driveline harshness felt when an ordinary system engages. This system, according to Ford, senses tight turns and continuously varies the torque to the rear wheels at all speeds, offering the benefits of a locked 4WD system without any of the drawbacks.
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