One of the stars of the crossover world since its inception has been the attractive 2009 Ford Escape. Aside from its friendly starting price, the base XLS model manages to dazzle through a combination of performance, fuel economy, and standard features.
Once you’re behind the wheel of Ford’s machine, it wastes little time making an impression. Upon igniting the engine and cruising onto Seattle’s roads, you’re treated to a 2.5L four-cylinder and either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. No matter your driving preference, the motor kicks out 171 horses and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling this compact workhorse to tow up to 1,500 pounds. The power isn’t costly, either, as the Escape XLS musters up an EPA-estimated 28 highway / 20 city MPG rating. You’ll definitely avoid the dreaded “pinch at the pumps!”
There’s also a well-rounded feature set included. The wheels are adorned with 16-inch silver aluminum rims, and getting into the SUV is simple thanks to the remote keyless entry fob that activates all doors. Once inside, the satellite-capable AM/FM radio promises a wide choice of tunes, too.