2009 Ford Escape XLT four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Greg Wilson
2009 Ford Escape
North Vancouver, British Columbia – Though the basic design of the Ford Escape dates back to 2000, Ford has been making incremental changes over the years to keep this compact SUV competitive in a very crowded and increasingly competitive class.
After getting a face-lift in 2008, the Ford Escape receives some powertrain upgrades for 2009: a new, larger 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.3-litre unit, and a new six-speed automatic transmission replaces the four-speed auto. Horsepower has increased from 153 to 171 while torque is boosted from 152 to 171 lb-ft. Even so, fuel economy has improved slightly to 10.1/7.2 L/100 km (city/hwy) with the automatic transmission. (Manual transmission models get 9.2/7.2 L/100 km)
The optional 3.0-litre V6 receives a new air-induction system that boosts horsepower significantly from 200 to 240 and torque from 193 lb-ft to 223 lb-ft, while fuel economy is slightly better at 11.5/7.7 L/100 km (city/hwy).
As well, Escapers can now get a five-speed manual transmission in the base four-cylinder Escape, an option that wasn’t available in 2008; the five-speed manual is no longer available with the V6 engine.
The base XLS trim is gone for 2009, leaving only the mid-level XLT (now the base trim) with a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines, and the top-line Limited model which is also available with four-cylinder (new for 2009) and six-cylinder powerplants.
All models except the base XLT with manual transmission are available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) which is a full-time on-demand system that includes a pushbutton locking centre differential for low-speed travel in slippery conditions.
Other changes for 2009 include a new soy-based seat cushion foam, redesigned front chin spoiler and rear wheel flaps, new rear stabilizer bar and revised suspension tuning, a new exhaust system, and Ford’s unique “Easy-Fuel” capless fuel door.
Ford also made some notable improvements to the hybrid version of the 2009 Escape which you can read about here.