You are here: Home / Car Reviews / Ford / Escape / 2003 Ford Escape Compact SUV

2003 Ford Escape Compact SUV

MSRP Range: $18,500 to $27,500

Invoice Range: $17,000 to $25,000
Price Quote

MSRP As Tested: $27,085

Versions: Limited, XLS, XLT,

Vehicle Category: Compact Sport Utility Vehicle

Engine Location: Front Engine

Drive Wheels: Front-Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive

Engine As Tested: 2.0-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, Inline 4-cylinder, 127-horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 135 lb-ft torque at 4,500 rpm. Optional 3.0-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, V-6 Engine, 201-horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 196 lb. ft. torque at 4,700 rpm.

Transmission As Tested: 5-Speed Manual. Optional 4-Speed Automatic

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 5-Speed Manual - 22/25, 4-Speed Automatic - 18/23

Standard Safety Features: Driver and front passenger, front airbags, 4-wheel disc brakes

Competition: Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Tracker, Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Isuzu Rodeo, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Freelander, Mazda Tribute, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota RAV4

Ford's crossover sport-utility foregoes the usual body-on-frame structure of a truck-based SUV in favor of a monocoque platform which unites chassis and body in a cohesive unit that's extremely rigid in motion. Escape carries out-of-the-ordinary independent suspension components -- front struts and a multi-link design in back -- that create a car-like smooth ride. Power comes from either a 201-horse 3.0-liter V6 with four-speed automatic or a 2.0-liter four-pack that runs to 127 hp with manual five-speed shifter. A version with AWD traction is also available. Trim levels run from XLS and XLT to new Limited marked by body-color cladding and 16-inch aluminum wheels.


Where Built: USA

Seating: 5

Number of Rows: 2

Crash Test Ratings:

  • NHTSA Frontal Impact/Driver Crash Test Rating: *****
  • NHTSA Frontal Impact/Passenger Crash Test Rating: ****
  • NHTSA Side Impact/Front Seat Crash Test Rating: *****
  • NHTSA Side Impact/Rear Seat Crash Test Rating: *****
  • NHTSA Rollover Resistance Rating: ***
  • IIHS Frontal Offset Crash Test: Overall rating is Marginal

Length in Inches: 173.0

Warranties: 3 years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 5 years/unlimited miles corrosion, 5 years/100,000 mile powertrain, 3 years/36,000 miles free Roadside Assistance.

Weight in Pounds: 3,175

Towing Capacity in Pounds: 2,200

Maximum Payload in Pounds: 1,000

Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 15

Destination Charge: $590