Ford escape in Snow?
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fishnski
December 13, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Me & Betterhalfski love our Ford Exployer in Mountain/Snow conditions (Got up to the Sods after a 14 inch dump)..But we are looking to downsize to a smaller SUV like a Ford escape 4wd. Been looking at the Nissan Xterra & I really love the looks but the Gas milage is not the best & you know that we are just around the corner for gas to blow up again...Getting back to the Escape...I don't like the suspention thingy's that attach to the back tires. They look like they would trap snow & Ice. Do any of you all have any knowledge/Experience with the vehicle that you can share with me?...much appreciated!
langleyskier
December 13, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Have had an escape (2001 4WD) since 2004, first and only car! So far it has been reliable and a great car. As far as snow, I have never had a major problem. Been a solid car for snow/ice/rain. Also, if you fold down the back seat it is just long enough for many pairs of skis (prob up to about 170, perfect for 165's)and with a roof rack I can fit 5 people easy for a ski trip. Fun to drive as well, like the handling.
fishnski
December 13, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
L-ski, Does your 01 have those suspention thingy's..you know what I'm talkin about?..they look like they could build up ice & snow chunks on them. If they didn't have those I wouldn't even be posting this ...I'd have one for X-mas!
langleyskier
December 13, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Hmm idk?? Ill check sometime withing the next few days... dont use it much at school. What do they look like?
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fishnski
December 13, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
If you look under your escape Kyle from the back you will see two suspention rods that go from your under carraige & flare down to your wheels...they might have added that to some newer models...I'm not sure. They look like they could restrict the good clearence that the SUV has...I'm hoping not because the Gas milage & price is right!
skier219
December 13, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
One of my friends had one, and eventually sold it because he had a bunch of problems (coincidentally, he bought an Xterra which I am not that impressed with -- the gas mileage stinks and the ride/handling is horrible).

I can't speak to overall snow performance or say how it compares to your Explorer, but his Escape was definitely sucking wind one time we caravan'd up to Snowshoe in a storm. That particular trip I was driving my wife's 03 Subaru Forester, and it was faring quite a bit better, almost unstoppable. I have since come to appreciate that most FWD-based AWD systems -- like the one in the Escape -- just can't compare to Subaru's AWD systems. My current Acura has an FWD-based AWD system and is in the same boat.

Wouldn't hurt to check out the new Forester -- it's a great car and significantly roomier and better than the old one we had. Very comparable to the Escape in size and probably gas mileage too. And I guarantee the AWD will kick butt! I will probably go back to a Subaru next time around.
skier219
December 13, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: fishnski
If you look under your escape Kyle from the back you will see two suspention rods that go from your under carraige & flare down to your wheels...they might have added that to some newer models...I'm not sure. They look like they could restrict the good clearence that the SUV has...I'm hoping not because the Gas milage & price is right!


Ah, funny, I wish I saw this before I typed the last response. That's one of the downsides of the Escape's FWD platform -- it's got a fairly clunky trailing arm rear suspension, which is kind of a generic FWD thing on many cars. I wouldn't let it bother me, but I know what you're talking about. When you go to look at the Forester wink I think you'll be pretty impressed with the underside. It's got good ground clearance (8.7" I think) and a real clean underbody. OK, that's all. I swear I am not a Subaru salesman.
jb714
December 13, 2008
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
Quote:
Do any of you all have any knowledge/Experience with the vehicle that you can share with me?


Fish - my wife has a 2005 Ford Escape 4WD (technically I think it's all-wheel-drive, since it has no transfer case shifter).We have vacation property near 7 Springs, and the road into the subdivision and property is about a quarter-mile long and hilly, and the road sometimes has 12" or more when we go up there. There have been a number of occasions where she has driven the Escape in and out of that road without any problems, and I'd estimate one of those times there was about 14" of snow.

The OEM tires were Continental Conti-Tracs, and the tread (even when new) didn't look terribly impressive to me, but they did very well in the snow. I replaced those tires this past Fall with GoodYear Wranglers, but she hasn't had the Escape in the snow yet with those tires.

Not sure about the suspension components that you refer to , but I can tell you that her Escape has almost as much ground clearance as my 4Runner.She's out of town this weekend so I can't look at the rear suspension, but I'll take a peek some evening this week and let you know what I find.

She hasn't been all that happy with the gas mileage - I think she gets about 17/18 city and about 22 highway. Personally I don't think that's all that bad (the truck has quite a bit of zip when merging, passing, etc), but this is her first truck so she expects it to get car-like MPG.
langleyskier
December 14, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Originally Posted By: jb714
[quote]
She hasn't been all that happy with the gas mileage - I think she gets about 17/18 city and about 22 highway. Personally I don't think that's all that bad (the truck has quite a bit of zip when merging, passing, etc), but this is her first truck so she expects it to get car-like MPG.


That is about what I get, not too fun last summer when I drove 80 miles per day for work but not as bad as some other SUVs. I do find it fun to drive and I have the 01, im sure there are drastic improvements on the newer models. Not sure what price range you are looking for but it may be a good idea to at least look into the hybrid escape. I believe it comes in 4wd and I am always jealous of the 30+ mpg in city and 27 highway! I am sure the horsepower is a little reduced but might be worth considering.
Clay
December 14, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Originally Posted By: jb714
...it has no transfer case shifter


No transfer case = AWD unless of course its 2 wheel drive

Personally, I'm very happy with my Ram 1500 4x4. With the 20 inch rims, I've never hit snow in the valley that reached the suspension smile
fishnski
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Thanks for the feedback you all..The AWD in the Exployer gave us a few problems..Transfer case went out & there were other problems with the drivetrain. Now I'm thinking that if the Escape has the same system I'm not interested. Maybe the newer models have had improvements...The 09 has been updated to a 6 speed & if you go with the 6 cylender it should have the power..The escape sucking wind up to SS was a 4 cly I bet.

I would love a forester but the ole lady is a ford nut & Yeh...Shes a nut..I'll try to sneak her in the Suburu dealership.

So, no signs of Snow & ice clumping up on those rear bars? That would be a plus..

Hybrid Huh?..I overheard her talking to a saleslady at Ford about a Hybrid...My wallet is Shaking nervous..Arn't they around 35 grand?..What do you think I do for a livin...a friggin weather man or something?? laugh...... Thanks again..
rmcva
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/28/2004 🔗
187 posts

I just bought a new Outback Limited. I did lots of reading and as far as ground clearance, Forester, Outback, 4Runner, Pathfinder, etc all had nearly the same ground clearance. This is our first Subaru so we hope its good. It seems everything I read on the Outback and Forester were positive. Most forums I went to highly complimented the performance, handling, and reliability. The one complaint repeated was that it is slightly underpowered. Nearly everyone said the engine gets the job done but needs a few more HP. Subaru has 3 engines - their standard 170hp four cylinder, a turbo, and a V6. Turbo requires premium gas, V6 recommends premium (most forums folks said they actually needed it to make it perform good), and the standard 170hp is regular 87 gas. Gas mileage on the Outback (170hp) is stated as 20mpb city and 26mpg highway.

As some stated earlier, everyone stated the Subaru AWD just can't be beat in bad weather. Some did complain about the OEM tires but said replacments eventually fixed that.

Forester recently was redesigned so its much different than in the past. The passenger area is HUGE !!!! However, with the back seats up, the cargo area is very small. With the Outback, the passenger area is much smaller than the Forester but has a larger cargo area. With the Outback, it has a 60/40 folding seat in the back. Folding the seat down, my 177cm skis fit straight in but that's the max length without placing them somewhat crossways in the cargo area. What I will miss is the small opening in my Honda Accord back seat center that allows up to two pairs of skis while also seating two adults in the back seat. It opens as an arm rest and a second door opens to the trunk area. That's one great feature - we've hauled some pretty long items sticking them thru that back seat area.

Good luck with the purchase.
skier219
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Fish, the Escape's AWD system is completely different than the Explorer. Whereas the Explorer is a RWD platform with longitudinal engine/transmission and driveshaft to the rear wheels, the Escape is a FWD platform with a transverse engine and an auxiliary shaft to the rear. Can't say if it will be better or worse, but at least it's different. Ford and Volvo have been using a Haldex AWD system on vehicles like the Escape, and I think it's pretty reliable.
skier219
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: rmcva
standard 170hp four cylinder, a turbo, and a V6.


It's an "H" six (H6), one of the real engine gems on the market today. Wonderful engine. I think Porshe is the only other company with an H6.
rmcva
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/28/2004 🔗
187 posts
Thanks for the correction. I just hope I'll be satisfied with the 170hp 4-cyl. Started to get the H-6 but didn't like what I heard about Subaru recommending premium gas. All other things said about it were outstanding. Maybe the old saying applies - you get what you pay for and in this case better performance.
skier219
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
We had a couple Subarus with the standard H4, and they were fine. I did appreciate the Outbacks I owned with the H6 and the H4-turbo in the mountains, but the downside was poorer gas mileage overall. The base H4 is a very good compromise.

I did some experiments with gas when I owned an 02 LL Bean Outback with the H6. At the time, premium cost about 5% more but generally resulted in 5-6% better gas mileage (on lower fuel grades, the engine retards the timing and runs less efficiently). So no real penalty, and the engine ran better to boot. When gas prices were over $4/gallon recently, the extra cost for premium would only have been 2-3%, so the 5-6% increase in MPG would have been a plus!

Of course, with the turbos, you really need to run premium. On the H6, it was more of a recommended thing, but not super important.
kwillg6
December 15, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
We are on our third Outback and have loved each one. We purchased the 5 speed due to mountain driving and get around 28 MPG in mountain driving, 25-26 MPG in town. I drive it pretty hard in making the trips to the valley which, for a normal car, would cause the mileage to drop, but not the Suburau. As a condition of purchase, we has Goodyear Assurances put on it. Great tire in snow and ice.
hockeydave
December 15, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
Had an Escape for 5 years. Great reliability and very good in the snow.
fishnski
December 15, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
The escape from what I understand has an AWD & a 4WD..The exployer AWD has been excellent thru Snow or the sand down here at the beach.

I have a 9200 LBS Isuzu Box Truck (Empty) that has a 190 horse 4 cly Diesel with loads of power.. 170 horse sounds like it would be fine for the smaller Suv's but I guess we are talkiin apples & oranges.

I'd go the Suburu route if it was me but Since I havn't had any negative feedback on the Escape for Mtn Snow driving..My guess is that I will be driving a 6cly 4wd 6 speed Escape in the future....Did I hear one of you all say that I don't wear the Ski pants in the family???!!....
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 15, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
kwillg6,
Re your Subaru, do you use regular or hightest gas? I think skier219 mentioned that Subaru called for hightest.
If you use regular, any problems?
The Colonel smile
Steve
December 15, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Fishnski,

Do yourself a favor and try out a Rav4 with the 6 cyl. Haven't had any snow to test the AWD, but that little engine can really get up and go. A little disappointing in the mpg, 18/24 but I think my wife is becoming a lead foot.

Steve
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