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Old 04-14-2012, 16:40   #1 (permalink)
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2003 to 2005 Escape Buying Advise

I'm thinking of buying an Escape to use a commuter. Hopefully you can tell me if this is a good vehicle to buy. Here's my scenario:

- I drive around 40 km a day (commuting on pavement)
- I live in Calgary area on acreage, so sometimes roads are snow covered so I want all wheel drive
- I have a family of 5 so when I'm not working, I want to be able to load everyone up in relative comfort
- I want good fuel mileage
- I want something that is reliable.
- I don't want new. I'll put around 10,000 to 15,000 km on per year, so a new vehicle would rust out before I wear it out.
- I want something that is going to look good for at least 5 years (i.e. no visible rust). My wife is currently embarrassed to drive my commuter.
- I want the ability to occasionally tow a trailer or light boat (under 2000 lbs)

So I was thinking of buying an Escape with ~150,000 to 200,000 km. Probably a 2003 to 2005. Do you think I can get 5 years out of a vehicle like that and still have it looking good (i.e. no rust) and still be reliable?

What are some common problems I should look for when looking at used vehicles?

Thank you



I live in Calgary area on an acreage (Canada), so I'm looking for something with all wheel drive.
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Old 04-14-2012, 16:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 to 2005 Escape Buying Advise

I should have mentioned I have $7 k to spend. Currently, there are a couple AWD Escapes advertised for this price that are 2005's with around 150,000 to 200,000 km.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:22   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 to 2005 Escape Buying Advise

I see it's been a while since you posted, but I'll give my two cents. I like the Escape, but I'm not 100% confident that the corrosion protection was done well. There are various reports of people with rusted out rear shock towers which concerns me. My 2004 model is a tick over 100,000km and it's got some relatively minor rust in the wheel well and underbody, but it's not to the point where it's causing problems.

The 04 and later Escapes are pretty reliable, but I wouldn't say fuel economy is all that great with the V6. If you can find a 4-cylinder with AWD, that may suit you better, but it reduces your trailer towing ability. Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 to 2005 Escape Buying Advise

I am a fan of the Escapes of the vintage you are considering. I have an '04 4 cyl. with 365m miles and an '06 with 105M miles. I like to own 2 of the same thing relatively close in age - that way once you know how to fix one and the problems it has, the other car is similar. I am partial to the 4 cylinder because of the ease of working on it (I am an inveterate do-it-your-selfer and you can get your hands around the 4 cyl. engine), plus it gets much better gas mileage (though I do have the 5-speed manual). Other posts have noted poor V6 gas mileage, and my experience is the same despite careful driving and a properly tuned engine. You may also know the V6 has a relatively high compression ratio, and I buy the 89 octane gas where I am (it's the same price as the 87 octane) because I think it allows the engine electronics to optimize spark timing, etc.
There was a recall just announced on V6 Escapes from the era you mentioned due to sticking gas pedals. Elsewhere in this forum you will find a fix for that, which is likely a build-up of varnish from the gas on the throttle plate. Generally, you will find fixes for the common maladies that affect Escapes in this forum - very helpful.
Both my car's shock towers are fine too. Like anything else there are probably distinct factors that led to other people having problems.
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