Re: Thinking about buying a new 2008 Escape..
Compact SUV's are in right now while everyone is trading in their guzzling V8's. I feel your pain, as I pump countless amounts of my time and money into my 360ci Dodge Durango R/T. However, it's my work vehicle as well so I have reason to keep it around.
You should be able to get a fair price on an '08. If you wait another year they'll be even cheaper as it will be in its second model year and come next September you'll be able to take advantage of Ford's Family Pricing event and save yourself 1K or more than if you were to buy it now. I have yet to test drive a new AWD I4 with the 6 speed, but I'm sure it'll replace the wife's car when the time comes.
Personally, I'd never buy a first year vehicle...always wait a year for the manufacturer to work out any bugs in the systems.
'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!