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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Exterior changes are subtle
receives a redesigned center stack
Not even a thorough interior and exterior refresh could save the 2008 iteration from a seventh-place finish”
Car and Driver
If you want a small SUV with full-fledged SUV styling, then the 2009 Ford Escape is one of the last remaining options. Ford changed a lot about the Escape compared to last year's model, but styling wasn’t one of them.
“Exterior changes are subtle, and include a front spoiler for slicker aerodynamics and new low rolling resistance Michelin tires for improved fuel economy,” says Popular Mechanics. Upgrades to the Escape’s exterior are minor due to last year’s restyle. “Not even a thorough interior and exterior refresh could save the 2008 iteration from a seventh-place finish out of nine in our latest small-ute roundup,” remarks Car and Driver.
This year’s exterior improvements do serve a purpose. “Small aerodynamic modifications also contribute to fuel efficiency and reduce interior noise levels,” says Automobile.com. They add, “A deeper front spoiler and small spoilers in front of the rear wheels improve under-body airflow for decreased drag to slightly improve mileage.”
For 2009, the Escape's interior receives some minor modifications that help improve its ergonomics. “The 2009 Escape also receives a redesigned center stack, featuring an updated version of Ford's excellent navigation and infotainment system-and, of course, SYNC. The new high-resolution screen is extraordinarily clear, and the menu structures are easy to use,” says Automobile Magazine.
Both inside and out, the 2009 Ford Escape looks nearly identical to its 2008 sibling.