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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
From a styling standpoint, the 2010 Ford Escape is one of the last of a dying breed: a vehicle that has the chunky, boxy, look of a traditional SUV. And depending on what you're seeking, that might make it feel obsolete or desirable. Instead of trying to rebody the Escape as a sleeker, more rakish vehicle, Ford keeps the Escape's conservative look and focuses on broadening the Escape's appeal with more upscale details and features.
Although the Escape gets new engines and transmissions for 2009, its appearance hasn't changed significantly since 2008. Even when Ford improved many of the Escape's details, Car and Driver wasn't a fan, remarking, “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.”
Automobile Magazine points out that some of the changes serve a purpose: “Small aerodynamic modifications also contribute to fuel efficiency and reduce interior noise levels,” they observe, adding, “A deeper front spoiler and small spoilers in front of the rear wheels improve under-body airflow for decreased drag to slightly improve mileage.” Popular Mechanics concludes that the exterior changes "are subtle, and include a front spoiler for slicker aerodynamics and new low rolling resistance Michelin tires for improved fuel economy.”
Inside, the 2010 Ford Escape isn't particularly stylish, but it's been updated for ergonomics. Regarding the 2009 Escape, which is nearly identical to the '10 inside, Automobile Magazine says it “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.”
Even though it's been kept current, the 2010 Ford Escape looks like a boxy, old-style SUV.