2008 Ford Escape vs. Its Competition

2008 Ford Escape FWD 4-door I4 Auto XLT Angular Front Exterior View
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute are essentially identical to the 2008 Ford Escape, and you may prefer their styling over that of the more traditional Ford.

The Honda CR-V is four-cylinder only, but its good space efficiency and reputation for durability overcome the awkward style of its front end.

The Saturn Vue is new for 2008, and it has a Euro-smooth shape, a big V-6 option, and an available Hybrid version, though it’s also a five-seater only.

2008 Ford Escape FWD 4-door I4 Auto XLT Angular Front Exterior View2008 Ford Escape
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2009 Mercury Mariner 2009 Mercury Mariner
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2009 Saturn VUE2009 Saturn VUE
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2008 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX Side Exterior View2008 Honda CR-V
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2008 Mazda Tribute FWD V6 Auto Sport Front Exterior View2008 Mazda Tribute
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Quick Specs
The 2008 Ford Escape looks better inside and out, but the curtain airbags, higher-output V-6 and Sync audio system in the upcoming 2009 model year version are worth the wait.
The 2009 Mercury Mariner is an attractive and capable compact SUV, now with vastly improved performance.
With its available V-6 engine, the 2009 Saturn Vue is a bit more fun to drive than other compact SUVs; otherwise it’s not a standout.
The 2008 Honda CR-V doesn't have hip style or performance on tap, but it has the security, utility, and frugality that many sensible moms want.
The 2008 Mazda Tribute wears a sharp new set of sheetmetal, but performance remains middling, and it still lacks a third-row option.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport UtilitySUV
Style Name    
FWD 4-Door I4 Manual XLSFWD 4-Door I4FWD 4-Door I4 XE2WD 5-Door LXFWD I4 Manual Sport
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront wheel drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door4 Door4 Door SUV5 Door4 Door SUV
Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomaticManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Ford Escape vs. 2009 Mercury Mariner2008 Ford Escape vs. 2009 Saturn VUE2008 Ford Escape vs. 2008 Honda CR-V2008 Ford Escape vs. 2008 Mazda Tribute