My wife is sick of the minis over the past 10 years or so. Kids or no, we're probably going with the Escape. I'm thinking 2wd with good options in the 03/04 range. Lots of them with 75 to 99K miles in great phsical shape for the 8 to 10K$ range. How are you owners doing on miles. Is this your typical 100K+ Ford vehicle? Does this sound typical for price? Please advise.
2001 XLT 4WD with over 115k miles, Only replaced a couple sensors, plugs and a fuse other than the regular brakes, tires, battery. Stupid coolant light is on, check engine light for a small vaccuum leak (ignore it daily) and the upper cig lighter outlet blows fuses. No rust (surprising for a FORD in NY). Other than that, it starts, runs and drives, and that's all I need til the 09's can be ordered this summer!
I've worked on a bunch of these and rarely see any real issues. Mostly I do maintenance work (oil changes, tires, fuel/air filters, transmission flushes, etc). I did an alternator on one once... and I did an oil pan gasket on a brand new one, but that was because it wasn't installed right at the factory. This was a one time occurance.
I have even seen a couple with well over 200,000 on the clock. They seem to last a long time!
The beautiful thing with these, is that even at 90,000 miles they drive just like they did when new! Most cars get "loose"... with clunking noises and just not feeling the same after 40,000-50,000 miles, but I haven't yet seen this happen on these... even ones with tons of miles!
79K on my 05 4cyl 5spd. Only issue is the parking brake that I really haven't had time to adjust or figure out. Still on factory brakes and clutch, even with the wife driving it from time to time to work in city traffic.
Honestly, it is one of the best cars I've ever owned. Almost as good as my Jeep was.