2003 Ford Escape Review and Model Lineup

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If you are thinking about getting yourself a 2003 Ford Escape, reviews and other information should be mandatory reading. Doing your research and finding out as much as you can about a vehicle before purchasing can save you money on the purchase price, but also let you know if the vehicle you are thinking about is really one for you. Knowledge of the specs of the car, performance records and more can help you to make a more informed decision. Buying a used vehicle can present a real opportunity to save money, but it doesn’t come without peril. Research is a good way to decrease your risks.


For the 2002 model year Ford had introduced several new variants of the Escape. All of those were offered again for the 2003 year, but there was one additional. That brought to the table both the entry level XLS and the upgraded, sportier XLT in several variants. Each of these vehicles could be obtained in Value, Sport, Choice and Premium models. Like the 2002 model year, the 2003 Ford Escape XLT had a Midnight package. The 2003 run saw the addition of an XLT appearance package, though and also a whole new level,  the Ford Escape Limited.

Standard Features

The power train remained essentially unchanged from the 2002 model year. That meant that each of the versions had the choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Additionally a manual transmission and an automatic were available. Two engines, a 2 liter inline four cylinder engine that could deliver 127 horse power was standard. An optional 3 liter, V6 that was rated at over 200 horse power was an option on the vehicle.

Cargo Space

Just like its predecessor, the 2003 Ford Escape provided around 33 cubic feet of storage space with the seats in the upright position. The vehicle was equipped to allow increased storage by rearranging the rear seating.


Just like the 2002 models, most of the systems in the 2003 Ford Escapes have proven to have good ratings in terms of reliability. What problems have shown up have generally not been overly common or expensive. There are a couple of exceptions to this, though.

Engine Problems

The engines of the 2002 models had some fairly frequent problems. With the engines unchanged from that year’s offerings, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that this one has the same issues. Generally several parts of the engine have been prone to problems including the wiring harness, sensors or ignition cells. For the most part these different causes lead to the same symptom ““ a lit up check engine light. Depending on which part is the cause of your problem, your cost to have it fix will vary. Overall, the expense should be in the lower hundreds ““ possibly less than two hundred, depending.

Suspension System Problems

Just like the 2002 versions, the 2003 Ford Escapes have issues with the rear shocks. They fail somewhat frequently and will need to be replaced periodically. This should cost you less than $500 per occurrence, though.

Since the 2003 Ford Escape was a popular vehicle, there should generally be quite a few of them out on the market. That makes finding one easier and can help to lower the price. Whenever you buy a used vehicle, though, you really need to consider getting an inspection. No two vehicles have been driven or maintained in the same way. Consequently no two vehicles will be in the same condition. It’s better to pay a little money and find a problem before you make the purchase than to buy the vehicle and wind up having to sink a lot of money into it in terms of repairs. Overall the Ford Escape is a pretty reliable vehicle. It does have a couple problem areas, though

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