Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Ford Escape is one of a selection of small SUVs that strangely appears to have a cult following among car buyers. Let’s see if this one’s price has us all drinking the Kool-Aid.
If you grew up in the Scouts—either Boy or Girl Scouts—then you probably learned a lot of useful skills. Along the way, you might even have collected a badge or two denoting those skills. If we wanted to give yesterday’s 1961 International Harvester Scout 80 a merit badge, it would have to be for value. At $20,000, the restored compact SUV earned a solid 54 percent Nice Price win, making it a good Scout indeed.
If yesterday’s Scout represents the earliest era of the sport utility or crossover craze, then today’s 2005 Ford Escape XLT could be considered a representative of its present state of affairs. After all, aside from certain safety features and technological advancements, just how different is this small Ford wagon from today’s Bronco Sport?
I think the answer you’re looking for is “Not that much at all.” As a matter of fact, most automakers have been cranking out compact crossovers of this ilk for years. Today, it’s one of the hottest segments in the market with competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4 leading their respective brands in sales. For Ford, when the current Escape’s sales are combined with its platform mate, the Bronco Sport, the total outweighs that of every other U.S. model save for the all-conquering F-Series.
With a market as hot as all that, it’s not surprising to see older models still catching the wave and asking for premium prices. Let’s see if this Escape falls into that category.
According to its ad, this ’05 Escape has seen light use and dutiful maintenance. There are only 80,000 miles on the clock and overall, it shows little evidence of even those.
The white over gray plastic-clad exterior may not be the most exciting color combo, but at least the styling underneath has held up well. That’s accented by attractive five-spoke factory alloys that show no evidence of curbing and are clad in aggressively named Hercules Ironman tires.
The cabin shows a little more wear, but it’s pretty light and nothing seems broken. This is an XLT, but thankfully, it has the harder-wearing standard cloth upholstery instead of the seemingly less durable optional leather. It has all the basics covered—A/C, power windows and locks, tilt-wheel, and cruise control. It also has a number of updates, including a Pioneer stereo with GPS Nav, and interestingly, one of those old Parrot cell phone bridges. Aside from those, everything is claimed to be an all-original on this one-owner Escape.
As we’ve noted, the seller claims to have properly maintained the truck and boasts of 41 service records in the CarFax. The mechanicals are fairly simple and straightforward on this truck. Power is provided by a 200-horsepower DOHC 3.0-liter Duratec V6 which is paired with its standard playmate, a four-speed CD4E automatic. As is the case in most trucks in this class, the power goes to the front wheels only. On the plus side, these are fairly robust trucks and parts availability is still decent.
We’ll have to see if the price on this Escape is equally as decent. The owner is asking $7,900, and while that’s a chunk of change for a mainstream Ford that’ll be pushing two decades in age, we have to remember how hot this segment is today, and how that price fits, especially when compared with the competition.
What do you think? Is this an Escape you’d take at that $7,900 entry fee? Or, is that just too much to crossover?
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