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#2388950 - 09/26/11 09:56 PM Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16401
Loc: Michigan
Battle of the Suvs!


One of the two of these will be added to the fleet in the near future. Need something for trips/help carrying my growing extended family...

Model years are 2004-2006. Ealier models could happen at the right price. Milage will be around 100k. The plan is to bring it home and "gut" it (IE meaning all new fluids/some new parts/updates)

hich one would be a better choice? ( I like em' both) How do they hold up body wise? (I hate rust) Which makes a better trip driver...as plans are to take it into northern MI.

I'm looking for opinions and people who could give more insight on these trucklets...I know a bit about them...but I'd like some real life experience with em...


Thanks!
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#2388962 - 09/26/11 10:04 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 15206
Loc: apple valley, ca
The KJ has a low range transfercase. Does the Ford?
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#2388963 - 09/26/11 10:04 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
itguy08 Online   content


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 2775
Loc: Somewhere
The wife has an 03 Escape V6, 4WD. Turned 100k a couple months ago and is currently at 102 or 103k (can't remember which).

Been very reliable outside the normal stuff (a couple seals, a power steering hose, and a new front wheel bearing). Pretty much gas, oil, trans changes and go. I did do the spark plugs + manifold gaskets at 90k as they are a weak spot on the 3.0.

We'd buy another as it has been reliable. Just make sure the trans fluid was changed every 30k (we did) and it will lead a good life.

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#2388968 - 09/26/11 10:08 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
tomcat27 Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 3357
Loc: Midwest
I have an 02 that I bought new. it now has 110k+ on it. It has been bulletproof. I have a friend who has on 03, his has not been as reliable (water pump - although I think he brought that on himself by using the wrong coolant - fortunately it was VERY easy to replace). They are very solid, quiet, and tight. (heavy influence from Benz). The engine is a dog and is VERY thirsty. I am a HUGE Jeep fan but I believe that most Escape owners are happier with their Escapes than are Liberty owners. (I could be wrong)
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#2388969 - 09/26/11 10:09 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 6469
Loc: Colorado
Mother in law had that year of Escape. No issues I was aware of, and I drove it from WV to VA in 2005. 4wd was nice and it drove well.

Rented a Liberty in Colorado in 2004. Drove nice, 4wd worked fine.

Although I'm a Jeep fan, the Escape did get better mpg and felt more stable on the highway. The Jeep had the shorter wheelbase (on road manners?) but felt better / stronger / tougher offroad.

So I'm thinking this depends on where you spend your time...on road, take the Escape. If you go off road anything close to frequently, go with the Jeep.


Edited by Kuato (09/26/11 10:11 PM)
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#2388972 - 09/26/11 10:11 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
tomcat27 Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 3357
Loc: Midwest
have you considered... a minivan? or a crossover? I know... the stigma... but for the ultimate in space and better MPG...
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#2388984 - 09/26/11 10:23 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: tomcat27]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16401
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: tomcat27
have you considered... a minivan? or a crossover? I know... the stigma... but for the ultimate in space and better MPG...


I currently have:

2004 and 2003 chevy Cavaliers
2006 Chevy Cobalt

As the last two are turning into "commuting beaters", so gas milage won't be a huge issue for us. I also need something smaller for my wife to drive, and easy to handle. She has driven both and likes them. My thing is that she is that a minivan might be too big...as she is used to driving small things. (no pun intended) I'm not stuck on just these two, as the right priced Vue, CRV or Aztek/R-Vue would due as well....


These two are just my favs..
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#2388992 - 09/26/11 10:31 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
4x4chevydude Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Northern IL
I would go with the Ford Escape, but be prepared if the Catalytic converters go its a PITA to replace or expensive at a shop to do them...1500 later all 3 new cats on an escape because they got clogged...getting them off was horrible...I coulda done 3 engine swaps easier and faster
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#2389028 - 09/26/11 11:44 PM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19146
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Neither sound too appealing, what are the other potential options?
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#2389048 - 09/27/11 12:29 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
ahoier Offline


Registered: 02/03/10
Posts: 1724
Loc: Cocoa, FL
Let the SUV craze die, and get a Minivan smile There are very few around anymore, but I like the looks of the Dodge Grandcaravan smile

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#2389061 - 09/27/11 12:53 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
OldCowboy Offline


Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 734
Loc: SW Missouri
The Jeep Liberty '04-06 has an average to worse than average reliability rating.

The Ford Escort '04-06 has an average to better than average reliability rating.

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#2389107 - 09/27/11 05:10 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
svhanc Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 191
Loc: Knoxville, Tennessee
If it is for people hauling and you really don't need the 4wd, go with a minivan. The usable space and low floor height are a huge advantage. If you have dogs, they can lay on the floor instead of the seats.
In that time frame look at the Kia and Mazda for small minivans, or just let your wife drive one of the larger one. Our '02 Sienna actually drove a lot like our '03 Camry at the time.
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#2389113 - 09/27/11 05:33 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
bradepb Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 1139
Loc: Clinton Twp. MI
I have an 04 Escape 4x4 bought used with 35,000 miles just turned 85,000 with ZERO issues other than normal maintenance.
This is the only car I have ever owned with ZERO issues at this mileage. It still drives like the day i bought it. I get close to 20mpg around town and 23 hgwy.I have a very light foot.

If you get an escape make sure the trans was serviced as this is the only weak link if you could even call it that.If not serviced they can develop a converter shutter, I drain and fill (theres even a drain plug) evry 15,000 and tow a camper with no problem so far.

They do rust around the rear wealwells prematurely if you dont have the trim package covering them but is easily fixed in that area.
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#2389117 - 09/27/11 05:42 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
bradepb Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 1139
Loc: Clinton Twp. MI
Another thing to add , neither of these are realy off-road vehicles imo but the jeep would have to be the better choice if you are going off road simply because of the slightly better ground clearance.

I would take my Escape 2 tracking up north but would have to be carefull as theres probably only 8 inches or so of clearance.

If you check into it the jeeps are neat vehicles but dont have a great reliability record.
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#2389119 - 09/27/11 05:48 AM Re: Ford Escape Vs. Jeep Liberty [Re: daves87rs]
bradepb Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 1139
Loc: Clinton Twp. MI
heres my rig
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