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New styling; ride and handling; fuel efficiency (four-cylinder and Hybrid); eco-friendly seating material.
For 2008, the Ford Escape gets restyled inside and out, and also has a number of mechanical improvements. Design-wise, new blacked-out middle side pillars, integrated running boards, and available 17-inch wheels accent a higher beltline, while the hood has been raised and matched with a front fascia and grille that now bears more of a family resemblance to Ford's larger trucks and SUVs. In back, along with new taillamps there are also new step pads. The interior is also reconfigured, with a more upscale feel, redesigned radio and climate controls, and what Ford claims is an industry first: seating surfaces made of 100-percent recycled materials. Also, the emergency brake has been relocated as a floor pedal, and door panels have been resculpted for more space. There are also revised storage bins throughout, and instrument backlighting is in Ice Blue. Mechanically, the Escape gets larger stabilizer bars for crisper handling, a new braking system, and a new electric power assist steering system, along with various improvements to reduce noise and vibration. Safety content has also been increased. AdvanceTrac with roll stability control and anti-lock brakes are now standard across the line, as are full-length Safety Canopy side-curtain air bags and seat-mounted side air bags for front occupants.