OK, so its not a four-wheeling beast and probably never will be but I would just like to chime in and state that I absolutely love my Ford Escape, even though its pretty much bone stock (save for HID headlights and a trailer hitch) but as far as a regular transportation vehicle, I love it. It rides great. Probably one of the better riding smallish SUV's out there. It has a small engine (2.5L) but going up to the mountains and so forth it has more power than my old F-150 with the 5.4L V8, free-flow cats, headers, air intake, performance chip, etc. The thing just moves. At the same time, it still gets pretty good mileage, typically about 26mpg. As a tall driver (6' 8"), this is the most important part to me... I fit in it. Extremely well. My head doesn't rub, my knees don't rub, and I could even move the seat back a bit more than it is. I fit in it better than any other car I have ever owned or driven, and I drive a LOT of rental cars throughout the year. I fit better than my old F-150, all my old explorers, town cars, park avenue, crown victoria, etc. It fits me great. We drove it all the way to Georgia with two dogs in the back plus all our luggage on the roof in a Thule Cargo bag, and it handled like a champ the whole way and I never got soar from the ride! With the back seats down, the dogs just slept away! I really like how the interior is laid out and the fabric used (didn't go for leather) because they seem durable yet easy to clean and still look good. I've driven several sport utilities of its size, including the Jeep Liberty, Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Cadilace SRV (maybe thats what it was I dont remember), the dodge nitro, and several others and each time I can't wait to get back into the escape. So anyways, just love my escape and thought I'd share about it .