After a thorough update to the exterior and interior for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape receives new powertrains for 2009. The previous 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engines is replaced by a more powerful 2.5-liter four that also replaces the Hybrid's 4-cylinder, while the V6 receives more power. The previous 4-speed automatic is replaced by a modern 6-speed transmission.
In conjunction with refined aerodynamics like a redesigned front bumper spoiler and new rear tire spoilers, and new low-rolling-resistance tires, the new engines also help to improve fuel-economy.
In contrast to the 2008 model year, all trims - XLS, XLT, and Limited - will be available with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, while the V6 remains an option on XLT and Limited models. All-wheel-drive is available on all models.
The 2009 Ford Escape also introduces Easy Fuel™ capless refueling, ambient lighting, and standard cruise control on all models.
The Hybrid lineup is extended by a better-equipped Limited trim.
New 2.5-liter Inline-4 Engine
The 2009 Ford Escape comes powered by a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with intake variable cam timing (i-VCT) for enhanced fuel economy and performance, producing 171 hp at 5,800 rpm and 171 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The new engine offers an 11 percent increase in power output versus the 2.3-liter (153 hp), resulting in a 1.7-second improvement in 0-60 mph acceleration according to Ford.
The i-VCT technology optimizes the valve timing for performance and efficiency, creating a broader torque curve and delivering increased power and improved fuel efficiency at the same time. The powertrain also incorporates electronic throttle control (ETC). This technology replaces the manual linkage between accelerator and throttle with a control unit that calculates the optimal throttle position from a number of sensors. ETC is a form of the state-of-the-art, drive-by-wire technology. The Ford Escape Hybrid also features a version of this new engine using the fuel-efficient Atkinson Cycle for combustion.
New Six-Speed Transmission
The new I-4 engine’s full fuel efficiency potential is enhanced when it is equipped with the optional 6F-mid-range six-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission is standard equipment on XLS models. All other trims come standard with the new 6-speed automatic.
The new six-speed is calibrated for cruising fuel efficiency without sacrificing launch feel and performance feel in lower gears. A wider range of gear ratios is key to the six-speed transmission’s ability to deliver this combination of performance and fuel economy.
Improved Fuel Efficiency and Performance for the 3.0-liter V-6 Engine
The 2009 Escape's 3.0-liter V-6 engine also improves for 2009, leveraging a new 10.3:1 compression ratio to gain 40 hp over the rpevious model year. The 240-hp V6 is equipped with i-VCT and ETC along with new cylinder heads, intake and exhaust cams, injectors, intake and exhaust manifolds, and pistons. This engine uses Ford’s new six-speed transmission exclusively in place of the previous four-speed automatic.
Enhanced Dynamics and Ride Comfort
The 2009 Ford Escape features a series of chassis system upgrades that as Ford says help improve dynamic capability, steering response, and ride comfort.
The vehicles’ suspension has been revised and retuned, with the addition of a new rear stabilizer bar and revised shock absorber tuning. The steering system also has been retuned for better control and tighter cornering capabilities. In addition, all models replace the traditional hydraulic power steering pump with Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) for 2009. Because it operates only when required for steering assistance, it contributes to lower fuel consumption than the hydraulic pump, which operated constantly during engine operation.
Enhancements for Hybrid Models
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid use the new 2.5-liter Inline-4 designed to run on the Atkinson combustion cycle. A new engine processor is supposed to improve transitions between gas and electric vehicle mode. The hybrid models also feature a new powertrain damping system to reduce vibrations and feedback to the driver and other vehicle occupants.
The Hybrids’ braking system also has been refined. Engineers achieved a more seamless transition from electric regenerative braking system to traditional braking operation. A new brake pedal sensor is at the heart of the improvements.
With the introduction of the 2009 models, the Escape Hybrid adds a new model, the Escape Limited Hybrid. Along with its gas counterpart, the Escape Limited Hybrid features 16-inch, six-spoke bright machined aluminum wheels and exterior chrome accents, a standard AM-FM/six-CD changer, chrome and ebony interior touches, a luxury and convenience package that includes ambient lighting, heated front leather seating surfaces, SecuriCode™ keyless entry, a power sunroof, and retractable cargo area cover.