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Filed under: Hybrids/Alternative, Crossovers/CUVs, Ford, Driving

Click on the 2009 Ford Escape for a high res gallery

The 2008 redesign of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner wasn't the clean-sheet redesign Ford would like people to believe. In fact, only the parts visible to the naked eye were "all new." Aside from the body and interior, the working bits that make the badge-engineered duo go were almost entirely carried over from the 2007 models. Fortunately for Ford, that oversight didn't seem to hurt sales, which increased by about ten-percent over their predecessors in a market that's down overall. For 2009, all the hardware under the skin has been either replaced or significantly refreshed. And that's a good thing.

The old 2.3-liter four-pot has been superseded by a 2.5-liter unit, while the classic 3.0-liter Duratec V6 gets a major overhaul. Both engines receive a substantial boost in power and an all new six-speed gearbox to transmit it to the wheels. The driver's working environment also becomes a more pleasant place thanks to structural improvements to the body and Ford's next-generation navigation system with Sirius Travel Link. We got a chance to play with all of the 2009 Escape variants on a rainy spring morning, so read on after the jump for our impressions.

Gallery: First Drive: 2009 Ford Escape

Photos Copyright (C)2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.Continue reading First Drive: 2009 Ford Escapes, more of almost everything

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