Is the 2016 Ford escape a good first car?
There are a few complaints concerning transmission shudder when going from froward to reverse.
Any vehicle is a good first vehicle if it meets the need and affordability of the purchaser.
Without more details, I’d say that it probably is.
If by ‘good’ you mean ‘safer than most’, I’d say no. The 2016 Chevy Equinox tests out better on collisions:
It might be, depending on several things. Does an Escape meet your needs? I mean needs and not wants. Maybe you need a small SUV, but you might be fine with a compact or subcompact car. Figure out what you will do with it first, then decide on the appropriate body style, and then start looking at specific vehicles that meet your needs. It’s OK to buy what you want if you can afford it, but extra money you pay for an Escape you want can’t be used for other things you need or want.