CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Replacement for 2001 Ford Escape

I am looking for recomendations to replace a 2001 Ford Escape manual transmission, 4 cylinder, 4 wheeldrive and must have a moon/sun roof. The 2009 manual ford escapes the sunroof is not an option.

it’ll be hard to find a new SUV with manual transmission anywhere.
CX-7, Rav4, Escape/Mariner come to mind in replacing with a similarly sized SUV

The escape has a manual transmission, but they will only factory install a sunroof on the uper end models that only come with an automatic. I like the feel of a real car using a clutch…

The top-rated small SUVs (in terms of driving dynamics as well as reliability) are:
RAV-4/Forester–pretty much of a tie
CRV

After those, everything else is essentially an also-ran.

Could you ask the salesman to have a moonroof put on after you buy the vehicle?
I had a Toyota salesman offer to have their guys install leather seats in a Rav4 if I didn’t want to spend the extra $6k on getting a Limited version with factory leather.

I think that this comes down to personal taste as well as trust.

There is no way that I would allow an aftermarket shop to cut into the roof of a brand new vehicle to install a sun/moon roof. And, since improper installation of aftermarket seat covers will interfere with the functioning of the seat-mounted side air bags, there is no way that I would have this done to my car.

I guess I am just not that trusting of these aftermarket people and how their workmanship might impact on the car’s various warranties.

RAV4 stopped producing manual transmissions after 2005.

The 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5XT Limited has what you want: manual 5-speed and a power glass sunroof. It’s the only game in town. Unless you want a sedan. Then the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited fits the bill, too.