The escape isnt anything like an explorer. The Escape has a 3.0L 24V Duratec V6 in FWD or AWD, with independant rear suspension.. I drive an 03 Mazda Tribute for the winter (aka when the snow is too deep for my Thunderbird).. (Its Exact same as Escape, it even says "Manufactured by Ford Motor Co." on its door tag). Its pretty quick for a soccer mom mobile. Pretty gutsy, pulls hard. The AWD models come with a rotary coupling something or other transfer case also. IMO the Tribute looks better then the Escape.