The biggest change for the second-generation Ford Escape was the beefier styling inspired by the Explorer and Expeditions of the time.
The more squared off and truck-like front end gave the Escape a tougher appearance compared to its predecessor.
Like the exterior, the cabin's dash also sported a blockier appearance along build quality improvements.
Disappointingly, the drivetrain lineup was carryover in 2008 with the 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6.
Thankfully, revamped powertrains did land for 2009 with a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder replacing the old 2.3-liter. The bigger four produced 170 horsepower.
The 3.0-liter V6 was also updated for 2009 to deliver an extra 40 horsepower to bump total output to 240.
A new six-speed automatic was also part of the 2009 update to replace the old four-speed unit.
Rounding out the 2009 drivetrain changes was a massaged hybrid system with a larger 2.5-liter engine. Even with the larger engine, EPA ratings improved to 34 miles per gallon city and 31 mpg highway on front-wheel drive models.
On the technology front, Ford Sync became available on range-topping Escape Limited and Escape Hybrid models in 2009.
The second-generation Ford Escape was sold through the 2012 model year.
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2009 Ford Escape. (01/22/2008)