Is It 4 wheel drive?


Asked by Pat17Fan May 21, 2010 at 06:51 PM about the 2006 Ford Escape XLT

Question type: General

I just bought a 2006 Escape XLT.  There is no switch for turning on the 4X4 feature.  There is a blank plate on the dash that says "4WD"  Do I have a 4 wheel drive vehicle?

16 Answers

Not Active

if their is no switch or floor shift for 4X4,then NO you do NOT have 4X4.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Charles Sifers

It is possible that you only have 2WD, but the Escape is not really a 4WD, it's an AWD. It runs in front wheel drive until it senses slippage at the front wheels, then it engages the rear wheels. Check for an indicator light on the panel you mentioned. It will light up if the rear wheels are engaged.

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
Not Active

this is possable,it could be all wheel drive,take it to a ford dealer they can let you know for sure.

Colin Rivet

escape is front wheel drive,check if you have i drive shaft and axle in yhe back or take it on a dirt road and try to make your wheels spin,then u will see if its AWD or not.its its a 4 cylinder im not shure if the AWD option was availeble.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Nelson Santiago

Yes you do! Ford calls it Intelligent Four Wheel Drive. It's automatically engage by the computer when it needs it.

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.
Barbara Grace

Well... Just saw this and I have been concerned about the intelligence. You'd think in 8 years on many mountain trips with ice and massive snow it would have maybe engaged at least once. But it has never once...and my car has gotten squirrelly. Chains were not required, but that was a very close call. Could there be abad sensor?

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

duhhh . . .that makes sense. if you have two differentials and drive axles going to all 4 wheels, then you have all-wheel drive. there is no switch because it is either on all the time or "intelligent" [computer controlled].

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Mike Bryant

I have a 2013 4x4 Escape and live in Colorado. Yes, it is the Intelligent 4x4 version, but it engages quickly when it senses any loss of traction. No good for off-road stuff but great for driving in the snow or rain. The light on the dash turns on for just a second when it engages. Works okay, but I would rather be the one that engages or disengages it.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Colby Phelps

If it isn't 4wd it wont have axles going to the rear wheels. That's pretty much a dead give away. Do you know what axles look like? Escapes equipped with an all wheel drive system do not have a selector knob for the awd option.

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Bob Deck

Mark and Norma, yes there is a light on the dash. I have seen it come on when I start my 2006 Ford Escape.

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Long Lifba

Its automatic. Theirs no need for you to do anything. I just realized when we had to go out during heavy snow... We just got an 06 Escape. The 4x4 light blinks letting you know its on ready for stand by if you don't need it. It stays on if you need it. Its just left of the speedometer. Be safe on bad weather.


Just clarifying, if someone mentioned it already I apologize, but 4WD and AWD are two different systems. 4WD is where for most part your vehicle uses FWD until your vehicle senses such conditions like slipping on ice then your rear wheels will kick in. AWD is when all wheels are spinning together, they do not kick in when slipping (well known is the symmetrical AWD in Subarus where all the wheels spin symmetrically together). From what I know is that there is a lot of misconceptions about 4WD and AWD. If your vehicle does not indicate anywhere on the vehicle AWD then you probably have 4WD. I have done some research and now where, not even on dealership websites, can I find an AWD Ford Escape. They all indicate 4WD.

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Markand Norma Konecsni

There is no 4x4 light that comes on(only on 2004 & older Escapes). On newer ones, a stability control light flashes when system is activated. I had a 2004 Escape and have a 2008 Tribute(same as an Escape) The easiest way to tell if it FWD or AWD is look under it from the back. If you see a differential and axles going out to the wheels (like in the photo) it is AWD: july/050706f- escape-hybrid/05photo10.jpg If its FWD there will be just a big hole in the centre of the rear suspension as you can see in the following picture if you look close: content/uploads/2009/07/mazda_tribute_hybrid_touring_hev _2wd_2009_exterior_6.jpg

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.

Automatic or "on-demand" four wheel drives are not usually called 4WD. If your dealer says the car is 4WD he or she is messing with the terminology. Most modern sport utility cars are automatic all wheel drive. A real 4WD system must be engaged by a shifter or a button. Automatic AWD systems engage the rear wheels when they sense slippage in one or both of the front wheels. The driver does not need to push a button or lever. The Late model Escape and similar cars like the Honda CR-V and the Subaru are automatic systems. FWD is often mistaken for Four Wheel Drive but actually means Front Wheel Drive, where only the front wheel are driven by the transmission. Its all about terminology: 4WD = real four wheel drive FWD = front drive only AWD = front drive only until they slip, then rear wheels assist automatically. A few cars like the old AMC Eagle were built as full-time all wheel drive because there was no way to operate in two wheel drive.


I have a 2012 Ford Escape that my dealer said it was 4x4 but I was concerned because it didn't come with a hitch and they put one on, but a crappy small one... ( i tow jetskiies and boats) so when they put that tiny one on I was concerned it was not 4x4. I knew about the intelligent 4x4 but I do not get anything on my dash if it ever kicks in.... So I looked under my car and it looks like I just have an all wheel system, ( rear differentials and axels) and it sucks because when I pull bigger boats I can't do... I miss my explorer... Also I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we get the worse snow here and this car doesn't work to good in it...


I have a 2002 ford escape it is automatic all weel drive but I have the botton to select it to all four weel all time four weel drive. But if u have one that has a light on it I have seen them before it is done by the computer I have owed lots different four week drive Dodge ram , powerwagen , Ford f150, and ect. These our four week drive and ur havery suv. The cuv u have are all weel drive like the suburue, and Mazda, and astrovan , arostars rave 4. Things of that nature so I would deffently look at ur tires what kind u have or I would look for bad sender

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