Well we've had our 2010 Ford Escape Limited for a few weeks now and we're loving it. It drives great and looks great with it's all black interior/exterior. We have really been enjoying the advanced sound system with the USB port and voice activated controls. If I want to play a song by Metallica, I just say "Play artist Metallica" and it will make me a playlist of all my Metallica songs. If I want to hear a specific song, I just tell it which song I want and it plays it. The fancy thing about it is that there was no configuration required and you don't have to speak like a child for it to understand you.
The brains behind this technology is Microsofts SYNC software. The software takes advantage of the stereo controls and an in-dash microphone and USB port. The SYNC system even offers limited voice support for streaming music via bluetooth from your phone or capable mp3 player. It's a great system that Ford has really adapted into their vehicle lineup. I would bet that most, if not all of the major vehicle brands will have their own versions of SYNC very soon.
I've spoken so fondly about SYNC that it is time to point out a negative. I was abusing the system the other day by rapidly pressing "next track" to skip to a desired song. I was doing it so fast that the system could not keep up and I caused the whole thing to crash. It would not skip, play or recognise either of our USB devices. No matter how many times we reset everything the stereo would only display "USB EMPTY". I became very upset as all of the songs were there moments ago, why would it be empty now? However after a little research and no help from the SYNC support website I managed tofix it.
What happens is the software gets confused and the USB driver crashes. The only way to fix it is to power SYNC off, and back on. When you reset the vehicle it does NOT turn off the power to SYNC. The only way to cut the power specifically to SYNC is to pull its fuse. You have to find your vehicles interior fuse box and pull the fuse for SYNC. Refer to your vehicles owners manual and it will tell you where the fuse box is, which # fuse is for "SYNC." Just pull it out for 20-30 seconds, put it back in and start your vehicle to find that SYNC is ready to play your USB devices again. Note that you may loose SYNC settings and stored data. It's a little complicated for some, but it only took me about 2 minutes to do it and it sure beats making an appointment at the shop.
It's a good thing that Microsoft only had software control of the stereo and not the brakes or airbags!