2021 Ford Escape review: A sensible choice

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow There are so lots of remarkable issues occurring at Ford suitable now. The

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

There are so lots of remarkable issues occurring at Ford suitable now. The rough and tumble Bronco arrives this yr, pursuing the start of the little-tough Bronco Sport. There is now an electric powered Mustang SUV. Heck, the F-one hundred fifty is a dang hybrid with an inverter so beefy that it can energy an full dwelling. So in which does that depart other solutions, like the Escape?


  • Powerful acceleration from two.-liter EcoBoost engine
  • Sync 3 has fantastic voice command and smartphone connectivity
  • Top rated notch driver-guidance and parking tech

Never Like

  • Inside feels a touch inexpensive
  • Odd ergonomics

The 2021 Ford Escape is not a particularly remarkable experience, even loaded up in Titanium trim with its most powerful EcoBoost turbocharged engine. It truly is just a fantastic and comfy commuter with wide attraction. Unable to get by on participating in to emotions and buzz, the humble Escape is confronted with, in lots of approaches, a significantly more difficult job than its much more stunning stablemates: to sell itself on practicality and value on your own.


I suppose you’d get used to it, but acquiring the Escape’s tucked away Start out button was my first challenge.

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EcoBoost with AWD

The first point I see about the Escape? The oddly positioned engine start button. It truly is crammed into a little nook at the rear of the steering wheel and nearly unachievable to see from the driver’s seat without the need of craning my future and contorting my wrist. Not a fantastic ergonomic introduction. 

The good thing is, that button fires up a powerful little engine: Ford’s two.-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-velocity automated transmission, the Escape accelerates with surprising eagerness and has a really responsive throttle. I would say the Escape two.0T has some of the ideal get-up-and-go in the compact crossover course.

Halt-start gasoline-saving tech aids the EcoBoost two.0T reach an EPA-estimated 23 miles for each gallon city, 31 mpg freeway and 26 mpg combined — quantities that are unchanged from previous year’s estimates. For the duration of my freeway-major 294.6 miles of tests, I averaged 28 mpg even.

Escape purchasers can opt for a lesser, one.five-liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 181 hp, as nicely as 200-hp hybrid and plug-in hybrid designs. The entry-level one.5T — which we drove previous yr — is the most economical trim and in all probability a better apples-to-apples match with the likes of the non-hybrid RAV4 and CR-V in conditions of energy and efficiency. The electrified designs are the most effective variants of the Escape, averaging forty one mpg with the standard hybrid and providing an supplemental 37 miles of electric powered cruising vary with the plug-in.

With normal all-wheel generate and 3,500 lbs . of towing capability (when outfitted with the trailer tow package), the two.0T is also the most able variation of the Escape lesser engine possibilities only allow for it to tow one,500 lbs .. Handling and braking really feel about on par with the relaxation of the compact SUV course — much more people today-mover than canyon-carver — so you should not hope to be blown away by the Escape’s general performance.

The Escape options several driving modes to assistance you fantastic-tune the SUV’s actions, ranging from sporty to thrifty, but I obtain it truly is troublesome to toggle among these settings. There is only one button and it cycles by means of the Escape’s 5 generate modes — Ordinary, Eco, Sport, Rain and Snow. So whilst heading from Eco to Sport is one tap, having back to Eco or Ordinary will take four or 5, assuming you you should not accidentally tap much too immediately and overshoot it.

The much larger EcoBoost engine increases the Escape’s towing capacity from one,500 to 3,500 lbs ..

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Creature comforts

On the exterior, the Escape’s smoothed-around style and design is rather vehicle-like and approachable. The size is fantastic for quick city parking and, from the driver’s seat, the SUV features fairly fantastic visibility in all directions. My illustration options a arms-free of charge energy liftgate that opens easily and immediately with a kick beneath the bumper.

Within, Ford’s designers experimented with to create a high quality really feel with a bunch of faux exposed-grain wooden and, on my Titanium model, leather-trimmed seats. Apart from the aforementioned start button, the dashboard and console controls really feel nicely positioned. Nonetheless, the wooden appears to be truly faux when you give it a nearer glance. A lot of the cabin elements — like the difficult plastic door cards and simply scratched decreased dash — really feel inexpensive. 

Ford helps make up for this with a few reliable tech options. B&O badges suggest high quality audio provided by superior-conclude audio company Bang & Olufsen. Audio excellent is higher than average to my ear, but not audiophile level. A digital instrument cluster with separate themes for Sport and Ordinary driving performs great character-influenced animations on startup and shutdown. Also optional is a visor-style head-up screen that rises from the prime of the instrument cowl. I would like HUDs be projected straight on the windshield, but any HUD is better than no HUD at all.


The Escape’s cabin is great, if you you should not glance much too carefully.

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The principal party in which tech is involved is the Sync 3 infotainment procedure. Its software program is nicely organized and its feature set checks all of the suitable packing containers, with USB connectivity, Android Automobile, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, Bluetooth and satellite and Hd radio tuning. Voice-activated navigation has been a hallmark of Sync due to the fact its inception and continues to function nicely in this article, with fantastic organic-language recognition for addresses.

The Escape also options Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Assist, a normal suite of driving assist options, which include pre-collision guide with automated emergency braking, lane-retaining guide, blind-place monitoring and rear cross-site visitors notify. Stepping up to the Titanium trim — or optioning Co-Pilot 360 Assist In addition — provides adaptive cruise command that will work in quit-and-go site visitors and site visitors-signal recognition, each of which are new for 2021. The In addition up grade also includes lane-centering steering guide and a feature known as Evasive Steering Assist which will work in live performance with the emergency brake guide to assistance drivers to steer all over obstructions.

As usually, Ford’s Active Park Assist — now in its second era — is still exceedingly capable and at periods a lot easier to work than parking it oneself, demanding just a solitary button push to enter parking manner whilst the vehicle handles steering, shifting and braking.


Powerful Sync 3 infotainment helps make up for some of the cabin’s shortcomings.

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It truly is fantastic and that is Ok

The 2021 Ford Escape begins at $26,a hundred thirty, which include a $one,245 spot charge, for a base one.5T S model with front-wheel generate. Thoroughly optioned, the two.0T AWD Titanium tops out at $forty,820 — curiously, a skosh greater than the loaded Hybrid Titanium’s $39,435.

Alternative the two.-liter EcoBoost and the Escape features a slight general performance edge around significantly of this course. Nonetheless, the much more frequent one.five-liter model lacks that edge and the recently current Nissan Rogue, the Kia Seltos and Toyota’s RAV4 come to be threats with much more similar on-road manners and a bit better inside excellent. The Kia, for illustration, is significantly fewer high-priced than the Ford when comparably outfitted. The Escape’s tech is still prime notch — particularly its one-button parking technologies — but that is not as significantly an edge as it used to be now that the level of competition has caught up for the duration of this hottest era. At the other conclude of the spectrum, the Subaru Crosstrek and Ford’s personal inbound Bronco Sport attraction to drivers wanting for much more off-road utility in their compact SUVs. 

The 2021 Ford Escape just isn’t the most remarkable point Ford helps make suitable now, but it truly is still a really capable player. As a volume seller, it truly is a really vital model to Ford’s base line.