2021 Ford Escape review: A sensible choice

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There are so lots of fascinating issues occurring at Ford appropriate now. The tough and tumble Bronco arrives this year, pursuing the start of the very small-tough Bronco Activity. There is certainly now an electric Mustang SUV. Heck, the F-a hundred and fifty is a dang hybrid with an inverter so beefy that it can power an entire property. So exactly where does that leave other solutions, like the Escape?


  • Sturdy acceleration from two.-liter EcoBoost engine
  • Sync three has exceptional voice command and smartphone connectivity
  • Leading notch driver-help and parking tech

You should not Like

  • Interior feels a touch affordable
  • Odd ergonomics

The 2021 Ford Escape is not a especially fascinating trip, even loaded up in Titanium trim with its most potent EcoBoost turbocharged engine. It is just a great and relaxed commuter with broad enchantment. Unable to get by on taking part in to feelings and hoopla, the humble Escape is faced with, in lots of approaches, a a lot more durable undertaking than its extra impressive stablemates: to sell alone on practicality and value by itself.

I suppose you would get used to it, but acquiring the Escape’s tucked absent Get started button was my 1st obstacle.

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EcoBoost with AWD

The 1st issue I detect about the Escape? The oddly positioned engine start out button. It is crammed into a small nook behind the steering wheel and nearly unattainable to see from the driver’s seat without having craning my up coming and contorting my wrist. Not a excellent ergonomic introduction. 

Thankfully, that button fires up a potent small engine: Ford’s two.-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 pound-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed computerized transmission, the Escape accelerates with stunning eagerness and has a incredibly responsive throttle. I might say the Escape two.0T has some of the most effective get-up-and-go in the compact crossover course.

End-start out gasoline-preserving tech aids the EcoBoost two.0T accomplish an EPA-approximated 23 miles for each gallon metropolis, 31 mpg highway and 26 mpg mixed — numbers that are unchanged from final year’s estimates. During my highway-significant 294.6 miles of tests, I averaged 28 mpg even.

Escape potential buyers can opt for a more compact, 1.five-liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine with 181 hp, as very well as 200-hp hybrid and plug-in hybrid products. The entry-stage 1.5T — which we drove final year — is the most inexpensive trim and most likely a better apples-to-apples match with the likes of the non-hybrid RAV4 and CR-V in phrases of power and efficiency. The electrified products are the most efficient variants of the Escape, averaging 41 mpg with the traditional hybrid and presenting an supplemental 37 miles of electric cruising selection with the plug-in.

With standard all-wheel drive and three,500 lbs of towing capacity (when outfitted with the trailer tow bundle), the two.0T is also the most capable edition of the Escape lesser engine possibilities only make it possible for it to tow 1,500 lbs. Managing and braking sense about on par with the rest of the tiny SUV course — extra men and women-mover than canyon-carver — so do not anticipate to be blown absent by the Escape’s efficiency.

The Escape characteristics many driving modes to help you great-tune the SUV’s conduct, ranging from sporty to thrifty, but I discover it is really troublesome to toggle amongst these options. There is certainly only 1 button and it cycles as a result of the Escape’s five drive modes — Standard, Eco, Activity, Rain and Snow. So when going from Eco to Activity is 1 tap, receiving again to Eco or Standard normally takes 4 or five, assuming you do not accidentally tap also swiftly and overshoot it.

The greater EcoBoost engine increases the Escape’s towing ability from 1,500 to three,500 lbs.

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Creature comforts

On the outdoors, the Escape’s smoothed-about layout is quite car or truck-like and approachable. The measurement is excellent for quick urban parking and, from the driver’s seat, the SUV offers pretty excellent visibility in all instructions. My illustration characteristics a fingers-totally free power liftgate that opens smoothly and swiftly with a kick beneath the bumper.

Within, Ford’s designers experimented with to build a high quality sense with a bunch of fake uncovered-grain wood and, on my Titanium design, leather-trimmed seats. Aside from the aforementioned start out button, the dashboard and console controls sense nicely positioned. Nonetheless, the wood appears really phony when you give it a nearer search. A great deal of the cabin products — like the tough plastic door cards and conveniently scratched decrease dash — sense affordable. 

Ford can make up for this with a handful of strong tech characteristics. B&O badges suggest high quality audio offered by significant-conclusion audio manufacturer Bang & Olufsen. Sound quality is previously mentioned ordinary to my ear, but not audiophile stage. A digital instrument cluster with individual themes for Activity and Standard driving performs good nature-inspired animations on startup and shutdown. Also optional is a visor-design and style head-up show that rises from the top of the instrument cowl. I might desire HUDs be projected instantly on the windshield, but any HUD is better than no HUD at all.


The Escape’s cabin is good, if you do not search also carefully.

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The most important event exactly where tech is concerned is the Sync three infotainment procedure. Its software is very well structured and its feature set checks all of the appropriate bins, with USB connectivity, Android Vehicle, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, Bluetooth and satellite and High definition radio tuning. Voice-activated navigation has been a hallmark of Sync due to the fact its inception and carries on to do the job very well here, with exceptional all-natural-language recognition for addresses.

The Escape also characteristics Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Help, a standard suite of driving help characteristics, like pre-collision help with computerized crisis braking, lane-keeping help, blind-place checking and rear cross-targeted visitors inform. Stepping up to the Titanium trim — or optioning Co-Pilot 360 Help Furthermore — adds adaptive cruise handle that operates in end-and-go targeted visitors and targeted visitors-indication recognition, equally of which are new for 2021. The Furthermore improve also involves lane-centering steering help and a feature identified as Evasive Steering Help which operates in concert with the crisis brake help to help motorists to steer around obstructions.

As always, Ford’s Active Park Help — now in its second technology — is nonetheless exceedingly qualified and at periods less difficult to function than parking it your self, necessitating just a one button push to enter parking mode when the car or truck handles steering, shifting and braking.


Sturdy Sync three infotainment can make up for some of the cabin’s shortcomings.

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It is great and that is Alright

The 2021 Ford Escape starts off at $26,a hundred thirty, like a $1,245 spot charge, for a foundation 1.5T S design with front-wheel drive. Fully optioned, the two.0T AWD Titanium tops out at $forty,820 — curiously, a skosh greater than the loaded Hybrid Titanium’s $39,435.

Solution the two.-liter EcoBoost and the Escape offers a slight efficiency gain about a lot of this course. Nonetheless, the extra common 1.five-liter design lacks that gain and the recently current Nissan Rogue, the Kia Seltos and Toyota’s RAV4 become threats with extra similar on-street manners and a little bit better inside quality. The Kia, for illustration, is a lot much less expensive than the Ford when comparably outfitted. The Escape’s tech is nonetheless top notch — especially its 1-button parking technological know-how — but that is not as a lot an gain as it used to be now that the competitors has caught up through this latest technology. At the other conclusion of the spectrum, the Subaru Crosstrek and Ford’s own inbound Bronco Activity enchantment to motorists seeking for extra off-street utility in their tiny SUVs. 

The 2021 Ford Escape isn’t the most fascinating issue Ford can make appropriate now, but it is really nonetheless a incredibly qualified player. As a quantity seller, it is really a incredibly important design to Ford’s bottom line.