2018 Ford Escape SUV

#13
in Compact SUVs
2018 MODEL

$23,850 - $33,395

7.6

Overall Rating

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Overview

The automotive industry has its own share of trend ; the 50s was all about chrome, flat panels and black plastic ruled the 80s and 90s. Now crossovers are resonating with the masses. The new third generation 2018 Ford Escape is a crossover option for those in need of a 5 passenger vehicle with a decent boot and good towing capability.

The Escape Interior amenities depend largely on trim as the base Escape S is scant among competition while the top Titanium trim is more luxuriously appointed than any of the competition. This Ford compact SUV, however, is a bit partial with best in class front legroom but below average rear legroom. Ford SYNC 3, Ford's next-generation infotainment, is available from SEL trim onwards.

The powerhouse to propel all these depends on trim too ; the base Escape S ($23,850) gets outdated, least powerful and thirsty 2.5L I4. The next in line is the new 1.5L EcoBoost in Escape SE ($25,605) and Escape SEL ($28,005). It`s significantly more powerful and delivers more efficiency than the base 2.5L I4. So, avoid base S trim and look towards Kia Sportage if budget becomes an issue.

See detailed review »

Pros

Abundantly powerful engine

Liberally equipped higher trims

Great build quality and smart looks

Fun to drive characteristics

Cons

Lower trims are scantly equipped

Brake fails to impress

Must have safety features comes at a cost even on higher trims

What's New?

New SEL trim fills gap between SE and Titanium trim

SE trim gets heated front seats

Escape Titanium only available with 2.0L EcoBoost engine


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$23850

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

115 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

152 cu. in.

horsepower

168 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

170 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12 in. ventilated front disc/12.8 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

105.9 in.

length

178.1 in.

width

72.4 in.

height

66.3 in.

curb weight

3552 lbs.

ground clearance

7.8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

98.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

34 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

17.1 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

184 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/24/29 mpg

highway range

455.3 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Ford Escape SUV in White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in White Gold Metallic color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Shadow Black color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Oxford White color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Magnetic Metallic color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Lightning Blue Metallic color  2018 Ford Escape SUV in Ingot Silver Metallic color
White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.9

Engine

7.3

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

6.8

Exterior

7.3

Safety

8.1

Driving

8.0

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Ford Escape SUV S

S

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$23,850

Configurations
S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (21/24/29)
Torque: 170 lbs.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

 2018 Ford Escape SUV SE

SE

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$25,605 - $26,955

Configurations
SE 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (23/26/30)
Torque: 177 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm
SE 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 177 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm

 2018 Ford Escape SUV SEL

SEL

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$28,005 - $29,355

Configurations
SEL 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (23/26/30)
Torque: 177 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 177 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm

 2018 Ford Escape SUV Titanium

Titanium

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$32,045 - $33,395

Configurations
Titanium 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (21/26/28)
Torque: 275 lbs.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/24/27)
Torque: 275 lbs.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 12, 2018

7.6

Overall Rating


7.9/10
Features

 

7.3/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.8/10
Interior

 

7.3/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 
 
 

The new third generation 2018 Ford Escape is a crossover option for those in need of a 5 passenger vehicle with a decent boot and good towing capability. The powerhouse to propel all these depends on trim too – the base Escape S ($23,850) gets outdated, least powerful and thirsty 2.5L I4. The next in line is the new 1.5L EcoBoost in Escape SE ($25,605) and Escape SEL ($28,005). It`s significantly more powerful and delivers more efficiency than the base 2.5L I4.

Features

7.9/10

The base 2018 Ford Escape S retails at $23,850. That’s below the segment favorite Honda C-RV (starting from $24,150) and Mazda CX-5 ($24,045). However, stay away from the Escape S as it lacks any desired features and comes with the downright unsatisfactory 2.5L I4. If budget is a stumbling block, go for Kia Sportage (you will be spared from being unfairly treated for opting lowest trim).

The base Sportage LX costs less ($23,500), is better appointed and its 2.4 L I4 delivers power and efficiency on par with costlier rivals. Anyways, continuing with Escape, the Escape SE, and higher trim starts making sense with 1.5L EcoBoost and 2.0L EcoBoost engines.

Trims S SE SEL Titanium
MSRP $23,850 $25,605 $28,005 $32,045
Features
  • 2.5l evict engine with flex-fuel capability
  • Advance track with RSC (roll stability control)
  • SYNC
  • Rear view camera
  • 1.5l EcoBoost engine with auto start-stop technology
  • Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control
  • 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjust
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips
  • Power liftgate
  • Halogen projector headlamps with LED signature lighting
  • SYNC 3
  • Reverse sensing system
  • Leather-trimmed 10-way heated, power driver and front passenger seats
  • Remote start system
  • A voice-activated touchscreen navigation system
  • 10-speaker audio system from Sony

You can choose AWD ($1,750 extra), Ford’s Safe and Smart package with active safety features, driver assistance systems, and others. The story of pay more, get more continues as you go higher up the chain with top end Ford Titanium (can cross $40,000 fully loaded) being most luxurious, and most expensive in the segment.

We recommend

The Escape SEL is a great choice for its almost titanium level luxury. You get Power Liftgate, Leather upholstery and SYNC 3 as standard among many others. Although you have to equip it with Ford’s safe and smart package that gets advanced driver assistance systems like lane departure intervention and forward collision mitigation.

Engine

7.3/10

The ford escape has three engine options and one of them, the 2.0L EcoBoost, is the most powerful among rivals. The steering feels alive and the suspension keeps the body motions in check. All these make for a satisfying driving experience. However, all these sportiness also comes with a compromise – jittery ride quality.

“The 2018 Escape is among the nimbler, fun-to-drive compact SUVs” – Kelly Blue Book

The Escape comes with three engine option and a single 6-Speed Automatic. The base 2.5L naturally aspirated engine only acts as a tool to advertise low starting price. It lacks on both fuel efficiency and performance (168hp @ 6000 rpm and 170 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm). It’s a strict no-no for anyone shopping for a Ford Escape.

The 1.5L EcoBoost is a good choice delivering 179 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 177 pounds-feet starting from as low 2500 rpm. High torque lower down the engine speed range improves drivability. The peak power is on par with the competition and the 6-Speed Automatic is a smooth companion to this refined engine.

Models Ford Escape S CR-V LX 2wd Kia Sportage LX Mazda CX-5 Sport
MSRP $ 23,850 $ 24,150 $ 23,500 $ 24,045
Engine 2.5L Inline 4 2.4L Inline 4 2.4L Inline 4 2.5L Inline 4
Fuel type Gas Gas Gas Gas
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Power 168hp @ 6000 rpm 184hp @ 6400 rpm 181hp @ 6,000 rpm 187hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 170 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm 180 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm 175 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm

If you need that shove in the back while escaping the city life, the 2.0L EcoBoost delivers segment crushing 245 bhp at 5500 rpm and peak torque of 275 pounds-feet as low as 3000 rpm. Available 4WD option ensures you keep escaping when city ends and wilderness starts.

Acceleration

The Ford Escape with the base 2.5L engine accelerates like a bullock cart – taking 9.1 seconds for a 0-60 sprint. That’s almost a second slower than the next slowest rival. However, swap that oldie with the swanky 2.0L EcoBoost and the escape truly starts to fly. 0-60 mph is done in 7.3 seconds – fastest among the competition.

Models Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
0-60 MPH 9.1 sec 7.5 sec 6.7 sec 8.3 sec
Quarter mile 16.8 sec 15.8 sec 15.1 sec 16.3 sec
Engine 2.5L 2.4L 2.4L 2.5L

Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

7.3 6.3 6.8 6.5

It could have been faster but the lack of traction off the line (evident by long squealing noise from the wheel) eats greatly on 0-60 time. However, once the escape gets a good hold on the tarmac, you get a good shove in the back.

Ride and Handling

The handling qualities of the Ford Escape is in line with its name – Escape. Down the sinuous road, it hunts corner like a hound and you are left questioning yourself how you can enjoy a drive in a high riding crossover. The ride quality though is not compromised and the Ford Escape remains supple in the city or on highway excursion.

Braking

After impressing everybody on other dynamic fronts, the Ford Escape brake lets it down. It took longest to stop from 70 mph – 184 feet, almost 10 feet more than the nearest competition. For comparison, the best performer Honda CR-V does the job in 166.

Model Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Brake Front(in) 12.8 11.1 12.0 11.7
Brake Rear(in) 12 10.2 11.9 11.9
Curb Weight(lbs.) 3542 3307 3305 3527
70-0 MPH (ft.) 184 166 174 175

Towing Capacity

The Ford Explorer can tow 3500 pounds in most capable configuration. "Most capable configuration" means 2.0 L EcoBoost Ford Escape Titanium equipped with 2.0L Class 2 Trailer Tow package. Those with 1.5 L EcoBoost can tow up to 2000 pounds with 1.5L Class 2 Trailer Tow Package.

Model Ford escape 1.5 L EcoBoost CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Weight (lbs.) 2000 1500 2000 2000

Interestingly, the trailer tow package gets you paddle shifters. You also get trailer sway control technology and transmission oil cooler to handle the added load. The segment leader CR-V gets a below average tow rating of 1500 pounds. The Kia Sportage and the Mazda CX-5 can tow up to 2000 pounds.

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

The base 2.5-0liter delivers 21 mpg in city and 29 mpg on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 24 mpg. What’s eye-opening is the fact the far throatier 2.0 EcoBoost delivers similar results - 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 24 mpg.

Model Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Mpg city mpg 21 26 23 24
Mpg highway mpg 29 32 30 31
Mpg combine mpg 24 28 26 27

The most frugal in the lineup is 1.5L EcoBoost with 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 26 mpg. That’s unimpressive against the most efficient competitor – Honda CRV with 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway for a combined EPA rating of 28 mpg.

“The engines are less about Eco and more about Boost, utilizing their turbochargers to increase power rather than stretch fuel.” – Car and Driver

Interior

6.8/10

The kind of interior you are welcomed to in Escape largely depends on the trim. Choose the not to be chosen Escape S and you get basic fabric interior, a SYNC infotainment and not much else. Pay for the Titanium and smart leather-trimmed seats, metallic highlights, power-operated seats and latest SYNC3 awaits you.

“Virtually every touch surface was revised to create a more premium look and feel, a move that should keep this 2-row/5-passenger compact-crossover SUV fresh in the years ahead." – Kelly Blue Book

Interior Feature  

  • Tilting and telescopic steering column
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Memory driver’s seat
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Heated Front Seats

Seating and Comfort

The Ford Escape can be had with plenty of amenities if you are ready to pay. The base S trim gets 6-way manual seats while Escape SE gets 10-way power seats. Memory function is added higher up the chain. The D-pillar is thick (a trend in crossovers) and compromises rear visibility. The panoramic vista roof is optional in Escape SE, Escape SEL and Escape Titanium trim.

The Ford escape can seat up to five passengers. The front passengers are treated with generous legroom and comfortable seats. The rear seats are also comfortable but they offer lowest in class legroom and are somewhat cramped for adults. A “media bin” located in center console has USB and as the name suggests, is designed to accommodate your smartphone or tablets.

Model Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft. cube) 98.1 105.9 98.6 103.6

Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39.9/54.8/56/43.1 40.1/55.1/57.9/41.3 39.3/54.3/57.1/41.5 39.7/55.2/57.1/41

Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39/52.4/55.3/36.8 39.2/49.5/55.6/40.6 39.1/51.2/55.1/38.2 39/55.3/54.8/39.6

The Escape has 34 cubic feet of luggage capacity with all seats up – respectable among the competition. However, the Honda CR-V has a segment-leading 39 cubic feet luggage capacity. The rear seats fold in 60/40 split and when completely folded, they liberate 68 cubic feet of space – again respectable but less than Honda CR-V (76 cubic feet).

Model Ford Escape Honda CR-V Kia Sportage Mazda CX-5
All Seats Up 68 cubic feet 76 cubic feet 60 cubic feet 65 cubic feet
The second Row Folded 34 cubic feet 39 cubic feet 31 cubic feet 34 cubic feet

Infotainment System

The Ford Escape comes with SYNC infotainment system in lower trim while the higher trims get the latest SYNC-3 infotainment. Lower trims get the base 6-Speaker Audio system while the top of line Escape Titanium gets 10-Speakers Sony audio system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available. Following table outline the availability of infotainment option trim-wise.

Ford Escape Infotainment Options
  S SE SEL Titanium
SYNC Standard Standard N/A N/A
SYNC 3 N/A Optional Standard Standard
SYNC® Connect N/A Optional Standard Standard
AM/FM single CD/MP3 with 6 speakers Standard Standard Standard N/A
Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with Pinch-to-Zoom Capability, SiriusXM Traffic, and Travel Link® N/A Optional Optional Optional
SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Traffic with Travel Link N/A Standard Standard Standard
10 Speaker Audio System from Sony N/A N/A N/A Standard

Exterior

7.3/10

The 2018 Ford Escape exterior exudes athletic elegance. The design starts from the Aston Martin-like front grille (signature of modern fords) protruding in the airstream. From there on, numerous tight line seems to drape the escape giving an overall impression of a fast block of stone-hurling through a silky cloth.

Exterior Feature  

  • LED tail lights
  • Foot operated lift gate
  • Power lift gate
  • Heated Rear View Mirror
  • Panoramic Sunroof

The most noticeable of these are two crisp lines on the bonnet that look like a crease on that aforementioned hypothetical cloth. We think the Ford’s Ruby Red looks most striking as it beautifully highlights the creases and its metallic sheen perfectly complements the chrome garnish in the grille making for an upscale look. White Platinum also works great if you are a fan of that color.

Dimension and Weight

The explorer has an average length among competition at 178.1 inches. For comparison, the lengthiest competitor – Honda CR-V is 180.6 inch in length. It has the lowest width and its height is below average. All this makes for a compact proportion. The Escape is, however, one of the heaviest compact SUVs.

Model Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Curb Weight(lbs.) 3542 3307 3305 3527
Length(in) 178.1 180.6 176.4 179.1
Width(in) 72.4 73.0 73.0 72.5
Height(in) 66.3 66.1 64.4 65.3
Ground clearance(in) 7.9 - 6.4 7.6
Wheelbase(in) 105.9 104.7 105.1 106.3
Track width(in) F/R 61.5/61.6 63.0/63.7 63.5/65 62.8/6.2

As with everything, the wheel on which explorer rides depend on the trim. The base S trim gets 17-inch silver painted steel wheels (17-inch aluminum wheels are optional). The SE and SEL trim get the 17-inch aluminum wheels as standard.

SE gets optional sporty looking 19-inch dark aluminum wheels (with SE Sports appearance package) while SEL gets luxurious looking 18-inch bright machined aluminum wheels. The Escape Titanium rides on larger 18-inch aluminum wheels and there is an optional 19-inch machined aluminum wheel.

  Ford Escape s CR-V lx 2wd Kia Sportage lx Mazda CX-5 sport
Size F/R (in.) 17*7.5/17*7.5 17*6.5/17*6.5 17*7/17*7 17*7/17*7
Quality Steel Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Wheel type w/o alloy Alloy Alloy Alloy

Safety

8.1/10

The 2018 Ford Escape performed well in various crash tests by NHTSA with overall 5-star safety rating. However, IIHS does not award it top safety pick rating. That’s understandable because ford is partial in terms of trim even with the safety. While other competitors at least offer essential safety feature on base trim, you have to buy higher trims in ford to feel safe.

Safety Features

  • Advancetrac w/Roll Stability Control Electronic Stability Control (ESC) And Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Safety Canopy System Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Mykey System-inc: Top Speed Limiter, Audio Volume Limiter, Early Low Fuel Warning, Programmable Sound Chimes and Beltminder w/Audio Mute
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Back-up camera

Competition

The Ford Escape is a well-rounded choice that looks expensive in its class and comes impressively equipped too. But that’s not impressive because it is actually more expensive than competitors and so it’s worth looking at the others.

Honda CR-V Vs Ford Escape

The new CR-V continues on the path of its predecessor offering a combination of sumptuous and spacious interiors, segment-best fuel economy, predictable handling and well-controlled body motions, good ride quality, and plenty of tech. All this in a reliable and safe package that’s priced appropriately leaves little to complain. However, ford is more deliciously equipped if you are ready to pay liberally.

Kia Sportage Vs Ford Escape

The Kia Sportage is a recent contender in the compact SUV segment and offers solidly built and roomy interiors with great styling. It is the go-to car if you are looking for under $24,000 compact SUV. However, do know that its fuel economy is sub-par.

Mazda CX-5 Vs Ford Escape

The Mazda CX-5 is a great option if you want great driving characteristics from a compact SUV. Further, it now also has a dose of practicality with tastefully designed exterior and delicious interiors. However, it does lack the interior space against the Escape and your choice should boil down to your preference.

Final Verdict

The 2018 Ford Escape happens to be the most enticing option for anyone who looks for the most upmarket thing in anything they buy. That means you have to pay over $40,000 for a compact SUV to get a car loaded with features like universal garage opener and you find yourself sitting in a cockpit with ambient lighting.

It’s not just cosmetic, the ride quality is supple and the car handles with precision making it a genuine fun to drive alternative to the Mazda CX-5. What’s more, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is the shining star in the segment with almost 245 horsepower on tap.

However, the CR-V proves to be as good (and in many criteria like interior space and cargo capacity, better) for a lower price with far better fuel efficiency too. On the other hand, those in search of a low-cost alternative will find the Kia Sportage fulfilling most of their needs.

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