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2021 Ford Escape review: A sensible choice

6 min read

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There are so a lot of enjoyable points occurring at Ford right now. The rough and tumble Bronco arrives this calendar year, following the start of the little-tough Bronco Activity. There is certainly now an electric Mustang SUV. Heck, the F-150 is a dang hybrid with an inverter so beefy that it can electricity an total house. So exactly where does that depart other solutions, like the Escape?


  • Robust acceleration from two.-liter EcoBoost motor
  • Sync three has superb voice command and smartphone connectivity
  • Best notch driver-help and parking tech

Don’t Like

  • Inside feels a touch cheap
  • Odd ergonomics

The 2021 Ford Escape is not a notably enjoyable experience, even loaded up in Titanium trim with its most strong EcoBoost turbocharged motor. It truly is just a wonderful and comfortable commuter with wide attractiveness. Unable to get by on actively playing to feelings and hoopla, the humble Escape is faced with, in a lot of methods, a considerably tougher task than its much more breathtaking stablemates: to market itself on practicality and worth alone.


I suppose you would get utilized to it, but locating the Escape’s tucked absent Begin button was my initially obstacle.

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EcoBoost with AWD

The initially factor I notice about the Escape? The oddly positioned motor start off button. It truly is crammed into a small nook at the rear of the steering wheel and almost unachievable to see from the driver’s seat with no craning my future and contorting my wrist. Not a fantastic ergonomic introduction. 

The good news is, that button fires up a strong small motor: Ford’s two.-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an 8-speed computerized transmission, the Escape accelerates with astonishing eagerness and has a incredibly responsive throttle. I’d say the Escape two.0T has some of the greatest get-up-and-go in the compact crossover class.

End-start off gas-saving tech allows the EcoBoost two.0T accomplish an EPA-approximated 23 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway and 26 mpg put together — numbers that are unchanged from previous year’s estimates. In the course of my highway-weighty 294.six miles of tests, I averaged 28 mpg even.

Escape consumers can opt for a smaller, 1.5-liter, a few-cylinder EcoBoost motor with 181 hp, as perfectly as two hundred-hp hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. The entry-level 1.5T — which we drove previous calendar year — is the most inexpensive trim and in all probability a greater apples-to-apples match with the likes of the non-hybrid RAV4 and CR-V in phrases of electricity and performance. The electrified versions are the most efficient variants of the Escape, averaging 41 mpg with the traditional hybrid and presenting an more 37 miles of electric cruising vary with the plug-in.

With regular all-wheel generate and three,500 lbs of towing potential (when outfitted with the trailer tow deal), the two.0T is also the most able edition of the Escape lesser motor choices only permit it to tow 1,500 lbs. Managing and braking truly feel about on par with the rest of the tiny SUV class — much more people today-mover than canyon-carver — so do not hope to be blown absent by the Escape’s efficiency.

The Escape capabilities a number of driving modes to help you wonderful-tune the SUV’s behavior, ranging from sporty to thrifty, but I locate it’s bothersome to toggle among these options. There is certainly only one particular button and it cycles through the Escape’s 5 generate modes — Ordinary, Eco, Activity, Rain and Snow. So though heading from Eco to Activity is one particular tap, having back to Eco or Ordinary can take four or 5, assuming you do not accidentally tap way too swiftly and overshoot it.

The much larger EcoBoost motor raises the Escape’s towing capability from 1,500 to three,500 lbs.

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Creature comforts

On the exterior, the Escape’s smoothed-over layout is pretty motor vehicle-like and approachable. The dimensions is fantastic for quick city parking and, from the driver’s seat, the SUV offers fairly fantastic visibility in all directions. My illustration capabilities a hands-no cost electricity liftgate that opens effortlessly and swiftly with a kick beneath the bumper.

Within, Ford’s designers experimented with to produce a quality truly feel with a bunch of faux exposed-grain wooden and, on my Titanium product, leather-trimmed seats. Aside from the aforementioned start off button, the dashboard and console controls truly feel nicely positioned. Nevertheless, the wooden appears to be like genuinely fake when you give it a closer appear. A lot of the cabin materials — like the tough plastic doorway playing cards and simply scratched lessen dash — truly feel cheap. 

Ford can make up for this with a couple of reliable tech capabilities. B&O badges indicate quality seem furnished by high-stop audio producer Bang & Olufsen. Sound top quality is previously mentioned average to my ear, but not audiophile level. A electronic instrument cluster with independent themes for Activity and Ordinary driving performs good character-encouraged animations on startup and shutdown. Also optional is a visor-type head-up display screen that rises from the top of the instrument cowl. I’d desire HUDs be projected straight on the windshield, but any HUD is greater than no HUD at all.


The Escape’s cabin is good, if you do not appear way too closely.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The primary event exactly where tech is concerned is the Sync three infotainment process. Its program is perfectly arranged and its feature set checks all of the right bins, 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 considering the fact that its inception and carries on to get the job done perfectly listed here, with superb pure-language recognition for addresses.

The Escape also capabilities Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Guide, a regular suite of driving support capabilities, together with pre-collision help with computerized unexpected emergency braking, lane-holding help, blind-location monitoring and rear cross-website traffic alert. Stepping up to the Titanium trim — or optioning Co-Pilot 360 Guide Plus — provides adaptive cruise command that will work in quit-and-go website traffic and website traffic-indicator recognition, both of which are new for 2021. The Plus update also incorporates lane-centering steering help and a feature known as Evasive Steering Guide which will work in concert with the unexpected emergency brake help to help drivers to steer all around obstructions.

As generally, Ford’s Energetic Park Guide — now in its 2nd generation — is nonetheless exceedingly qualified and at times a lot easier to run than parking it oneself, demanding just a solitary button press to enter parking manner though the auto handles steering, shifting and braking.


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

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It truly is wonderful and that’s Ok

The 2021 Ford Escape commences at $26,one hundred thirty, together with a $1,245 location charge, for a base 1.5T S product with front-wheel generate. Totally optioned, the two.0T AWD Titanium tops out at $40,820 — curiously, a skosh increased than the loaded Hybrid Titanium’s $39,435.

Possibility the two.-liter EcoBoost and the Escape offers a slight efficiency edge over considerably of this class. Nevertheless, the much more popular 1.5-liter product lacks that edge and the newly up-to-date Nissan Rogue, the Kia Seltos and Toyota’s RAV4 develop into threats with much more comparable on-highway manners and a bit greater inside top quality. The Kia, for illustration, is considerably significantly less costly than the Ford when comparably outfitted. The Escape’s tech is nonetheless top notch — notably its one particular-button parking technological innovation — but that’s not as considerably an edge as it utilized to be now that the opposition has caught up in the course of this newest generation. At the other stop of the spectrum, the Subaru Crosstrek and Ford’s possess inbound Bronco Activity attractiveness to drivers searching for much more off-highway utility in their tiny SUVs. 

The 2021 Ford Escape is just not the most enjoyable factor Ford can make right now, but it’s nonetheless a incredibly qualified participant. As a volume vendor, it’s a incredibly essential product to Ford’s bottom line.

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