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2014 Ford Escape

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/20/2014 Austin Lott

Vehicle Summary

The Ford Escape is the automaker's offering in the competitive compact crossover segment. The five-passenger crossover sits below the five-passenger Edge and seven-passenger Explorer in the Ford lineup, providing some towing capacity without compromising fuel economy.

Overview

The 2014 Ford Escape is the automaker's offering in the competitive compact crossover market. The five passenger crossover sits below the Explorer in the Ford lineup, and provides some towing capacity without compromising fuel economy. It pulls up to 3,500 lbs on the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4. Standard on the 2014 Escape S is a 2.5-liter I-4, which delivers 168 hp and 170-lb-ft of torque with an EPA estimated 22/31 mpg city/highway. The SE and Titanium get the 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4, which produces 178 hp and 184-lb-ft while returning 23/32 mpg in FWD trim and 22/30 mpg with AWD. Both make available a step up to a 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, which delivers 240 hp and 270-lb-ft and 22/30 mpg in FWD trim and 21/28 mpg with AWD. All models come with Ford's six-speed automatic, which has impressed our editors even in the SE with the smaller 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. The 2014 Escape has a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and in IIHS testing received a rating of good in four of five categories, but earned a poor rating in the newer (and more difficult) small overlap front test.

The 2014 Escape SE may lack a number of the headline-grabbing available features on the Titanium model (panoramic roof, hands-free tailgate) but unlike the base S model, AWD is optional. Despite the smaller EcoBoost engine, we've noted that the SE feels "sufficient" in the power department, and still remains stable, even during a rainstorm.

New for 2014

Buyers of the 2014 Ford Escape can now combine the hands-free tailgate with the Class II towing package, while a four-way manual passenger seat, and rear-view camera is now standard on all models. The Titanium now gets full leather-trimmed seats and 18 inch sparkle nickel painted aluminum wheels as standard equipment. Two new colors – Sunset Metallic and Karat Gold – are now available.

What We Think

When we tested the 2014 Escape Titanium we had nothing but praise for the latest version of Ford's Sync system with MyFord Touch. One editor commented that "[it] boasts the fastest and easiest process I've ever experienced. It's foolproof. Better still, it works." The Titanium boasts a long list of helpful options: parking assist, the Cross-Traffic assist (for alerting you of vehicles coming from the right or left while in reverse), a blind-spot monitoring system, and a hands-free power tailgate. "Walk up behind the Escape with the key on your person, swipe your foot under the bumper, and voila! It opens," we wrote in a First Test review of a 2013 model.

In a comparison against the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester 2.5 and Toyota RAV4, the 2013 Escape SE stood out with a number of good and bad qualities. We commented that "driving dynamics might be the Escape's strongest selling point" but at the same time it exhibits a surprising amount of NVH on rough roads (noise, vibration and harshness). This assessment applied to both the SE and the Titanium trim levels. In 2013 Motor Trend SUV of the Year testing, we also commented that the Escape was lacking in the efficiency and value categories, with our editors managing just 17.7 mpg and 16.2 mpg in the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter, respectively.

You'll Like

  • Great handling
  • Good looks
  • Turbo oomph

You Won't Like

  • Turbo oomph = poor as-tested fuel economy
  • Rough ride quality on certain models
  • Can get pricey

Key Competitors

  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Subaru Forester 2.5

Rating

3 star Fords's small SUV makes a big impression.

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