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2015 Ford Escape

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/16/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Ford Escape gains a new exterior color called Magnetic Metallic.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Escape is a compact crossover slotting under the midsize Ford Edge and sold in S, SE, and Titanium grades. It is available with three four-cylinder engines and in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.


Most 2015 Escapes will come with either a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 making 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque or a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 making 240 hp and 270 lb-ft. While regular gas won't hurt the two turbocharged engines, Ford states that premium fuel is recommended for best performance. A 2.5-liter I-4 with 168 hp and 170 lb-ft is also available but only on the base S grade.

Fuel economy is decent on the 2015 Escape, with front-drive 1.6-liter models achieving 23/32 mpg city/highway and 22/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. Opting for the larger 2.0-liter I-4 doesn't sacrifice fuel efficiency much at 22/30 mpg for front-drive variant and 22/28 mpg with all-wheel drive. Base S models with the 2.5-liter achieve 22/31 mpg.

While both engines produce good power, the smaller unit is lackluster, needing to rev higher to get the crossover moving. The 2.0-liter provides "confident, relaxed power delivery" and doesn't struggle as much due to its torque advantage over the smaller engine. Handling remains a 2015 Escape strong suit with "a quick turn-in, good real-world grip, and responsive brakes."

Tech option such as MyFord Touch, SYNC, and active park assist make the Escape one of the most advanced crossovers on the market. However, the cutting-edge features come at the cost because the infotainment system is fussy to use due to numerous glitches, an inability to automatically reconnect previously paired mobile devices, and its tendency to freeze. Cabin space is small for the class, coming up short in cargo volume against segment leaders like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The 2015 Escape has a four-star rollover rating and a five-star side crash safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).

UPDATE: In IIHS evaluations, the 2015 Escape received a Good score in four categories and Poor in the small overlap front crash test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 Ford Escape is a solid entry in the compact crossover segment with cutting-edge technology, good handling, and refined cabin. In a 2013 First Test, we said that the crossover had good ride quality and wind and road noise that's "very low for the segment." Exterior styling remains a standout in the segment, with a sleek profile that is still "fresh and contemporary" despite a looking busy in certain angles. We also noted during a 2013 First Drive review that the crossover's driving dynamics stood out with "well controlled body motions and a chassis that is very difficult to upset." The car's on-board technology hurts it because of its lack of user-friendly controls that we called "an exercise in frustration" and "a potentially dangerous driving distraction" in a 2014 First Test review.

You'll Like

  • Good-looking exterior design
  • Excellent handling for a crossover
  • Refined cabin even at high speeds

You Won't Like

  • Fussy infotainment system
  • Not as roomy as some competitors

Key Competitors

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


3 star


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