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2011 Ford Escape

Overview
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2011 Ford Escape Review

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Recently, Ford put a major effort into overhauling its aging Escape compact SUV with the stated purpose of challenging its much newer rivals. The transformation started in 2008 when Ford gave its popular compact SUV a cosmetic makeover, with a new interior and exterior design, and improved sound insulation and seat comfort. Then, in 2009, Ford completed the two-year renewal process with a major overhaul of the Escape's engine, transmission, suspension and brakes – changes that also applied to the Escape Hybrid (reviewed separately). As a result, the 2010 Escape will exit having recorded the second best sales year ever, no small accomplishment considering both the weak economy and tough new competition. For 2011, the Escape continues largely unchanged, but its mission remains the same: Keep luring foreign car buyers into Ford showrooms and into the Escape's driver's seat.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for traditional SUV features, such as high ground clearance and a high seating position, but you want it in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package, the 2011 Ford Escape makes a good choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for sleek aerodynamic styling, the Escape's boxy exterior stands in stark contrast to the more elegant design of the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue. Unlike the Toyota RAV4, the Escape does not offer a third-row seat option.

What's New for 2011

Changes for 2011 are limited to the addition of HD Radio and an updated SYNC audio system featuring the Traffic, Directions & Information upgrade.

Driving the Escape

Driving Impressions The Escape's sturdy 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is surprisingly capable of moving the little SUV's weight with relative ease. But, if strong passing power and quick acceleration are more important than...

fuel economy, we recommend the optional 3.0-liter V6. The available six-speed automatic operates effortlessly and helps the Escape see improvements in both performance and fuel economy. Handling is best described as respectable, but not as tight or confident as experienced in more car-like utility vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rouge. The electric-assist power steering system delivers good steering response and eliminates the need for a belt-driven pump, which draws power from the engine.

Navigation System
Easy to use and loaded with helpful features, the Escape's on-board navigation unit can hunt down hotels, coffee kiosks and out-of-the-way gas stations in seconds.

Active Park Assist
A feature usually found only on super luxury cars, the Escape's Active Park Assist uses sonar and the electric power steering unit to automatically guide the Escape into an open parallel parking spot. Voice prompts tell the driver when to shift gears and apply power.

2011 Ford Escape Details
2011 Ford Escape photo Interior

The Ford Escape's interior features quality materials, a clean and easy-to-decipher instrument panel, "Ice Blue" instrument lighting and a "top-of-dash" information center. Unlike many in this class, Ford places the Escape's parking brake in the driver's-side footwell, permitting the creation of a wide center console storage space large enough to accept a laptop computer. A thick headliner and carpeting, as well as laminated side glass, help quiet the interior, and the Escape's rear seat remains one of the roomiest in this class. Ford's standard Safety Canopy includes side-curtain airbags that deploy in the event of a side impact or impending rollover situation.

Exterior
2011 Ford Escape photo

The 2011 Escape shares a strong family resemblance with Ford's other truck and SUV models, giving it a rugged appearance worthy of a quasi-off-road warrior. The Escape's small dimensions make it easy to park and maneuver (a task made even easier by Ford's Active Park Assist parallel parking guide), while the large side-glass panels permit a nearly unobstructed view for both driver and passengers. Unlike more stylized crossovers, the Escape's squared-off roof line creates a tall hatch opening that permits maximum cargo cramming. Bling junkies can opt for the Limited trim, which adds reflective chrome trim to the grille, rear hatch and roof rails.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic Escape, the XLS, is powered through its front wheels by an efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. Creature comforts include rear defroster, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a four-speaker CD player with auxiliary audio input jack. Standard safety features include traction control, stability control, front seat side-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include a 3.0-liter V6 engine, four-wheel drive, a six-speed automatic transmission, the SYNC in-car communications and entertainment system (optional on XLT, standard on Limited), GPS navigation with 10GB hard drive music storage and rear view camera, 17-inch chrome wheels, six-way power driver's seat, leather seats, ambient lighting, MyKey programmable key, Active Park Assist, heated front seats, power moonroof, fog lamps, keyless entry pad and the Reverse Sensing System. Also available are remote start and a rear seat entertainment system.

Under the Hood

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine employs variable valve timing for improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and maximum horsepower and torque. If you desire a manual transmission, this is your only engine choice. The recently improved 3.0-liter V6 features a high compression ratio that helps produce more horsepower and torque, an important attribute for those who need to tow or haul heavy loads. While the 3.0-liter engine does provide better acceleration and the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, its city fuel economy ratings only reach the high teens; on the flip side, the V6 is E85 Flex-Fuel compatible.

2.5-liter in-line 4
171 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
171 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (manual, FWD), 21/28 (automatic, FWD), 20/26 (automatic, 4WD)

3.0-liter V6, Flex-Fuel
240 horsepower @ 6550 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 (FWD, gasoline), 14/19 (FWD, E85), 18/23 (4WD, gasoline), 13/17 (4WD, E85)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 485 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Best SUV ever

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value, Roomy. Cute"

Cons: "SYNC, No dash compass/outside temperature display"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The 2009 Escape was my first Ford product, after owning several Chevy Suburbans and Blazers. My Escape has needed only basic maintenance, with no repairs or mechanical problems in almost 100,000 miles of driving. The only issue I've had has been with the SYNC, which doesn't want to communicate with my cell phone. My Escape is cute, roomy and fun to drive."

Best handling vehicle in snow I have ever had.

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good mileage and comfortable."

Cons: "Tailgate window molding leaked after 6 years."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Best handling vehicle in snow that I have ever owned. Has heated leather seats, will never buy another vehicle without them. Previously owned 2 Explorers. Like Escape better. Although updated styling makes this 2009 Escape feel larger than my old 1996 Explorer. But driving feel and comfort are much better than the Explorers and 25 mpg in the Escape is great! Horsepower from 4 cylinder engine isn't great, but will go down the freeway at 80 all day long and is easier on the pocketbook. My Dealership is providing free oil changes and guarantees the engine for as long as I own the car. However, it would not make a repair on a tire with nail in tire. I like the 17 inch wheels but replacing all 4 of them will set me back almost a grand. We recently have had a lot of rain and the tailgate window molding leaked; my only complaint."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Constant Problems

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,600

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Nice interior, Good speakers, looks sharp outside"

Cons: "unreliable, constant check engine lights"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I have had this car for almost four years and so far I have had three recalls on it. The brakes keep coming lose and recently the throttle body assembly broke causing the car to randomly lose power and to stall. It seems to be one problem after another."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Last of the great Escapes.......

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "All-around A-1. MPG on highway is 30-32, intown 25"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have enjoyed this SUV immensely......bought it with 25k on it.......been through all the New England messes and came out a winner."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

GOOD 8.3 score kelly book excellent Ford Escape, I

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,136

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "could use more space in back trunk area"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ilove this car drives like a new Ford suv Escape see milage ---its true. Bought at Texas Motors with 10000 and I have put only 10136 on it maitance is kept up at all times. This is great SUV!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Never left me stranded, ever!

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, responsive, great value and gas mileage."

Cons: "I haven't found any yet."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is so reliable! Any problems have been minor with the security/ignition system and a water pump issue. Incredible pick up for passing on the highway, especially for a 4cyl. Rugged, compact, fun to drive. I just paid it off and hope to drive it another 200K!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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