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2011 Ford Escape

Overview
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2011 Ford Escape Review

By

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 492 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

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

Best Economy SUV I ever had

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,500

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, mileage and just plain enjoyable to drive"

Cons: "4cyl slow to accelerate , but holds speeds well."

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

"My 4cyl Escape is by far the best SUV I've ever had. Comfortable(I have a short frame and a disability) even in long distance. Economical and easy on maintenance budget. Will DEFINITELY buy another."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Have never had to use the warranty card

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, good visibility, very reliable"

Cons: "none"

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

"The car has been excellent, mileage as advertised. Car is tight and no rattles. Have done the routine services as required, but never had a warranty issue. Car does ride a little rough on certain pavements. Put the air down to 32 lbs in the tires made a noticeable difference with no change in gas mileage."

Lemon

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "good in snow, nice stereo"

Cons: "cheaply built, Ford doesn't stand behind it."

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

"I have had this car in the shop over 10 different times. Many times for the transmission that would shift while driving. The last 4 times have been for the AC that "quit" right after the warranty went out. Estimate-2,000 to fix. BUYERS BEWARE!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

It is the Best SUV ever.

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Space, ride, mpg, sound system, hp, looks, comfort"

Cons: "I'll let you know if I find any"

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

"This is my 3rd new SUV in the last 15 years and it's by far my favorite. I'm so glad that I got the V6 model on the last year before the redesign in 2013!! I'm a musician and have used my Escape to haul a PA system, a drum set, my guitars and amp, myself and my drummer! For a "little" SUV, it's got plenty of room. And the 240 hp gives me what I need with several hundred pounds of gear and men along for the ride. I really can't come up with anything I don't like about it. The MPG is good enough (up to 27 on all Freeway miles)- it's comfortable for driver and up to 4 passengers (granted, a couple of them were small, but I have had 3 adults in the back seat). It's been reliable and a total champ. Oh, and the sound system rocks!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

nice suv, lots of room for kid seats

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good room for car seats"

Cons: "little thirsty, 20-22 mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We have owned 4 escapes, and all have been good cars. good room, good quality, little rough on ride, but good enough. Gas mileage could be a little better, we have the v6 and get 20-22 mpg. no mechanical problems. drives right through snow. Very Good extra car. Lots of power."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 8 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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