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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 559 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Reliable car in all weather-never had a problem

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "a safe ride, excellent SUV"

Cons: "seats need work-not comfy"

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

"This SUV has been a safety, reliable car. It's performance outweighs the low interior and comfort-with the ability of feeling safe in this vehicle. I love this SUV it is very stunning in it's look better then the 2015 I think...I like it boxy looking. It doesn't get dings when other cars open car doors and or gets scratches. The interior seating has problems it's a material where it shows every drop, every little spill-so I don't like that I would prefer leather. The seats are not comfy but I bought lamb covers for the seats that look wacky but feel so good in all kinds of weather so I keep the seats protected. It is roomy and the seats go down and I moved everything from one apartment to another with only two loads for each room boxes filled the ceiling it was a smooth ride too. My SUV had some call backs and I had them fixed...but other than this-you cannot go wrong with the Escape SUV I love the car!!!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Traded up from 2005 to 2012 Escape--Best Trade!

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,600

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Hold road in inclement weather, Smooth ride."

Cons: "No rear door foot opening."

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

"Best Vehicle Value. First buy was Ford Granada 1976 Sports Coupe. Owned 1982 Chrysler New Yorker, 1985 Cadillac DeVille, Dodge Ram Converter Van 1985, 1996 Dodge Intrepid. Of all vehicles owned my 2012 Ford Escape out rides, hold the road, 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. I don't leave home without it!!!!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Versatile vehicle

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,600

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
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "traditional 'station wagon' box look and function"

Cons: "road noise could be less"

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

"Fits many needs. Hauled an 1800 lb travel trailer round-trip for Michigan to Florida. No problems, (mileage dropped to 13 mpg). It held to road, only one warning to slow down from the 'anti-sway' indicator light. It is a 'workhorse' besides having all the 'creature comforts'"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice, comfortable, reliable vehicle.

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable for a bigger person. Good MPG for its"

Cons: "None"

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

"I bought this Escape four years ago with 72000 miles on it, I know have 108000 miles on it and have enjoyed it every mile. I've bought one set of tires and did regular oil changes, no other problems. I wish they still made this style of Escape because it's more like a truck for pulling my boat or trailer. I know it was built on a Ranger frame. The new ones are just another cookie cutter SUV that is mostly car."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

very reliable

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

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
8/10

Pros: "I got a great deal."

Cons: "None"

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

"It is a very reliable car. I maintain the vehicle as required by manufacturer recommendations. It cleans up very well because black cars are beautiful when they are clean. It is the best care I have ever had."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

We love the Escape, great overall SUV.

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage and 4wd."

Cons: "Plastic fantastic and basic interior."

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

A day of rest from the sun!!

"This vehicle has great gas mileage and the security of 4wd. We truly recommend it for a family of 4 with a busy lifestyle. Very low cost of operation makes it a winner in this family."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

A day of rest from the sun!!

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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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