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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 544 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

A great small SUV wth decent cargo space.

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
8/10

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

"The box design creates space for people and cargo. Very reliable and has good gas mileage. Very good value"

Love this car!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very versatile. Great for hauling stuff."

Cons: "None."

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

"This is one of the few 2WD SUV's you can tow behind an RV. Ford discontinued that the following year. Wish they would bring that ability back."

Best SUV for the money and Best Gas mileage

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Gas Mileage! Fun SUV to Drive"

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

"Really Really like this Ford Escape. This is our 2nd one.the first was a standard model 2006 and we bought it used with 26,000 miles and paid $14,500 for it. Traded it in 3 years later with over 100,000 miles for the 2011 used. The dealer gave us an extra $1500 as this Ford Escape is in demand! Our 2006 did not have awd but we had aggressive tires on it for snow and it did very well. But the 2011 is awd and we are extremely happy with it! Wow it handles great, snow, rain, sun, and the mileage has been next to spectacular! On a long trip of 300 miles we managed 34mpg! Around town we consistantly get 27-28. This is in summer. in winter the mileage drops about 2-4 mpg depending on how cold it is. Now we have over 50,000 miles on it and the tires are still like new! Everything works like it should! We would like it if there was less road noise and a bit more leg room for driver. Other than that it is a WINNER!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this car and would buy it all over again.

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "A really good value, nice and solid."

Cons: "Back seat has limited leg room, fits 2 ok 3 crowd"

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

"When I was asked what kind of car I wanted, I said something like the Ford Escape or Rav 4. I am so happy we got the escape. It is perfect if you don't like to climb up to get out of a car. Plenty of room in the front and bac storage area. I would have liked a little more leg room in the rear seating area. All the controls are accessible to the driver. Very comfortable to drive both in the suburbs and the highway. I have never had any mechanical or cosmetic deficiencies with the car. Although Mother Nature decided to put a tree on the roof and side. The repairs were painless and you would ever know that it happened."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

GREAT Vehicle!

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ease of access, performance, reliability, economy"

Cons: "small seat, wind noise above 50 mph"

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

"I have owned my 2010 Ford Escape Limited, V6, for 16 months. Being 64 with some arthritis, I find my Escape very easy to get in and out of(leather seats). The V6 240 hsp engine allows you to get on the expressway at the speed limit - ie, 30 to 60 mph on the ramp NO problem! Passing slow old farts is a breeze too, LOL. I wish the seat was bigger(like a Navigator), and there is some wind noise above 50 mph. Oh, and I get around 21 mpg in city driving(no A/C)!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love the car!

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"All I have done is routine maintenance until 100,000. I then changed out all the fluids and the belts. Not one minutes trouble with this vehicle! Very important for a single woman. The only thing I don't like is the upholstery. Even water stains it and it won't clean up satisfactorily."

6 people out of 9 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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