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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

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2011 Ford Escape Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 516 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
    8.6/10

Love This Vehicle

By on Friday, December 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good mileage; great room; sits high"

Cons: "None for me."

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

"I purchased this vehicle in February 2011 and have been very happy with it since the first day. I like the way it looks; the boxy look. The interior works well for me. I have a dog so I often put the back seats up and down, and it's a quick and easy task to do. The seats are very comfortable, at least the driver's seat. I've never ridden in any other seat. Overall, it is a more sound vehicle when compared to other SUVs of the same size. The doors are heavier and close with a good sound, including the cargo door. The vehicle is a 4 cylinder and it has a lot of power. There is no problem accelerating when passing as long as one isn't afraid to give it gas. I get 28+ MPG on the open highway and 25+ in the city/suburb. It is almost 4 years old and has 48,000 miles on it. I intend to keep it at least another 4 years and another 48,000 miles."

Nice 4WD

By on Sunday, December 14, 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
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "good room inside for car seats, drives nice"

Cons: "rides a little stiff."

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

"we bought this car used, for the 4WD ,as my other 2 are very low slung and deep snow would tear off some of the air deflectors, and more room for two car seats for my grand kids. It is a very good car, but the mileage isn't as good as the two PHEVs that I have. it does get around 18-22 MPG, but that is far away from the others. 48,000 miles and no problems. good car. I have owned 4 other Escapes."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Outstanding Buy

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price"

Cons: "Cloth interior vs leather"

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

"This automobile comes with four snow tires. It has just had a brand new transmission installed with warranty. Most of the miles are highway miles. It has been maintained on a "map" every 5,ooo miles. No children, strictly a company car until I purchased for myself. Never been involved in an accident. In very good shape."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Basic Comforts

By on Friday, November 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great car for driving local or long distance!!"

Cons: "Interior is not comfy & it's noisy!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"My 2002 Escape was totaled in an accident. I considered other vehicles, but figured I really loved my "Old-scape". My 2009 "New-scape" is NOT nearly as much fun or have as much character. Much of the "updated" interior design features were far less satisfactory, leaving me longing for the "Old-scape". First of all, I prefer a manual transmissions, which meant a more basic car and upgrades were not an option due to this preference. 1) Emergency Brake Location (Thumbs Down) -I didn't like that the E-Brake is a "step on" rather than center pull, where you can control the "uphill" driving. 2) Handles (Thumbs Down) - They removed all but ONE "hang on" handle. 3) Nooks & Tucks. Not a lot of "storage" space for all the little things that I liked to tuck away, like my phone, chargers, note pads, glasses, etc.. 4) The vinyl covering of the center box (Thumbs Down!!!) There is nothing so uncomfortable and "wears you out" as quickly as the 'grip' covering they have on the handles and center seat/box. Just "NO"! Good Stuff: It's been a good little car overall. It has hauled a 10x20 trailer up outta the LA region's I5 Grapevine without issues. We've put over 8K miles on it in one trip across country! It's an energizer... just keeps going, and going, and going. Easy to drive, turns and parking are just like driving a car."

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Very Versatile

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "cavernous! reliable surefooted"

Cons: "wish it had power recline and power passenger seat"

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

"AWD, 4 cylinder, Limited with every option except NAV. I can squeeze 28 mpg on a road trip, load it up and go! Great little SUV the 4 banger is a little noisy but not bad, The SYNC has some quirks but you just have to reprogram every six months or so."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Nice, simple vehicle

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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: "Space, efficiency, looks, very economical."

Cons: "Weak engine."

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

"I love my Escape. It sits up a little higher than cars, there's plenty of room. Very flexible seating for fitting in large or oddly shaped items. Some complain about the cheap plastic materials on the doors and dash, but I like it. It's durable and cleans easily, something you want in a vehicle like this, especially if you carry dogs with you. The 4 cylinder engine works pretty hard, the 6 is the clear winner for performance, without much reduction in gas mileage. But my unit works just fine for me. It looks great, doesn't cost a lot of money to fill. Reliable and not pretentious."

9 people out of 16 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

Buying this car?