With last year's total makeover, the 2014 Ford Escape compact crossoverSUV became one of the segment's leaders in styling, fuel efficiency and forward-looking technology. Highlights include a choice of impressive engines, athletic suspension tuning and an updated version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system. One feature everyone will show off is the power liftgate they can open and close, even with an armload, by waving a foot under the rear bumper. Shoppers may look elsewhere if their top priorities are low price and sheer interior space, but the 2014 Ford Escape is a must-see for everyone else. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014.
You'll Like This Car If...
Get-noticed styling, great fuel economy and a powerful technology package are three good reasons you might find the Ford Escape is just what you want in a small crossover.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you and your passengers like to have plenty of room to stretch out, or if you will really emphasize the utility side of compact sport-utility ownership, you might find the Escape comes up a little short for your liking.
After its complete character overhaul last year, the Ford Escape gets no significant changes for 2014, just a few minor revisions to equipment and packages.
Driving the Escape
The Ford Escape is the sporty compact car of compact SUVs – a title it shares with the Mazda CX-5. Ford has done well to infuse several of its recent...
... passenger-car offerings with European-like driving dynamics and feel, and the new Escape also benefits from that effort. With its new-last-year 240-horsepower engine, the Escape runs away from most everything else in its class. Those same characteristics that create the fun factor also help make the Escape easy and pleasant to drive to the store and the office. The 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are terrific, both delivering smooth, ready thrust around town, effortless cruising on the highway and – especially the 2.0 engine – plenty of passing power. This may not be the segment's softest-riding entry, but most will find it plenty comfortable. Overall, the 2014 Ford Escape is arguably the best-driving compact SUV on the market today.
HANDS-FREE LIFTGATE Approach the Escape with your arms full of shopping bags, potted plants or power tools and a simple wave of your foot beneath the rear bumper powers the liftgate open automatically. It's Escape sign language for "open sesame."
MYKEY Parents can designate a key that will limit top speed, limit audio volume or even disable the audio system altogether if the seatbelts are not buckled. Big Brother can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.
2014 Ford Escape Details
The inside of the 2014 Ford Escape boasts an impressive display of materials, design and available features. You won't pass it off as a mid-size SUV, though, because the Escape's interior is less spacious than others in the category.
Like some others in the compact SUV segment now, the 2014 Ford Escape shows a strong sense of style. Exterior highlights that distinguish upper-tier Escape models include HID headlamps, fog lights, body-color mirrors and trim, dual chrome exhaust tips and big 19-inch wheels.
The base 2014 Ford Escape S features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux sound system, air conditioning, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel, the parent-friendly MyKey system, and a full complement of airbags and electronic safety features. Base-model compromises include covered steel wheels and black plastic exterior trim elements.
A fully loaded 2014 Ford Escape Titanium comes with enough cool features to embarrass many luxury cars. In addition to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel drive, leather seats and a panoramic moonroof, a top-tier Escape offers blind-spot warning, automatic parallel parking, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, Sync with MyFord Touch, and a liftgate that opens with a wave of your foot. You could get an Acura RDX for the same money, but you wouldn't have as many fun features to play with.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Ford Escape offers a choice of three engines (unique in the compact SUV class). The 240-horsepower rating of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine looks irresistible, but truthfully, the 178-horsepower 1.6-liter version is still plenty powerful, just as smooth, and more affordable and more efficient in the bargain. The base 2.5-liter engine would probably be fine for many owners but it comes only in the base Escape S, which doesn't look so grand compared to some competitors. All three engines work with a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, driving either the front wheels (FWD) or all four (AWD). If you want AWD you'll have to choose one of the EcoBoost engines. And if you want the Escape's full towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, that requires the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (and note that the towing package eliminates the clever hands-free liftgate option).
The 2014 Ford Escape S starts at about $23,600, but that's with the least desirable of its three engine choices, black plastic exterior trim and covered steel wheels. Stepping up to the Escape SE remedies those shortcomings and adds Sync infotainment and other upgrades for $26,500. That's two to three thousand higher than the better-outfitted Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 base models. At the upper end of the price spectrum, a fully loaded Escape Titanium will exceed $37,000. While that's almost $7,000 more than a loaded CR-V, it also includes a lot more power and technology. We expect the Escape to perform significantly better than its predecessor model in the resale market, so you'll get more of your money back when it comes time to trade or sell.
"i owned a 2013 escape fwd and my personal experience in the snow was horrible, but loved the car. So i got the 2015 se turbo all wheel drive Escape. car is basically the same. Here are the things i love; the style it looks awesome and everyone agrees, drives and handles great it really is one of the best handling vehicles if ever driven, the turbo is pretty cool too it really boosts the horse power and it isnt loud at all plus theres a little cool whistle from the exhaust just to remind you its a turbo. what i really like about this car is the 2013 i owned was trouble free @ 25,000 miles. One last note i love when this 2015 escape impresses me, the last time , well not last but 1 month ago i rest the trip computer and set cruise control at 51 mph and i was amazed it read 44.2 MPG,,, that right i said 44.2 miles per gallon and took a picture and would be happy to send it to anyone to back up my claim..
Hope this helps some one make a great decision,,Style , handling, confidence , 44.2 MPG"
Pros: "Fun, looks great, feels sporty and luxurious!"
Cons: "22 MPG avg., Capless fuel system, no app radio."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Opted for the Titanium Package, fully loaded (no need for 4 wheel drive). 2.0 engine is amazing. Great interior, and very fun to drive. Looks much better than other crossovers on the market and the technology actually works. Park assist works, Sync works great (takes practice to learn all the tricks), collision warning works, cross traffic warning works, foot activated lift gate is not a sales trick and has come in handy. I only purchased the car because of our new baby, its size is perfect for OUR NEEDS. 6' 250 lbs and even at my size I'm comfortable in front or back seats. Overall... LOVE IT!"
"Always owned a Ford product. Am very unhappy with gas mileage. Was lead to believe it would be better than the 2012 escape that I had. The best we are getting is 25mpg. The 2012 got 28 -30 highway. The front interior is very inconvenient. No convenient storage for a quarter, pencil or anything else."