By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
With last year's total makeover, the 2014 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV 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.
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.
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 Impressions 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.
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."
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.
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.Exterior
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.
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).
168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/31
1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
178 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 23/33 (FWD), 22/30 (AWD)
2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
240 @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/30 (FWD), 21/28 (AWD)
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.
By NathanT87 on Friday, October 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, handles well in weather, nice power"
Cons: "Cabin space is small, electronics are weak."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 2013 2.0 liter turbo charged version of this car. The good: This car is a blast to drive. The first weekend I had it I woke up early Saturday morning just to drive it around for hours. Its been a year and I still love to drive it. It handles like a car and acceleration is not an issue thanks to the huge power boost the turbo provides. It gets around well in the snow (mine is 2WD) and is sturdy in heavy rain. The controls for the radio and cruise control are well placed. The bad: Seems small inside. My wife and I bump into each other getting drinks from the cup holder. The much talked about Ford Sync is not very impressive especially if you are used to an iPhone or Android device. In comparison the Sync is like going back to a flip phone. There is a USB slot near the charger but plugging anything into it other than their limited list of devices wreaks havoc on the computer. I plugged in a Galaxy tablet to charge and the entire car computer crashed. I had to shut the car off and restart it twice before it came back. Do I recommend this car? Absolutely. These little things are really nothing in the grand scheme of it all. This car is a winner."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By mcow on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas millage, very fun to drive, looks"
Cons: "NO WHERE FOR COINS, issues with some interior trim"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2013 Ford Escape SEL slightly used to replace a gas guzzler GMC Envoy. I have now owned pretty much every SUV/Crossover Ford makes Explorer, Excursion, Expedition, Edge and now the Escape. Out of all of them I place only the Edge above this one as far as being fun to drive. I originally was not shopping for this car I went to the dealership for a used Fusion. I test drove both and and in the end decided the Escape while not quite as efficient as the Fusion was a better driving experience for me at least I prefer sitting up a little. First thing I noticed was the 2.0 turbo 4 banger. It does not feel like a 4 cylinder at all. Great acceleration fells as powerful as the 6 cylinder I loved in my Edge but feel is a little sluggish in my 2013 Explorer. The interior is pretty comfortable nice leather seats and cushioned surfaces on the door panels. Lots of cup holders and cubbies. The AC is great much better than my previous Edge. It feels bigger to me on the inside than it looks on the outside granted the back seat does feel a little cramped but the front is fine for average height adults. I love the panoramic moon roof and the MyTouch Sync works great. I am getting an average of 24 MPG which is about what I was hoping for. No mechanical issues so far. Did I mention how much I love the 2.0 Turbo engine? It really is very fun to drive feels and handles almost like a small sports car. Ok for my complaints. First the center console is horrible. It is small and deep and there is no where for COINS! I plan on buying an insert to fix this I have seen online. I have two interior trim issues that I need to get fixed. One is a small piece of trim that holds the glove box closed one side broke off so my glove box is only held closed on one side. The other is something broke on the interior door panel of the back hatch it is only connected on one side. This was rattling driving me crazy until i figured out what it was and temporarily fixed it with the universal tool duct tape. Thank God I am getting decent gas millage because the tank is tiny! Not a huge deal for me but something I wished was improved. There is some minor rattles seems like it is mostly connected to the moon roof. Nothing that makes me want to max the stereo volume or anything. Overall I am happy with the escape. If I had it to do over I may go with the Edge again which has been the favorite of all my cars but the Escape does get a little better gas milage and that was my primary concern. Btw incase you couldn't tell I am a Ford guy through and through the GMC I bought that was replaced by this vehicle will be my last "cheat" on Ford."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Remlerman on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Amazingly convenient and useful electronics"
Cons: "A little buzzy inside (but not bad)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had a lot of higher-end cars recently but got this as a second car largely to be used to ferry our old dog and our teenage soccer playing son. I fell in love with this vehicle however! It's fun to drive and I've never had a car whose electronics do so much for you and so intuitively. One paddle activates the voice recognition (which works almost flawlessly), the Navi, the audio system, everything. You don't have to take your eyes off the road for anything. The touchscreen controls are very easy to understand (Miscrosoft designed the system I understand) and extremely useful. The car will literally park itself for you (it takes the wheel). OK: it's not a European touring sedan so it's not as quiet as a $60,000 car and you maybe get a little more 'road feel' to your backside then you might like if you're used to those cars. However, I AM used to those cars (and still own a 2014 Audi Q5) and prefer driving this little Ford."
11 people out of 14 found this review helpful