New 2018 Ford Escape SUV
Ford Escape SUV
The 2018 Ford Escape is a competent, popular player in the crowded compact-SUV class. Updates like CarPlay integration keep it fresh.
2018 Ford Escape Pricing
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2018 Ford Escape KBB Expert Review
The 2018 Ford Escape is a competent, popular player in the crowded compact-SUV class. In addition to facing similarly well-known rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Escape competes with fresher nameplates such as the Mazda CX-5. The Escape keeps pace on both tech and safety fronts with seamless smartphone integration and a suite of driver-assistance features. Ford's compact-crossover SUV also benefits from a trio of engine choices, including one that packs 245 horsepower. A new trim for 2018, the SEL, fills the white space and price gap between the mid-tier SE and range-topping Titanium. With athletic driving manners and a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds, the Escape remains a well-rounded choice in the ever-competitive compact-crossover-SUV arena.
You'll Like This Car If...
Ford’s 2018 Escape is versatile in both its general character and its newly enlarged lineup. It offers everything from a simple yet stylish and easy-to-drive base model to a sophisticated and powerful Titanium edition. The Escape's 3,500-pound tow rating is among the highest in this segment.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need the maximum amount of cargo room in your small SUV, turn to the roomier Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. The Mazda CX-5 is arguably the most stylish in this segment, is a bit more fun to drive, and is set to offer a diesel compact SUV variant.
What's New for 2018
The Ford Escape SUV is updated for 2018 with a new trim level, the SEL that brings amenities including leather seats, power tailgate and 8-inch infotainment system that works with CarPlay and Android Auto. SE models get heated front seats, while the Titanium now comes exclusively with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine.
The 2018 Escape is among the nimbler, fun-to-drive compact SUVs, splitting the difference between the athletic Mazda CX-5 and the more comfort-oriented Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. A high nose, prominent A-pillars and relatively large turning circle do impact its abilities in super-tight confines but have little effect on busy city streets and freeways. A full roster of available driving aids, from blind-spot monitoring to lane-keeping assist to adaptive cruise control makes the act of driving safer and less fatiguing. The Escape's trio of powerplants spans from the adequate 2.5-liter 4-cylinder in base models to the 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that makes the Escape capable of very quick escapes. If you go with that most powerful engine, we recommend all-wheel drive, which helps put the power down better. Most buyers will be more than happy with the 1.5-liter turbo that splits the power difference between the base and range-topping engine.
SYNC 3 INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
Ford keeps improving its Sync touch-screen infotainment system, making it easier to see, easier to use and more responsive. The latest version, Sync 3 -- standard on SEL and Titanium models and optional on the SE -- has an 8-inch screen and is CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
The Ford Escape handily beats the towing-capacity rivals, including the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. While those are limited to 1,500 pounds -- what a base Escape pulls -- models with the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbo engines offer Class II tow packages rated to tow 2,000 and 3,500 pounds, respectively.
The Escape SUV benefited from a wide-ranging remake last year. Virtually every touch surface was revised to create a more premium look and feel, a move that should keep this 2-row/5-passenger compact-crossover SUV fresh in the years ahead. The Escape’s electronic parking brake and repositioned shift lever ease access to the climate controls and center-stack media bin with USB port and 12V power point. Other improvements included a more user-friendly multifunction steering wheel, re-contoured front buckets, a larger center armrest and bigger covered console bin. Dropping the 60/40 fold-flat rear seat doubles the usable storage area from 34.0 to 68.0 cubic feet.
Also updated just last year, the Escape’s exterior remains fresh thanks to a recast nose that portrays an edgier character defined by a soft cap, prominent hexagonal grille – which conceals active grille shutters to improve efficiency -- sleeker LED-infused headlights and larger outboard air intakes along with a redrawn aluminum hood. A Sport Appearance Package, available on SE models, aims to bring an edgier vibe with blackout-trim accents, halogen headlights and 19-inch Ebony Black alloy wheels. For 2018, the Escape gains new colors: Blue Metallic and Cinnamon Glaze.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2018 Escape is available in four trims: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. The least expensive Ford Escape is a pretty basic small SUV with cruise control, rearview camera, 6-way-adjustable driver's seat and automatic headlights. The basic infotainment system includes 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with USB input, 4.2-inch screen and Ford's basic Sync system with Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition. You're better off with at least an SE model, which adds a turbo engine, dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, 10-way-power driver's seat and heated front seats. It also opens the door for all-wheel drive and options like Sync 3 with CarPlay and more.
Notable Optional Equipment
The new SEL nicely slots between the SE and Titanium with standard power tailgate, leather interior, Sync 3 and its 8-inch touch screen and even the Sync Connect system with built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to lock, unlock and start the car from a phone. Top-line Titanium models add the most powerful engine in the lineup, hands-free tailgate, push-button start, heated steering wheel, power passenger seat, navigation and 10-speaker Sony premium audio with HD Radio. Optional starting on SE trims are blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist and a parking system that aids with parallel and reverse parking.
Under the Hood
Three engines remain available in the Escape, though this year each is tied to specific trims. All are 4-cylinder powerplants connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Base Ford Escape S models use a 2.5-liter, in front-wheel drive (FWD) only. Ford Escape SE and the new SEL use a 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine with FWD standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) optional. Though smaller than the 2.5-liter, it has greater horsepower (179 vs. 168) thanks to the forced induction of turbocharging. Now exclusive to the Titanium model is the 2.0-liter, which packs 245 horsepower and can tow 3,500 pounds. It too is FWD or AWD, and we recommend the latter to prevent torque steer. Both EcoBoost engines use a start/stop system that shuts off the engine at idle.
168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (FWD)
1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
179 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (FWD), 22/28 mpg (AWD)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
245 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (FWD), 20/27 mpg (AWD)
The 2018 Ford Escape has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $24,845 (including the $995 destination charge) for a base model. The more recommendable Escape SE begins at $26,600, and the new SEL trim starts at $29,000 exactly. The premium Titanium trim starts just over $33,000. At its starting price, the Escape slightly undercuts the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, while other rivals like the Chevy Equinox, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson start a little lower. With over a dozen choices, the compact SUV segment is among the most popular. If you need a quick overview of all choices, see our Compact SUV Buyer's Guide. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new 2018 Ford Escape. Resale value isn't expected to be all that strong, the Ford trailing rivals like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5.
Bonus Content: Here's how the Ford Escape stacks up against some of the competition
Ford Escape vs Ford Edge
Ford Escape vs Honda CR-V
Ford Escape vs Toyota RAV4
Ford Escape Consumer Reviews
December 26, 2018
Love the comfort and performance. Great all around car, around town, highway driving, gravel roads and even some light off-road use. The...
December 07, 2018
Fun to drive
So far we love our 2018 Sel Escape 4 wheel drive. Took it on a 8 hour trip and it was very comfortable and handles great. Plenty of pep...
November 19, 2018
Love my Escape SEL!
We purchased a 2018 Ford Escape SEL in August. So far we love everything about it. It handles great, responsive on curvy roads, its...
November 07, 2018
The Ford Escape Titanium is a much better car than its competitors. The front seats have power adjustment (driver AND passenger) and...
October 21, 2018
You won’t be sorry
This Escape is an awesome vehicle. Intelligent 4wd is fantastic. Start/stop turbocharged engine is awesome and surprisingly quick. More...
October 18, 2018
Extremely competent and fun to drive
2018 Escape Titanium equipped with 4WD, Safe and Smart package, 19” wheels. This suv is fun to drive, extremely comfortable and quiet,...
October 06, 2018
Impressive all-around car
First off, I think the best looking car in the small SUV segment is either the Mazda CX-5 or the Ford Escape. The Escape has a sporty...
September 13, 2018
Escape has sporty driving character. Fun ride
We have owned out 15 Escape Titanium for 3 years and really enjoyed it. Quick 2.0 Turbo engine is smooth and can kick a sports cars butt...
September 06, 2018
Excellent Value SUV
I absolutely love my Escape Titanium. I have owned the car almost 2 years and have never had a problem. I have taken it on multiple...
June 26, 2018
Great handling, fun to drive bad weather vehicle.
I put 127k on my then new 2007 Escape. This one is leaps and bounds better. My first ever turbo and a must in the 2.0 if driving for...
2018 Ford Escape Photos and Videos
2018 Ford Escape Specs
2018 Ford Escape Safety Ratings
How does it compare?
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|#24||2018 Ford Escape||168|
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|#41||2018 Ford Escape||24|
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|#37||2018 Ford Escape||4.1 / 5|