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2018 Ford Escape KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.2 / 10
This Car - 2018 Ford Escape
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Consumer Rating 7.6 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Matt Degen

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.

Driving It Driving Impressions

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.

Favorite Features

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.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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