2021 Ford Escape review: A sensible choice

Maria J. Danford

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow There are so a lot of exciting issues taking place at Ford proper now. The rough and tumble Bronco arrives this 12 months, next the start of the little-tough Bronco Sport. There’s now an electric powered Mustang SUV. Heck, the F-one hundred fifty is a dang hybrid with an inverter […]


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

There are so a lot of exciting issues taking place at Ford proper now. The rough and tumble Bronco arrives this 12 months, next the start of the little-tough Bronco Sport. There’s now an electric powered Mustang SUV. Heck, the F-one hundred fifty is a dang hybrid with an inverter so beefy that it can power an total residence. So where does that go away other items, like the Escape?

Like

  • Potent acceleration from two.-liter EcoBoost motor
  • Sync three has outstanding voice command and smartphone connectivity
  • Best notch driver-guidance and parking tech

Never Like

  • Inside feels a touch cheap
  • Odd ergonomics

The 2021 Ford Escape is not a significantly exciting experience, even loaded up in Titanium trim with its most potent EcoBoost turbocharged motor. It is just a wonderful and at ease commuter with wide attractiveness. Not able to get by on participating in to feelings and hype, the humble Escape is confronted with, in a lot of methods, a significantly harder activity than its more magnificent stablemates: to market itself on practicality and worth on your own.

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I suppose you’d get utilized to it, but finding the Escape’s tucked away Begin button was my very first challenge.


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EcoBoost with AWD

The very first matter I discover about the Escape? The oddly positioned motor start off button. It is crammed into a small nook behind the steering wheel and almost impossible to see from the driver’s seat with out craning my up coming and contorting my wrist. Not a fantastic ergonomic introduction. 

Thankfully, that button fires up a potent small motor: Ford’s two.-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 pound-toes of torque. Paired with an eight-speed computerized transmission, the Escape accelerates with surprising eagerness and has a very responsive throttle. I might say the Escape two.0T has some of the very best get-up-and-go in the compact crossover course.

Stop-start off gas-conserving tech helps the EcoBoost two.0T attain an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon metropolis, 31 mpg freeway and 26 mpg merged — numbers that are unchanged from last year’s estimates. All through my freeway-significant 294.six miles of tests, I averaged 28 mpg even.

Escape purchasers can decide for a smaller sized, one.5-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost motor with 181 hp, as nicely as 200-hp hybrid and plug-in hybrid styles. The entry-stage one.5T — which we drove last 12 months — is the most very affordable trim and in all probability a greater apples-to-apples match with the likes of the non-hybrid RAV4 and CR-V in phrases of power and performance. The electrified styles are the most economical variants of the Escape, averaging forty one mpg with the traditional hybrid and offering an further 37 miles of electric powered cruising array with the plug-in.

With standard all-wheel travel and three,500 pounds of towing ability (when outfitted with the trailer tow package), the two.0T is also the most capable version of the Escape lesser motor possibilities only let it to tow one,500 pounds. Managing and braking come to feel about on par with the rest of the tiny SUV course — more people today-mover than canyon-carver — so never expect to be blown away by the Escape’s functionality.

The Escape features several driving modes to assistance you wonderful-tune the SUV’s conduct, ranging from sporty to thrifty, but I discover it really is irritating to toggle between these settings. There’s only 1 button and it cycles as a result of the Escape’s 5 travel modes — Normal, Eco, Sport, Rain and Snow. So while going from Eco to Sport is 1 tap, finding again to Eco or Normal can take 4 or 5, assuming you never unintentionally tap as well rapidly and overshoot it.

The much larger EcoBoost motor increases the Escape’s towing ability from one,500 to three,500 pounds.


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Creature comforts

On the exterior, the Escape’s smoothed-around structure is really car or truck-like and approachable. The size is fantastic for uncomplicated city parking and, from the driver’s seat, the SUV boasts rather fantastic visibility in all instructions. My instance features a hands-free of charge power liftgate that opens effortlessly and rapidly with a kick beneath the bumper.

Inside of, Ford’s designers experimented with to make a high quality come to feel with a bunch of faux uncovered-grain wood and, on my Titanium design, leather-based-trimmed seats. Apart from the aforementioned start off button, the dashboard and console controls come to feel properly positioned. However, the wood looks genuinely pretend when you give it a nearer seem. A great deal of the cabin materials — like the really hard plastic door cards and very easily scratched decreased sprint — come to feel cheap. 

Ford can make up for this with a number of reliable tech features. B&O badges reveal high quality seem furnished by superior-conclusion audio manufacturer Bang & Olufsen. Sound good quality is over average to my ear, but not audiophile stage. A digital instrument cluster with different themes for Sport and Normal driving plays good nature-influenced animations on startup and shutdown. Also optional is a visor-style head-up show that rises from the major of the instrument cowl. I might like HUDs be projected right on the windshield, but any HUD is greater than no HUD at all.

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The Escape’s cabin is good, if you never seem as well intently.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The most important celebration where tech is involved is the Sync three infotainment method. Its software is nicely organized and its element set checks all of the proper containers, with USB connectivity, Android Automobile, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa integration, Bluetooth and satellite and High definition radio tuning. Voice-activated navigation has been a hallmark of Sync since its inception and proceeds to function nicely below, with outstanding purely natural-language recognition for addresses.

The Escape also features Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Support, a standard suite of driving help features, which includes pre-collision aid with computerized emergency braking, lane-preserving aid, blind-location monitoring and rear cross-site visitors alert. Stepping up to the Titanium trim — or optioning Co-Pilot 360 Support Furthermore — adds adaptive cruise command that will work in halt-and-go site visitors and site visitors-indicator recognition, the two of which are new for 2021. The Furthermore update also incorporates lane-centering steering aid and a element referred to as Evasive Steering Support which will work in concert with the emergency brake aid to assistance drivers to steer close to obstructions.

As normally, Ford’s Lively Park Support — now in its second technology — is continue to exceedingly qualified and at occasions less complicated to work than parking it yourself, demanding just a one button press to enter parking manner while the car handles steering, shifting and braking.

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Potent Sync three infotainment can make up for some of the cabin’s shortcomings.


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It is wonderful and that’s Alright

The 2021 Ford Escape starts off at $26,a hundred thirty, which includes a $one,245 location demand, for a base one.5T S design with entrance-wheel travel. Completely optioned, the two.0T AWD Titanium tops out at $40,820 — curiously, a skosh larger than the loaded Hybrid Titanium’s $39,435.

Possibility the two.-liter EcoBoost and the Escape boasts a slight functionality advantage around significantly of this course. However, the more prevalent one.5-liter design lacks that advantage and the newly current Nissan Rogue, the Kia Seltos and Toyota’s RAV4 develop into threats with more similar on-highway manners and marginally greater interior good quality. The Kia, for instance, is significantly a lot less costly than the Ford when comparably outfitted. The Escape’s tech is continue to major notch — significantly its 1-button parking technology — but that’s not as significantly an advantage as it utilized to be now that the levels of competition has caught up during this most up-to-date technology. At the other conclusion of the spectrum, the Subaru Crosstrek and Ford’s individual inbound Bronco Sport attractiveness to drivers looking for more off-highway utility in their tiny SUVs. 

The 2021 Ford Escape is not the most exciting matter Ford can make proper now, but it really is continue to a very qualified player. As a quantity seller, it really is a very essential design to Ford’s base line.

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