2010 Ford Escape SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Ford Escape SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Escape Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 171 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Ford Escape

  • A slew of innovative high-tech features make the 2010 Ford Escape a tempting choice in the compact crossover category. But this model is showing its advanced age and most competitors are ultimately more appealing.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Innovative high-tech features, impressive crash scores, peppy performance.

  • Cons

    Feels old compared to rivals, poor braking performance, non-reclining rear seat is difficult to fold.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Ford Escape gains a new driver-side mirror that's said to improve the driver's ability to check the vehicle's blind spot. There are also a few optional features for 2010, including a rearview camera, an automatic parallel-parking "Auto Park" feature and MyKey, which allows parents to limit speed and audio volume for their teen drivers. Heated seats are also now standard on the Limited.

Full 2010 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Ford Escape gains a new driver-side mirror that's said to improve the driver's ability to check the vehicle's blind spot. There are also a few optional features for 2010, including a rearview camera, an automatic parallel-parking "Auto Park" feature and MyKey, which allows parents to limit speed and audio volume for their teen drivers. Heated seats are also now standard on the Limited.


Remember the year 2000? Back when we were all a-flutter about hanging chads and surviving the Y2K computer bug? That year also saw the arrival of the Ford Escape, the first compact crossover SUV from an American car company, which quickly became a runaway best-seller. Although its engines, steering, styling and interior are considerably different than they were at the turn of the century, the 2010 Ford Escape still has a lot of similarity to the vehicle that launched when Bill Clinton was a lame duck. Not surprisingly, the Escape is beginning to feel its age.

It's most apparent on the inside, where the Escape lacks a few basic features now common among its newer competitors, such as a telescoping steering wheel and a backseat that reclines and slides fore and aft. As such, the Escape just isn't as comfortable or versatile as more modern rivals. Even more damning, though, are brakes (discs in front but antiquated drums in the rear) that simply don't have the power to bring the Escape to a stop as effectively as other small SUVs.

However, there are a number of high-tech goodies stashed inside this aging wrapper that make the Escape still worth a look. Ford's Sync system is certainly a deal-making technology, seamlessly integrating your cell phone and iPod/MP3 player into the car's control systems. When equipped with the optional navigation system (the same one found in all Ford's products), the Escape provides real-time information for traffic, weather, sport scores, movie times and probably your horoscope if you ask nicely enough.

New for 2010 is MyKey, which allows parents to set electronic limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume for their teenage driver. Think of it as an automotive V-chip (speaking of 2000-era relics). Even more notable is Auto Park. Taking a page out of the Lexus playbook, it gives the car control over its steering during parallel-parking maneuvers. We've tested it and found the Escape's system works notably better than the one found in the exponentially more expensive Lexus LS 460.

In total, a fully loaded 2010 Ford Escape will certainly please those who value having the latest technology, so it may be worthy of consideration. However, so are other top small crossover SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. Driving them all back-to-back, you might find yourself thinking the Escape, despite its techno veneer, is just a tad too dated for your tastes.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Ford Escape is a compact SUV that seats five people. It is available in XLS, XLT and Limited trim levels. A Hybrid model is addressed via a separate review.

Standard equipment on the XLS includes 16-inch alloy wheels, an integrated blind spot driver mirror, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Sync electronics interface (includes iPod interface and Bluetooth) and steering wheel audio controls are optional. The XLT adds automatic headlights, foglamps, MyKey parental controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power driver seat, steering wheel audio controls and satellite radio. The Leather package adds ambient lighting and leather upholstery. The Sun & Sync package adds Sync and a sunroof. The Sport Appearance package adds 17-inch wheels and a variety of upgraded interior and exterior trim pieces. A seven-speaker stereo upgrade is also available.

To the XLT's feature list, the Escape Limited adds different 16-inch wheels, chrome exterior highlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Sync and a six-speaker stereo. Upgrading to the Limited Luxury package adds dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Moon and Tune package adds a sunroof and the seven-speaker stereo upgrade. Stand-alone options on the Limited include Auto Park and a navigation system, which includes the upgraded stereo, digital music storage and Sirius Travel Link (includes real-time traffic, weather and other information).

Powertrains and Performance

All trim levels of the Ford Escape can be had with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. A 171-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, with a 240-hp 3.0-liter V6 optional on all but the XLS. The 2.5 can be fitted with either a five-speed manual transmission (XLS only) or a six-speed automatic. The V6 comes only with the automatic transmission. Properly equipped, the V6 Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Fuel economy with the four-cylinder, six-speed auto and front-wheel drive is 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. All-wheel drive drops that to 19/25/21 mpg. The front-wheel-drive six-cylinder Escape returns an estimated 18/26/21, while all-wheel drive gets 17/24/20.


Antilock brakes (albeit with rear drums), traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are all standard on the 2010 Ford Escape. In government tests, the Escape earned a perfect five stars in front and side crash tests. The Escape did equally well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, scoring the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side tests.

Unfortunately, the Escape is hampered by poor braking performance. From 60 mph, the last Escape we tested stopped in a disappointing 154 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Escape's cabin was given a welcome complete overhaul a few years ago, granting it nicer materials and a more attractive design. The center stack consists of neatly grouped buttons that are designed to work specifically with Ford's Sync system. This electronics interface connects with your cell phone and MP3 player, allowing you to control them through voice commands.

In terms of comfort and space, though, the Escape is starting to feel its age. Up front, the seating position is too tall, which gives the driver the feeling of hovering above the controls, and there's no telescoping steering wheel. The backseat is flat and devoid of recline or fore/aft adjustments. Cargo space stands at 29 cubic feet behind the second row and 66 cubes with the second row folded down. Folding it can be tricky, though, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be flipped down.

Driving Impressions

While pleasant to drive, the 2010 Ford Escape lacks the mechanical polish and sophistication of newer models from Chevrolet, Honda, Subaru and Toyota. Among compact crossovers, the Escape feels the most trucklike. Nevertheless, the electric power steering makes parking and low-speed maneuvers easy, and the suspension has been tweaked to be smoother over rough pavement. Acceleration from both engines is adequate, though the V6 isn't as energetic as the more powerful mills in the Equinox and RAV4.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Wish i never bought this

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Brought a brand new 2010 Ford Escape. Have consistently had AC problems. Just had the 4th dealer try to fix it, this time for $1000+...still not fixed. I've read several reviews re faulty AC units in this make and model. In fact what happened with my AC sounds very similar to the other comments on this site re the 2010 Escape. I also had to replace the rack and pinion and battery. I've put in at least $2500 of repairs within 5 years and 50,000 miles of purchase, and I'm just waiting to hear what's next. This car was a giant waste of money. I am very unhappy with (if not angry about) this purchase. I will never buy another Ford.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Wish i never bought one

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

purchased new in 2010. Brake issues at 40,000 km cost me $1000. Had to replace hatch latch as door wouldnt open $420. Now have hard shifts, clunking underneath. Brakes shot again. Dealer wants to replace lower control arms as well, says cant advise if transmission problems until control arms are changed. Grand total of $1600+ Tax. For real!? might have to trade it in for a real car... guess I'm going to hyundai for a santa fe

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great value!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape XLS 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Cheap, reliable and fun crossover vehicle. Cheap on gas, reliable and fun to drive. Best from Ford in the last 10 years. If you own one, hold on to it!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Worst. vehicle. ever.

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I purchased my 2010 Escape Limited in November 2009. The bells & whistles attracted me to it. But man, this vehicle has been a nightmare since day 1. The transmission is total crap. It's been in the shop 9 times in 4 years for transmission issues. Now the trans is on the verge of complete failure. Throttle body died at 59k miles, A/C blower is going out, heated seats gave out. It's slowly falling apart. The dealership is always giving me the run-around and repairs are starting to become costly. This is my 6th Ford and sadly it will be my last. I've lost all faith in their products.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

Run away!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

When I turned on the AC for the first time this year it made a loud grinding noise for a few seconds, then never cooled. Took it in to the dealership to check and for regular 45,000 mile maintenance. Dealer called and gave the following description of the problem ..."in the AC dryer there is a filter bag with "little blue balls" of dessicant. It seems that it is a very common problem that these filter bags burst and flood the entire AC system with the balls (aka "debris") which causes all the parts to fail and or clog. Many of the parts can't be effectively flushed so the have to be replaced." The cost to replace the entire AC system (all valves, tubes, hoses, evaporator, compressor, condens

Stay away!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Escape XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I have been a Toyota owner for years...and last year I bought an Escape. I did not have too many problems with it until I went to get the tranmission flushed about 3 weeks ago. The tranmission fluid was so black that the mechanic had to flush it twice costing me the price of 2 flushes. Anyway, he told me that the transmission could go at any time and that I should just sell the vehicle if I didnt want to spend $4000 on a new one. This is a 2010 with 75,000 miles on it! Needless to say, I traded it in this weekend for a Toyota Tacoma. I will NEVER buy another Ford again.

Talk About The 2010 Escape

2010 Ford Escape Discussions See all Started By

I have a 2010 Ford Escape XLT (V6) I purchased new. I owe $13,000 on it and KBB tells me it is worth around 11,000. I pay about 280/month and pay 5% APR. It has 65,000 and is in excellent condition. T...

2010 Escape 3.0L AWD will occasionally kick out of gear while going down the road. Engine is still running but no transmission power. Have to pull off road and shut off engine. Restart and runs okay. ...

curious about the flimsiness of the rear bumper. i have the 2010 without any trailer hitch and was curious if you have found that all the escape's rear bumper are so flimsy? i was in a small fender be...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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