2014 Ford Escape Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Good performance and fuel efficiency
- many high-tech features
- agile handling
- high-quality cabin
- comfortable seating.
- Frustrating MyFord Touch electronics interface.
The 2014 Ford Escape is one of our favorite small crossover utility vehicles, thanks to athletic driving dynamics, an inviting cabin and useful high-tech features.
The 2014 Ford Escape stands out as one of the best small crossovers in a segment full of worthy entries. Completely redesigned last year, the Ford Escape remains one of our favorite compact crossover SUVs. It has sharp handling, handsome styling and high-end interior touches that help justify its marginally higher price in this class.
You don't have to look at the 2014 Ford Escape for very long before you start to think it looks like a pumped-up Ford Focus, and with good reason. The Escape is based on the same platform as the Focus, and it shows in the sleek styling. We love the Ford Focus for its quality, versatility and superb driving character, and those traits translate well to the Escape package. Sure, the Escape is heavier than a Focus, but it still has a nicely controlled ride and goes around turns with a surprising level of agility.
Ford offers a trio of four-cylinder engines on the 2014 Escape. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which is a pretty typical offering for a small crossover, provides adequate performance. But what help distinguish the Escape in this class are the available 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. The 1.6 provides more power and better fuel economy than the 2.5, while the 2.0 cranks out 240 horsepower and has only slightly lower EPA fuel economy ratings than the smaller 1.6.
The Escape's interior is furnished with high-quality materials, and when it's equipped with the slick-looking MyFord Touch electronics interface, it feels as if you're driving a much more expensive car. The downside to that, however, is that MyFord Touch can be finicky to use at times, as we've noted slow response times and inconvenient glitches in the vehicles we've tested. Besides that, ticking all the option boxes pushes the 2014 Ford Escape's price above its direct rivals. Keep the equipment level reasonable, though, and it represents solid value in this class.
In the category of small crossover SUVs, there are of course other choices. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 don't have the same engine selection as the Escape, but they're both roomier inside and enjoy better reputations for reliability. The sporty Mazda CX-5 is also worth a look, as are the comfortable Chevrolet Equinox, stylish Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and outdoorsy Subaru Forester. But overall, the 2014 Ford Escape is a desirable small crossover that gets just about everything right.
2014 Ford Escape models
The 2014 Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that comes in three trim levels: S, SE and Titanium.
The S comes with 17-inch steel wheels, an integrated blind-spot mirror, MyKey parental controls, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, the Sync voice command electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
Options on the S include remote start, roof rails and rear parking sensors.
Upgrading to the SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, a keyless entry keypad, privacy tinted glass, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar), reclining rear seats and satellite radio.
The optional SE Convenience package adds roof rails, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, an 8-inch touchscreen with the MyFord Touch electronics interface, upgraded Sync services (including smartphone app integration) and a nine-speaker sound system. Picking the Leather Comfort package gets you heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Also available as individual options are 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate and a navigation system.
At the top of the line, the Titanium combines the content of the SE Convenience and Leather Comfort packages plus 18-inch wheels, remote start, keyless ignition/entry, the power liftgate (with hands-free operation), ambient interior lighting and a Sony 10-speaker sound system. Options include a Titanium Technology package (xenon headlights, blind-spot monitoring/cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers and an automated parallel-parking system), 19-inch alloy wheels and the panoramic sunroof and navigation system.
Performance & mpg
Standard and available only on the S is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 168 hp and 167 pound-feet of torque. The SE and Titanium come standard with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 178 hp and 184 lb-ft. Optional on the SE and Titanium trims is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.
A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all but the S are available in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration (the S is front-wheel-drive only). In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Escape with the 2.0-liter engine ran to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds. A front-wheel-drive Escape 1.6 did the same sprint in 9.4 seconds. Properly equipped, an Escape with the 2.0-liter turbo engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Fuel economy estimates for the 2.5 are 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/31 mpg highway). The 1.6-liter turbo with front-wheel drive earns 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/33 mpg highway), while the 2.0-liter turbo with front-wheel drive rates 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/30 mpg highway). All-wheel-drive versions rate 1-2 mpg less.
Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag and full-length curtain-type airbags are standard on the 2014 Ford Escape. Ford's MyKey (which allows owners to set vehicle parameters for younger drivers), a rearview camera and blind-spot mirrors are also standard. Rear parking sensors are optional on the S and SE, and standard on the Titanium. A blind-spot warning system with cross-traffic alert is optional on the Titanium.
In government crash tests, the Escape earned an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for total frontal-impact crash protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Escape a top score of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.
Performance ranges from average with the 2.5-liter and turbocharged 1.6-liter engines to downright spirited with the 2.0 turbo. Although most owners will be perfectly content with the acceleration and fuel economy they get with the 1.6-liter turbo, there's no denying that the 2.0-liter turbo is satisfying, particularly on hilly roads: It pulls the Escape up steady grades without breaking a sweat, whereas the 1.6-liter would need an extra prod of the gas pedal or a downshift (or both) in these situations. The good news is that the turbocharged engines are equally quiet and smooth.
Blessed with quick steering, relatively sharp reflexes and an advanced all-wheel-drive system, the 2014 Ford Escape provides sporty handling and traction through turns. Overall, it's one of the better-handling small crossovers available. These abilities don't come at the expense of ride comfort, either, as the Escape maintains a stable, isolated demeanor over bumps and when cruising on the highway.
The front and rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. Seat padding and bolstering is comfortable and firm without being too stiff. Cargo space in the 2014 Ford Escape is average for the segment, falling between the CX-5 and the CR-V. With the rear seats folded up, there are 34.3 cubic feet of space; folding down the rear seats increases that space to 68.1 cubic feet. A helpful option on the Escape is the hands-free power liftgate that opens with a wave of your foot under the rear bumper (as long as you have the key somewhere on you).
Dash and center console materials are attractive, and overall fit and finish is excellent. The steering wheel is shared with the Ford Focus and enhances the Escape's sporty feel, while offering useful audio controls besides. The location of the climate controls is awkward, though, as they're placed low on the center stack and the gear selector impedes access.
Nor are we fond of the optional MyFord Touch system. The 8-inch main display controls various audio, phone and navigation functions via voice (Sync), touch controls or buttons on the steering wheel. It's a smart idea in theory, and it does provide some nice customization and smartphone integration possibilities. Unfortunately, there's a learning curve involved for the user, and even with Ford's recent updates, we've found the system prone to glitches and slow to respond. In addition, many of the touchscreen icons are difficult to locate and press while on the move.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover19.1%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
Ford's Escape is a long-standing best-seller among compact SUVs thanks to its appealing combination of usable space, engine choices and drive configurations. Its broad range of talents make it a good pick in the segment and for 2014 it offers new standard features.
The nearly identical 2013 Ford Escape received a "B" rating from Edmunds.
What Is It?
The 2014 Ford Escape is a five-passenger compact SUV. It was all new for the 2013 model year and it remains mechanically identical for 2014. With a 105.9-inch wheelbase, the Escape is average size among small SUVs. Its cargo storage and passenger space are competitive in the segment.
Three engines are available: The base engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, produces 178 horsepower. Also available are a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines: a 1.6-liter rated at 173 hp and a 2.0-liter rated at 231 hp. All are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available with either turbocharged engine but not with the 2.5.
Our tester, an SE trim, is the middle of three trim levels and stickers for $26,445. The S base trim comes only with the 2.5-liter engine. SE models start at $23,505 and come standard with the 1.6-liter turbo engine. A fully loaded Titanium trim with the optional 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive will exceed $37,000.
How Does It Drive?
Though the Escape isn't fast, its 1.6-liter turbo engine delivers abundant torque early in the rev range, which gives it quick responses and good drivability both around town and in passing situations on the freeway. This isn't an engine you'd know is turbocharged without looking at the Escape's specs.
Manual shifting (including rev-matched downshifts) is available via a toggle switch on the shift lever. Though this solution isn't as good as shift paddles, it's better than having no manual control over the transmission, as is the case in some of the Escape's competitors.
Sport Mode — available by dropping the shifter one notch below "Drive" — quickens throttle response and holds gears more aggressively. Our tester hit 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is half a second quicker than Honda's CR-V but several tenths slower than Mazda's 2.5-liter CX-5.
Ride quality is acceptable for a small SUV — most of the time. When fully loaded, however, the Escape's rear suspension isn't as well damped as we'd prefer. It rebounds multiple times over freeway irregularities at speed.
With its reasonably quick steering, we were never too busy behind the wheel. Steering weight is relatively light, yet there's enough available information through the wheel to hustle the Escape when needed. It is more involving and more capable than Honda's CR-V, but not as athletic as the Mazda CX-5.
How Safe Is It?
New standard features for 2014 include a rearview camera and blind-spot mirrors across all trim levels. Seven airbags — including a driver's knee airbag — are also standard.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration gave the Escape four out of five stars in its overall crash test rating. It received a "Good" rating (the highest available) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in four of its five tests. However, in the IIHS small overlap front test, it received a "Poor" rating because airbag coverage wasn't sufficient and the driver's survival space wasn't well maintained.
Rear parking sensors and a blind-spot warning system are trim-specific options.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Deliver?
Front-drive 1.6-liter Escapes like our test car are EPA rated at 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway). All-wheel-drive versions earn the same city rating but combined and highway ratings drop to 24 and 30 mpg, respectively. We recorded 23.9 mpg overall during 620 miles with the Escape. That number is lower than the last AWD Honda CR-V we tested, which yielded 26.2 mpg. The Escape produced 27.2 mpg on our 116-mile test loop, which includes both highway and mountain-road driving.
On the low end of the Escape fuel economy spectrum lies the 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive version, which is rated at 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway), but in our testing this version of the SUV produced only 20.5 mpg.
What's It Like Inside?
Though the SE model lacks leather interior, its cloth surfaces are both comfortable and reasonably high quality. The front seats provide generous lateral support even for those with narrow frames. Large-framed staffers found them comfortable as well. The driver seat is eight-way power-adjustable, including both height and lumbar adjustments.
Manual ventilation controls (three knobs and two buttons) are both simple and quick to use. The bank of audio control buttons is overstyled but works well enough, with source and tuning controls flanking a centrally mounted volume knob.
Three 12-volt outlets (two up front, one in the second row) as well as a USB and auxiliary jack provide both power and physical interface for devices. Sync voice control is now standard on all trims, but without navigation it comes with a small 4.2-inch screen that displays phone, audio and other information.
Is There Enough Space?
Though the Escape's interior space is average for the segment, it can feel confined relative to SUVs with more airy cockpits like the Honda CR-V. Rear-seat space is adequate for average-size adults, provided they aren't seated behind an occupant taller than 6 feet.
Cargo space is average for the segment. With 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, the Escape offers virtually identical storage to the Mazda CX-5. The Escape's split-folding rear seats fold completely flat, greatly enhancing usability. With its second row folded flat, the Escape offers 68.1 cubic feet of cargo space: about 5 cubes less than the Toyota RAV4, which is the class leader in this category.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Certainly Honda's CR-V should be a consideration if you're shopping for a compact SUV with good fuel economy and practical use of space. It's available in front- or all-wheel drive but offers only one engine.
Nissan's Rogue was redesigned for 2014 and offers either a third row or a flexible cargo area with movable shelving. It also offers the highest EPA fuel economy rating in the segment, but comes only with a CVT (continuously variable transmission).
There's no denying both the frugality and driving reward offered by the Mazda CX-5. As the most fun-to-drive SUV in the segment it's ironic that the Mazda also brings highly competitive fuel economy to the table.
Why Should You Consider This SUV?
The Escape's choice of three engines and two drive configurations give it broad-spectrum appeal not offered by many competitors. Top trim Escapes offer unique features like self parking and a hands-free power liftgate. Standard torque vectoring across all trims sends more power to the outside wheel in turns and gives the Escape a handling edge over many competitors.
Why Should You Think Twice About This SUV?
Ford's EcoBoost engines are highly sensitive to driving style and will consume more fuel than their non-turbocharged competitors if their driver insists on using all the available torque, which is easy to do.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2014 Ford Escape Overview
The Used 2014 Ford Escape is offered in the following submodels: Escape SUV. Available styles include SE 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Titanium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Ford Escape models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 173 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Ford Escape comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2014 Ford Escape comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2014 Ford Escape?
Price comparisons for Used 2014 Ford Escape trim styles:
- The Used 2014 Ford Escape SE is priced between $7,999 and$21,998 with odometer readings between 12353 and149669 miles.
- The Used 2014 Ford Escape Titanium is priced between $9,980 and$23,990 with odometer readings between 24861 and170313 miles.
- The Used 2014 Ford Escape S is priced between $10,917 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 13208 and143601 miles.
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Which used 2014 Ford Escapes are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Ford Escape for sale near. There are currently 141 used and CPO 2014 Escapes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,999 and mileage as low as 12353 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Ford Escape.
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Ford Escape?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.