2014 Ford Escape Review
2014 Ford Escape Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- 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 undergoes minor adjustments to its feature availability. Notably, a rearview camera and Sync are now standard on all trim levels. The Titanium trim no longer gets the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as standard, though Ford has dropped its price as a result. The SEL trim level has been discontinued.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Ford Escape S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$149/mo for Escape S
Avg. Compact SUV
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.
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.
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.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Trouble-Free in over 65K miles.
Lawrence R Henty, 03/30/2016
2014 Ford Escape SE 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
OK, so I had to replace the left front parking light bulb two weeks after we took delivery. Otherwise, the only times this car has been in the shop in its first 39K miles are the regular maintenance procedures (oil & filter changes, tire rotations, etc) done at the dealer's shop every 5K miles. Three weeks after delivery we had a 6- to 8-inch snowfall, with moderately heavy (wet) snow. … I spent a couple hours driving on unsanded hills, through plowed snowbanks at driveways, around unplowed parking lots behind the business section, purposely putting this SUV into situations where getting stuck would be no surprise. The "Intelligent 4WD" performed perfectly, keeping me on the move with no loss of traction. My wife and I both drive this vehicle, and we both find the seating comfortable and the ride acceptably smooth. What it lacks in smoothness it more than makes up in handling and stability, excellent cornering, and quick responsiveness on the steering wheel and the accelerator. All-round fuel economy is 24.3 mpg; on a 2000-mile vacation trip just completed it was 27.8, with the air-conditioning operating the whole way. As a rule, we do not burn rubber on starts, but I have found no lack of power when I needed quick acceleration to merge with fast-moving traffic. The 6-speed transmission shifts smoothly, and the ecoboost turbo kicks in without the hesitation reported by some users. I often use the "S" position on the transmission selector lever to control downshifting on hills and on stop-sign approaches, to save the brakes, careful to not over-rev the engine. Both of us like the placement of the shift lever at the angled intersection of the center console and the instrument panel. At our last dealer maintenance service, the techs measured the tread in the tires, and told me all four tires show even wear, and have sufficient remaining tread to be street-legal for at least another 15K miles. There have been no interior rattles or squeaks in this car, or defects in form-fit-function. Road noise is sometimes an issue, but that depends on the type of road surface. I expected cross-wind gusts to compromise stability on the road, because of the higher profile vs. our previous sedans, but this has not proven to be an issue. One day shortly after we bought our Escape, a friend asked what I liked most about it. My instantaneous reply was " It's easy to get into and out of". (This is a big plus for folks in their 70's.) We have found the rear seat to be less comfortable than the front bucket seats, but acceptable at least for short trips. On most mornings I get heat from the dashboard ducts about half-way into the 2-mile trip to my coffee shop. On very cold (single-digit) mornings it takes most of that four-minute trip to get noticeable heat -- very acceptable. The rear cargo space is adequate for shopping trips for this two-person household. With the rear seats folded down on our recent vacation trip, the full cargo deck was more than sufficient to carry 3 large luggage bags, three smaller travel bags, a box for snacks and water bottles, and 8 large cartons of dishes which we delivered to a china & glassware replacement service, plus hanging clothes and sundry other items. My only complaint about our 2014 Escape is the "infotainment" panel located in the center of the dashboard, because its operating logic is so convoluted that it defies this simple but rational ex-computer programmer's ability to understand it. In 1979 I bought a new Sedan de Ville and kept it for 10 years. In the past, I've always considered that Caddy to be the best auto I've ever owned. But so far, this versatile 2014 Escape is far more fun to drive, and less trouble to own. Final update: Still trouble-free after 65,000 miles. Traded it so that somebody else could enjoy it. Dealer re-sold it locally.
5 out of 5 stars
Good Performance and Value
2014 Ford Escape Titanium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
First the good news. It is a nice looking SUV. Especially with the Titanium Package. We got a good deal on the price of the vehicle from the Ford Dealer in addition to 0% interest. The 2.0 Turbo engine is smooth and powerful. This SUV has good acceleration with the optional 2.0 Ecoboost engine. Driving without being real conservative, we average a combined city/highway mileage of 27.3 … miles per gallon. The ride is comfortable and the vehicle handles well. Brakes are good. Navigation screen is a good size and gives clear directions. Controls are good quality. The SUV has good room inside and the back seats laying flat is a great feature for more cargo space. They are also easy to operate. Heated front seats are nice and the rear camera/sensors work well. Minor negative observations. I wish there was just a little less road noise at highway speed. Seal at bottom of doors would probably help get rid of some of that. The front seats could use about another 1/2 inch of knee bolster. The Sony Audio System is acceptable but is not as good as the Harmon Kardon one we had in our last car. The Sync System has a hard time understanding voice commands. These are minor negative observations after owning vehicle for 18 months and 15K miles. Ford Escape is a great vehicle and a good value for the money. Update: 26K miles. Still like the vehicle and I think it is a good value for the money. I wish the gas tank was about 2-3 gallons larger. My mileage has dropped to 26.7 average city/highway combined.
5 out of 5 stars
Heavy D, 01/15/2016
2014 Ford Escape Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I love my Titanium 2.0 AWD Escape so much when I took a friend shopping for a car after trying out several other brands she bought a twin to mine. Nothing is easier for those with limited mobility to get in and out of out of the 25+ cars we tested for my grandma to get in and out of who is 90 with limited mobility. Absolute bang up job Ford! 1/18/17 still everything I said it was … before... amazing traction and handling even in the snow and ice. Unbeatable vehicle 48,500 miles
4 out of 5 stars
Good design but crappy parts
2014 Ford Escape Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I got the 2014 Ford Escape Titanium AWD (2.0 Liter engine). I really like the design of the vehicle and the interior. The fuel economy isn't as bad as some have stated. I average about 24mpg combined (27-28 highway). The AWD does a really good job in slippery conditions, and I was pretty impressed with it. However! I bought it in Nov 2013 and I've already had a few issues that really … surprised me. The first issue was within 10k miles. I had a bearing go bad in my front right wheel. The warranty covered it no problem, but it was still really strange. A couple of months later I had back left strut go bad, and I had to get that replaced. Still it was under warranty so it wasn't a huge issue, but I was starting to worry about the quality of the Ford parts. Now this week I took it in for a knocking noise when I back-up and it turns out my front left strut is bad as well. This time however it was only covered under the extended warranty for some reason, so I had to pay a 100$ co-pay. At this point I'm basically considering my options to escape this Escape. I'm barely at 35k miles on this thing and not quite 2 years of ownership. I understand parts go bad, but for 3 parts to fail in the first 2 years and 35k miles worries me. Update: I'm near 3 years of ownership and since the last issues stated above I haven't had any of the same issues. It could have been that those initial issues in the first couple years of ownership were flukes or bad luck. I'm at 50k miles and my first set of tires are wearing out and require new tires, which is pretty normal I'd say.
2014 Escape Highlights
|Combined MPG||25 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$149/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- 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%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestPoor
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood