2016 Ford Escape Review
Pros & Cons
- Turbocharged engines deliver strong performance and high fuel economy
- many high-tech features
- agile handling
- high-quality cabin
- comfortable seating.
- Lack of interior storage cubbies
- awkward base control layout
- not quite as roomy inside as some top rivals.
List Price Range
$12,200 - $25,990
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
S 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
My wife and I purchased a base model Escape S with no options except alloy wheels. Even in base trim, the 2016 Escape has some nice features. A backup camera, bluetooth connectivity, Ford Sync, Applink, power windows & locks, keyless entry, and full color screens on the dash and instrument cluster....all standard. In order to get some of these items, you have to step up from the base trim (the 2016 Kia Sportage is a good example...you can't get a backup camera in base trim). I was so impressed with the vehicle that we replaced my Ford Fusion with one. We now have two Escapes in the garage! For a performance standpoint, the 2.5L naturally aspirated four cylinder is just adequate. Meaning it's not dangerously under powered, but it's no powerhouse either. It is quiet, smooth, and proving to be fuel efficient. It's also NOT direct injected, which should help avoid the carbon build up on the intake valves so may GDI engines suffer from. My wife never notices the engine being an issue. She just happily drives along oblivious to the fact that she has the "base model" engine. Myself, on the other hand, am a bit of a speed freak and the 2.5L is not winning any races. Just appreciate it for what it is...an old school, tried and true design that's been around in some form for many years. It's a workhorse and has proven reliable. It also has chain driven cams, so no worry about timing belts. The Escape has a playful character. It rides a bit firm for a vehicle in this class, but having driven the Honda CR-V, which like all Hondas, is the equivalent of riding a dead horse. Very boring and isolated. If you like a little fun feel in your cars, the Escape won't disappoint. The handling is not sport car sharp, but it acquits itself nicely. When driven is the manner in which it is designed, it is above average. Steering is nicely weighted, especially for electronic steering, and feedback is good as well. The ride and handling of the Escape give it a fun to drive factor that is missing in most other CUVs. Inside things are very nice for a base model. Soft touch surfaces abound, including on the tops of the door panels where tall folks like me rest their left arm. The center armrest is nicely padded and well located. Underneath it is a smallish bin that is deep and narrow. If the Escape falls short anywhere, it's in the center console. Two cup holders and a hand brake consume much of the space, with a 12v outlet and change pocket for those who have a toll to pay on their route (in which case a pass would be a better option). The new 2017 Escape is going to an electronic brake and moving the transmission selector to the side a bit to offer more storage space in the console. A welcome change! Seats are nicely padded and even for my long legs (36" inseam) offer decent support. Legroom is also very good. I have no problem finding a comfortable driving position as the seats have plenty of adjustment and the tilt and telescoping steering wheel all conspire to fit even the most oddly shaped driver. Ingress and egress are nice. Not pickup truck high or sedan low....really the "goldilocks" of heights...just right. Doors open wide and offer plenty of room for even a big guy such as myself. On many cars my backside hits the steering wheel or the B pillar when getting in, but not on the Escape. Plenty of room for those large of stature. The Sync entertainment system on the base model is not the touch screen driven system which has received so much negative press. In fact, if you get a 2016 Escape with the touch screen infotainment system, it is the new Sync3 system which is no longer made by Microsoft. Initial reviews have been very positive, but I have no first hand experience. Sound quality from the base system is, well....pretty poor. This is the case with most base level audio systems, so I'm not picking on Ford here. It's a price point audio system for sure. There are kits available to allow you to step up to an aftermarket system if you like, so if you are an audiophile, you have options. If you listen to mostly talk radio like I do...it's not a big deal and it works fine. There is bluetooth audio and hands free functions as well as USB connectivity. If you hold down the Sync button for a couple of seconds, it envokes Siri on your iPhone and even displays "Siri" on the center mounted dash display. The system works fine with no glitches, but I think Ford got a little button and menu happy. The standard AppLink integration works great and allows you to voice command many apps on your smartphone. I particularly like the AccuWeather app which will reach me the weather over the cars speakers. So far, I'm really impressed. My wife and I drove almost every CUV offering, and while some were much nicer, they had a much higher price too. A competitor worth looking at is the base model Hyundai Tucson. It's very comparable to the Escape in features and comes with a longer warranty. You can buy an Escape for less thanks to discounts.
Titanium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Been shopping for a small SUV for quite some time. Had a 2005 Ford Escape XLT and sold with 128,000 miles. Was excellent vehicle and had only regular maintenance, and no major repairs. After looking at what the current market has available (Honda Pilot, Toyota, GMC, Dodge and GM) and tested, kept coming back to the Escape. My main concern was no available V6, only the inline 1.6 or 2.0 with turbo. I worried about having to always run high rpm's and wasn't sure about engine longevity. After driving the Titanium with optional 2.0 L, Package 301 and navigation system a few times, I was completely sold on the 4 cylinder. Has great power, turbo is smooth and rpm's are surprisingly low. Comfortable ride and the new Sync3 is reasonably easy to learn. Fit and finish is also excellent. I did not opt for the 19" wheels, just the standard 18". Have read a few reviews that the 19" wheels made for a bit of a rougher ride. I did not test drive any that had the 19". With 240hp rating, it's much faster than my 2005 V6 was. I also have the class II towing package, rated at 3,500 lbs. At this time, I don't have anything near that range, so assuming it won't be a problem. Have also seen that various auto reviews have been very good. Hoping the reliability factor will meet with what I had on the 2005. Now have 12,650 miles as of May 16, 2018 and have had absolutely zero problems with the vehicle. Everything works like it is supposed to and love it as much as the day I purchased it. No rattles or decrease in power. Still ecstatic after almost 3 years! Now, as of November 18, 2018, have 16,200 and still have zero problems with vehicle, no rattles, no decrease in power. Everything as great as the day of purchase on Oct 31, 2015. Never have owned a new vehicle without having to take it in for SOME problem, until this vehicle. Just purchased the Ford extended warranty but thinking, maybe not needed!! As an update as of November 19, 2019, still love my Escape as much as the date of purchase. Only maintenance issue as of this date, was the replacement of the battery, replaced in October, 2019. Other than that, there have been no issues or repairs. The vehicle has performed flawlessly and extremely happy with the performance, the condition of the exterior and interior. As of May 19, 2020, I now have approximately 22,000 miles with no problems. I admit the mileage has not increased significantly due to the stay at home requirements for the Covid-19 pandemic. However, other than the battery replacement, my vehicle has performed flawlessly. It has maintained the same power and performance as it had when new.. First new car I ever had that I absolutely have not had one problem with as long as I've owned the car. As previously stated, I purchased this car on October 31, 2015. I'm completely sold on the Escape. Even the tires have worn exceptionally well. I must say, I have not driven this vehicle off road on sand, stone or rough terrain. The vehicle is tight, no rattles, no leaks and the interior has held up magnificently! As of November 20, 2020 happy to announce that even 5 years since purchased new....not one instance of any repairs. Have 26,000 miles on vehicle and everything works as new. Vehicle still tight, no rattles and only have scheduled maintenance other than the aforementioned battery replacement. Have NEVER owned a vehicle that I purchased new, that I did not have repairs after this amount of time or mileage. Vehicle is absolutely magnificent!!
Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is my second Escape and again, I was not disappointed. The car looks good, handles great and is a nice value. The size is perfect for me. It holds what I need in the cargo area (golf clubs, shoes, etc.) and is easy to maneuver. I got the 2.0L engine and it accelerates quite nicely. After having is about 2 years, the only knock I have is it is not air tight. Consequently, the ride isn't as quiet as my son's Jeep. Still, I'm very pleased with the purchase.
Rolf and Reina Fischer,08/08/2016
SE 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
First , the Escape. I purchased had the 2.0litre turbo, which changes this vehicle from a nice little SUV to an OMG, I'm going how fast! Wanted something bigger for my wife then the Hyundai that she had and researched the Escape. This little SUV is far from little in features and interior room. First off the seating is comfortable and after driving 3 hours to Orlando, I hoped out and felt no fatigue and was ready to go. The driving characteristics are responsive and light, sometimes can feel a little to responsive, wish it had a sport mode for steering like my mustang. The power is great, 240hp out of a 2 litre turbo, crazy, kept finding myself cruising at high 80's and having to let off the gas. At this speed it averages 26.5 mph. We were loaded up with 2 dog carriers and several sets of golf clubs as well as suit cases and everything fit in the back without a single care. The interior sound was minimal, more noticeable was the tire noise from the Continental tires... All in all would have no problem suggesting this vehicle and hope to put many miles on it.