Looking for a great SUV that's a smart, safe choice among a crop of great contenders? The 2017 Ford Escape might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi. And here's an Expert Rundown of the 2017 Ford Escape. The Ford Escape is a middle of the road choice among compact crossover SUVs. It does everything well without any particular high or low points. We recommend the SE trim with a potent 2-liter engine since you can pick and choose individual options to suit your needs and budget. The base engine is weak by comparison. In the top trim, a hands-free power liftgate gives you easy access. And the cargo space is about what you'd expect from the class. Passenger space is also pretty much average, as are the materials used throughout the lineup. You get the typical safety features offered on rivals. But the Escape gets high marks for its easy to use SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bottom line is the Ford Escape is a solid choice in the compact SUV class. But the newer Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are more refined and better to drive. So we strongly recommend checking these out alongside the Escape.
A full list of available features and filters for the new 2017 Ford Escape inventory include but are not limited to: Edmunds Special Offers: Purchase Offers, Lease Offers, Gas Card, Used Offers. Model Type: SUV, Hybrid.
The Ford Escape returns in 2017 as a popular cornerstone to its class with no shortage of strengths. Fairly good fuel economy, available all-wheel drive, useful cargo space and optional hands-free power liftgate combine to strongly embody compact-crossover features we expect. The Escape surprises with responsive steering and impressive handling.
Interior updates are modest, but the 2017 cabin includes several new practical storage areas throughout. One that stands out is a convenient storage ahead of the shift lever that seems perfectly made for a phone.
The Escape's dashboard design could stand a refresh, but you can opt for the new Sync 3 upgrade to significantly improve the look. Ford's Sync 3 interface woos infotainment fans and tech lovers with full smartphone integration by means of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
FordPass with the Sync Connect ownership app allows you to remotely connect to the Escape from your smartphone. Additional 2017 technology updates bring the Escape in line with contemporary safety options offered to drivers across the class, including lane-departure prevention, a driver drowsiness monitor and adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert.
The exterior design is evolved with Ford's newly imagined modern front-end styling as seen throughout its model line.
Ford gives the 2017 Escape two new turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engines. The 1.5-liter replaces the previous 1.6 but offers comparatively similar power and fuel economy. But at this size the turbo appears to improve fuel economy more than it does off-the-line speed. Performance seekers should consider a bump up to the updated 2.0-liter turbo engine if they can. This powerplant puts out more horsepower and torque than in previous years. With a zero-to-60 time of less than 7 seconds, the 2.0-liter earns the Escape a nod as one of the quickest-to-accelerate compact crossovers out there.
The 2017 Escape's varying models have near-ranking fuel economies ranging from a combined 23 to 26 mpg. The FWD 1.5-liter turbo achieves an EPA-rated 26 mpg combined (23 city/30 highway) while the AWD 2.0 turbocharged option is rated 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway).
Three trim levels are available: S, SE and Titanium. You'll find select desirable options to be more affordable or even standard for 2017, like Ford's automatic climate control system which is newly standard on the midgrade SE trim level. S is the base trim. SE offers several enticing upgrades and customization routes such as the SE Technology package, Cold Weather package and Leather Comfort package. The fully featured Titanium sets the bar high with a broad suite of luxuries as well as its exclusive foot sensor for the power liftgate. Even sportier styling is possible thanks to the Sport Appearance add-on available for both the SE and Titanium trim packages.
With so many options, choosing the perfect crossover may seem like a challenge. Let Edmunds help find the one that is just right for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.