2017 Ford Escape: Monthly Update for November 2016
by Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist
Where Did We Drive It?
Most notably, our long-term 2017 Ford Escape took its talents to Portland this month on a Thanksgiving road trip, with your humble narrator at the helm. It's about 1,950 miles if you stick to Interstate 5, but we detoured through Sonoma on the way up, so our total was closer to 2,100. The Escape also saw consistent commuting use, including a stay with Editor Dan Frio, who lives forever away in southern Orange County. All in all, it was a 3,300-mile month, give or take — a pace we're unlikely to maintain, though it would be neat if we did.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
I thought for sure I'd break Frio's records for mpg (25.2) and range (338.7 miles) on the Portland trip, but I failed pretty hard. My best full tank was 23.2 mpg, and I couldn't manage more than 310 miles between fills. Granted, I wasn't driving for efficiency, but I spent the vast majority of the trip on the freeway, typically with the cruise set between 70 and 75 mph. Will we ever achieve the 27 mpg EPA highway rating? The test is young, but the early returns aren't particularly encouraging.
Average lifetime mpg: 21.3 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 23 combined (20 city/27 highway)
Best fill mpg: 25.2
Best range: 338.7 miles
Current odometer: 6,228 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I wouldn't go as far as to say you have to get the updated 2.0-liter engine in the Escape, but if it were my decision I would pay up for the privilege. I say privilege because this engine is incredibly smooth and powerful for a vehicle in this class. It makes getting on the highway a breeze, and the occasional pass around a slow-moving truck barely takes a modest squeeze of the pedal. It's a feeling you don't often get with many of the four-cylinder engines found in the Escape's competitors." — Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor
"Was not expecting the Ford Escape to top my list as a replacement (or more likely, complement) for my 15-year-old Jeep Cherokee. But it has. One of the crucial tests it needed to pass: Would the longboard fit? It does. All 9 feet 2 inches of it. And there's room to spare if I someday wanted to add a more traditional 10-foot-something longboard length. Although I'd probably add a roof rack and typically strap the board up top, I like being able to stash the board inside for those occasional post-surf breakfast sessions when the car is parked out of sight. Or more realistically, when I'm too lazy to strap the board up top and just want to get to the beach." — Dan Frio, Vehicle Editor
"The satellite radio is proving spotty. Either we've got a bunk antenna or it's a quality flaw of the factory antenna, but it drops and reacquires signal way too often to be convenient or worth the money. It's not incessant, but it happens frequently and randomly, not just when passing under overpasses. Something to address with the dealer, surely, but I don't expect much luck." — Dan Frio
"I drove the Escape from Santa Monica to Portland for Thanksgiving, a few months after taking the 340i on a similar trip. I didn't expect the 245-horsepower Ford to compare particularly well to the, er, 320-horsepower Bimmer, and in at least one respect I was right: The former hit a wall around 23 mpg — call it 15 percent shy of the EPA highway rating — while the latter blew my mind with a 34.6-mpg tank. But otherwise, what a pleasant road-trip car this was. Quiet and comfortable with power to spare, both under the hood and via the three-prong outlet that kept my friend's laptop juiced up the whole way. Although the Escape is far from the newest rig in its class, it's easily one of the best, particularly now that the Sync 3 touchscreen has made MyFord Touch a distant memory. I generally don't like small crossovers, just not a fan, but I'm digging this one." — Josh Sadlier