2017 Ford Escape: Monthly Update for September 2017
by Brent Romans, Senior Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our yearlong test of our 2017 Ford Escape is drawing to a close. We've got about another month to go and then it's off to the pasture with this one. Discounting the day that I locked the ignition key inside, September was an uneventful month for our Escape. Nothing broke and nobody ranted about anything. It was just 1,200 steady miles of utility-enhanced driving plus a brief stop at a Ford dealer for a 20,000-mile scheduled service.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
To the surprise of nobody, our Escape got mediocre fuel economy in September, averaging 19.6 mpg. As Dan Edmunds wrote in our June update, it is possible to get high fuel economy. But the long-term trend for the Escape and its energetic turbocharged engine has definitely been subpar.
Average lifetime mpg: 20.7
EPA mpg rating: 23 combined (20 city/27 highway)
Best fill mpg: 32.0
Best range: 408.3 miles
Current odometer: 21,494 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
I was on the hook for getting our Escape's 20,000-mile service done so I booked an appointment at my local Ford dealer (Lithia Ford in Fresno, California). It was a standard service that called for an oil change, a tire rotation and an inspection. I was in and out quickly, and the final bill was an agreeable $44.75.
"I drove the Escape up to my favorite hiking spot. To get to it, I need to drive about 2 miles along an unimproved dirt road at a mild incline. At the trailhead, you're just as likely to see a Prius with an attached bike racked parked in the dirt as you are an SUV. What I'm saying is that although the road has some ruts, pretty much any vehicle can handle this stretch of Mulholland Drive.
"Our all-wheel-drive Escape felt less than sure-footed climbing the bumpy road, and I was a little surprised at how unplanted it felt. The Escape just didn't seem as enthusiastic to be on the dirt as on the road. Ultimately, I made it up the hill just fine, and I suppose that's just fine for 98 percent of urban dwellers whose tires will never touch anything other than asphalt." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor
"After nearly a year in our fleet, our Escape is still one of my favorite small SUVs. It does everything in a very competent and understated way that makes it a great daily driver. The ride quality of our Escape is just about perfect. Not so soft that it feels tippy or sloppy, but not so tight that you feel every little bump in the road." — Ed Hellwig, senior editor
"I'm a fan of the interior. Unlike our CR-V that I find a little overdone, the Escape's cabin is dead simple. Everything is easy to find and use at a glance. The seats are also a bright spot as I always find them supportive and easy to adjust. All of this is pretty basic stuff, but that's what I expect from a compact SUV." — Ed Hellwig
"I mistakenly locked our Escape's key (and my phone) inside the vehicle last night. Now, I'll spare you the details on how I did this. Suffice it to say, it wasn't my greatest moment. After realizing I did it, I soon thought of Ford's keypad entry feature. 'Oh, I'll just enter the code to open the door!' Just one problem — I didn't know the code. And since it was nighttime, nobody was at the Edmunds office to check if we had the code written down anywhere. I ended up having to have a locksmith get me in. Sure enough, keypad entry is cool feature and could save a lot of potential hassle — if you remember the code." — Brent Romans, senior editor
"Our Escape is nearing the end of its stay with us. In most regards, it's been a fine small crossover for our long-term fleet. But I don't think I would own one. The smallish and dated interior is a drawback for me, as is the lack of a truly appealing engine from a power and fuel efficiency. I'm not fond of the way Ford sets up the Escape's trim levels and feature mix, either." — Brent Romans