2017 Ford Escape: Performance Tested
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
The 2017 Ford Escape received several improvements for this model year, but most of them are cosmetic upgrades and technology enhancements that don't translate into improved performance on the road. We took it to the track anyway, however, since we did go for the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that received a slight power bump this year.
For the record, it only increased from 240 to 245 horsepower and from 270 to 275 lb-ft of torque. Not huge gains, but we know we liked how the engine felt on the road. With that in mind, we decided to take to the track and see what the numbers said.
Vehicle: 2017 Ford Escape SE 2.0L EcoBoost
Date: January 31, 2017
Driver: Calvin Kim
Drive type: all-wheel drive
Transmission type: automatic
Engine type: turbocharged conventional gasoline inline four-cylinder
Displacement: 2,000 cc/122 cu-in
Redline: 6,200 rpm
Horsepower: 245 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 275 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Brake type (front): one-piece ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake type (rear): one-piece solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension type (front): independent MacPherson struts with 24 mm solid stabilizer bar
Suspension type (rear): Control Blade with 18 mm solid stabilizer bar
Tire size (front): 235/50 R18 97V
Tire size (rear): 235/50 R18 97V
Tire brand: Michelin
Tire model: Latitude Tour HP
Tire type: regular
0-30 mph: 2.3 seconds (with TC on: 2.7 seconds)
0-45 mph: 4.3 seconds (with TC on: 4.7 seconds)
0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds (with TC on: 7.5 seconds)
0-60 mph with 1-ft rollout: 6.8 seconds (with TC on: 7.0 seconds)
0-75 mph: 11.0 seconds (with TC on: 11.1 seconds)
1/4-mile: 15.6 seconds @ 85.8 mph (with TC on: 15.9 seconds @ 86.9 mph)
30-0 mph: 29 feet
60-0 mph: 116 feet
Skidpad lateral acceleration: 0.84 g (0.83 g w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,000
The Escape is surprisingly agile off line, and it doesn't take a lot of button-pushing to get it to launch quickly. Turn off traction control and place the shifter in Sport. Lay on the brake with your left foot, and rev the engine till the tach hits 2,500 rpm. Then as you continue to quickly roll on the throttle, release the brakes. You'll be met with a surge of turbo-boosted acceleration, just a whiff of wheelspin and mild torque steer through the steering wheel.
The Escape surprises in the braking department. There's relatively mild pedal effort with moderate pedal travel and minimal feedback of what the brakes are doing through the steering wheel and pedals. And as befits a compact crossover, there's only moderate brake dive and minimal ABS pump noise and vibration. The Escape is stable and stays straight under panic braking.
As a cute ute, there's no expectations for the Escape to "feel good" through the skidpad. Yet when you turn off traction control, put it in Sport mode and lock the transmission in second gear, the Escape is surprisingly lively and responsive to throttle and steering input. Although it's very forgiving and communicative, you have to stay far in front of what the car is actually doing due to sluggish engine response. There's minimal inside wheelspin, as the undefeatable traction control system was still inputting many subtle stability control interventions.
Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 8,152 miles