2017 Ford Escape SE AWD: Monthly Update for January 2017
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2017 Ford Escape covered some 1,300 miles during January, easily eclipsing its rather tepid December total but falling well short of its monster November tally.
It traveled widely within the Los Angeles basin, serving as a surfboard transporter, a cargo hauler and a daily runabout for an editor with an especially long commute (southern Orange County to Santa Monica — ugh!).
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Escape averaged 21.7 mpg over the course of the month, which was enough to move its lifetime average up one-tenth to 21.4 mpg. This is well below its EPA combined estimate, and even a shade below its city number.
Turns out turbo four-cylinders have torque, and torque is fun, and when you indulge in the fun, fuel economy suffers.
Of course, not all turbo-fours fall prey to this phenomenon to the same degree. Some engines employ more fuel enrichment when you dip the throttle pedal than do others. Seems the EcoBoost range is particularly sensitive to those times when you're not driving it exactly like an EPA driving cycle.
Average lifetime mpg: 21.4
EPA mpg rating: 25 combined (22 city/29 highway)
Best fill mpg: 29.3
Best range: 338.7 miles
Current odometer: 8,147 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"If I could drive through a slalom blindfolded, not knowing what I was driving, I would tell you this is a Focus. The steering feel (not to mention the wheel itself) is a dead giveaway. It's the way the front end moves when you crank the wheel — it's not just the tires but the entire front half of the car that seems to respond to your inputs. I like it." — Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor
"I really like the simplicity of this Escape. Everything you need is at your fingertips and works as expected. From the climate controls to the shifter to the seat adjustments, it's all intuitively designed. Of course, that's how it should be in a vehicle like this, but sometimes the designers get too cute and make things a little more difficult than necessary. With this Escape, you just get in and go." — Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor
"It's got some cheap bits. The plastic hood around the center Sync screen feels hard and flimsy, and it's also easy to lift up with one hand. The rear passenger grab handles have pronounced unfinished seams. And at various times I heard minor squeaks and rattles from the driver's door and the center dash. What's par for the course in a 14-year-old car should not exist at all in a car less than a year old." — Kurt Niebuhr
"I am very pleased with the amount of small-item storage offered by our Ford Escape. In addition to two centrally located cupholders, which I often enlist to house the contents of my pockets, there are two adjacent cubbies. Ford also adds a six-pack-size center console and reasonably deep front door pockets to the list. I am rarely without a place to store my clutter." — Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager
"The cloth-covered seats in our Escape don't look like much, but spend an hour or two behind the wheel and you'll like them more than you expected. At least I do after several long commutes. They have a tight, well-padded feel that holds up over the long haul. They're not sport seats by any means; they just deliver the right amount of support right where it's needed most. I would have no trouble sticking with this setup even if I could afford a higher trim. They're certainly worth a try for anyone looking at an Escape; you might be surprised." — Ed Hellwig
"The more I use the Escape's generally slick Sync 3 infotainment interface, the harder it is for me to imagine buying a used Ford with MyFord Touch. I really liked our 2015 Mustang, but it was stuck with MFT for that first year, and I think that would be a deal-breaker. Although Ford improved MFT incrementally over time, the system never achieved the intuitive touchscreen friendliness that we expect today. Sync 3 is what MFT should have been. It's a strong argument for buying a newer Ford instead." — Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist