Shopping for a small crossover presents a dizzying array of options, but the Ford Escape is a smart, safe choice among a crop of great contenders. The 2017 Escape receives style and power upgrades, improved small item storage, and an updated tech interface that packs plenty of connected punch.
The Escape offers optional all-wheel drive, respectable fuel economy, a spacious cargo bay and an available hands-free power liftgate. You can outfit the Escape from comfortable casual (the SE trim with no options) to rugged luxury (a loaded Titanium model that can breach $40,000). On the road, its agility instills a level of driver confidence that's rare in this class.
For 2017, Ford has trickled some desirable features such as automatic climate control down to lower Escape trim levels. The old lever-operated parking brake has been replaced by a button, which frees up space for improved small item storage. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is now available. Finally, there's a new standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in addition to the optional 2.0-liter turbo-four.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Escape is a compact crossover SUV that comes in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. The S is fairly bare-bones but comes with features such as a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Sync 3 tech interface and smartphone integration. Most buyers will want to start with an SE, which introduces a new engine, nicer wheels, a power-adjustable driver seat and more available options. The top-trim Titanium adds luxury touches such as leather upholstery, a hands-free power liftgate and ambient cabin lighting.
The S starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Standard features include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, MyKey parental controls, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a 4.2-inch central display, a rearview camera, the Sync tech interface with AppLink smartphone integration, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port. Note that this model is generally aimed at business fleet buyers and may not be an easy find on your local dealer's lot.
Upgrading to the SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels (optional on the S), a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine (179 hp, 177 lb-ft), foglights, a keyless entry keypad, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, rear air vents, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), upgraded cloth upholstery, a rear center armrest and satellite radio.
Optional on the SE is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (245 hp, 275 lb-ft), all-wheel drive, and the SE Technology package (also called Equipment Group 201A), which adds LED daytime running lights, roof rails, rear parking sensors, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, the upgraded Sync 3 technology interface (including an 8-inch touchscreen), a nine-speaker sound system with dual USB ports, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The available Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and mirrors, a windshield de-icer and a 110-volt outlet (if not ordered with the Technology package). To this, the SE Leather Comfort package adds an eight-way power passenger seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment) and leather upholstery. Also available are a hands-free power liftgate (requires the SE Technology package), 18-inch wheels and remote engine start.
At the top of the line, the Titanium combines the SE packages and options listed above with a slick foot sensor that opens the power liftgate. Also included is keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio. The 2.0-liter engine is also optional for the Titanium, as is adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning.
The Titanium Technology package (Equipment Group 301A) includes xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning and intervention, and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature (which includes front and side parking sensors).
A Sport Appearance package is available for the SE and Titanium. It adds black 19-inch wheels, black-painted exterior trim, LED daytime running lights and partial leather upholstery. Optional on both the SE and Titanium are a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.