in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $23,100 - $30,850
Invoice: $21,772 - $28,769
MPG: 22 City / 31 Hwy
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Ford Escape Review

The 2014 Ford Escape ranks 5 out of 22 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Escape, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Ford Escape is ranked:

With its agile handling and powerful EcoBoost engine choices, the 2014 Ford Escape earns praise from reviewers as one of the best-performing compact SUVs in the segment.

The Ford Escape is powered by a four-cylinder engine that auto writers say provides adequate power in most situations. Two optional EcoBoost four-cylinder engines are available, and auto reviewers say that the top-tier 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers plenty of power, while the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine offers a good mix of power and fuel economy. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. The base Ford Escape gets up to 22/31 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. Escape models with the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost see estimates that are only slightly less, even when equipped with optional all-wheel drive. The Ford Escape shares its platform with the Ford Focus, and some reviewers say that its small-car underpinnings make it one of the most enjoyable compact SUVs to drive. Additionally, other reviewers praise the 2014 Escape for its agile handling and comfortable ride.

Test drivers call the Escape's interior handsome, noting that the cabin is built with high-quality materials. Cargo space is fairly good for the class, but compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V have more room for cargo. Test drivers say the Escape has comfortable and supportive seats in both rows, with plenty of head- and legroom. The Escape comes with a strong list of standard features, which include a backup camera, Bluetooth, a USB port and Ford’s Sync with MyFord system, which allows you to use voice commands to control a connected smartphone. The 2014 Ford Escape can be equipped with tech features like a motion-activated liftgate and the MyFord Touch infotainment system. While these features make the Escape one of the most feature-rich SUVs in the class, some automotive journalists note that they can be hard to use. More than one reviewer says that the touch screen’s location in the center stack makes some on-screen buttons difficult to reach, while others note that MyFord Touch can be glitchy, and sometimes slow to respond when adjusting vehicle settings.

  • "The 2014 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV combines sporty good looks with cutting-edge technology, appealing engine options and a high fun-to-drive factor. The Escape also offers features found in no other compact SUV in this price range, including a rear cargo door that opens automatically when you wave your foot under the bumper. The Escape can even parallel park itself. And whether you're hauling people or stuff, you'll find the roomy Escape to be an exceptionally accommodating companion." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2014 Ford Escape is one of our favorite small crossover utility vehicles, thanks to athletic driving dynamics, an inviting cabin and useful high-tech features." -- Edmunds
  • "With last year's total makeover, the 2014 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV became one of the segment's leaders in styling, fuel efficiency and forward-looking technology. Highlights include a choice of impressive engines, athletic suspension tuning and an updated version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system. One feature everyone will show off is the power liftgate they can open and close, even with an armload, by waving a foot under the rear bumper. Shoppers may look elsewhere if their top priorities are low price and sheer interior space, but the 2014 Ford Escape is as a must-see for everyone else." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Mazda CX-5 offers great fuel economy and a lower starting price than the Escape, and reviewers say the CX-5 has strong brakes, nimble handling and responsive steering, which make it particularly fun to drive. The CX-5 also comes standard with push-button start, which is a rare standard feature for the class.

Reviewers are impressed with the Buick Encore's great fuel economy, comfortable ride and spacious seating. Test drivers also like the Encore's upscale interior and its IntelliLink infotainment system, which one reviewer says works quickly and is easy to use.

Compare the Escape, CX-5 and Encore »

Details: 2014 Ford Escape

The 2014 Ford Escape seats five and comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. Two optional turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engines are available and both can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The 2014 Ford Escape comes in three trims: S, SE, and Titanium. The Escape was last redesigned for the 2013 model year and is mostly unchanged for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Ford Escape specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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