2017 Ford Escape Overview
Pros & Cons
- Lots of cool, user-friendly tech features
- Nimble handling
- Peppy and fuel-efficient turbocharged engine options
- Below-average fuel economy with base engine
Notable for 2017
- Updated exterior and interior design
- New 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- 2.0-liter turbo sees increased horsepower
- Turbocharged engines get fuel-saving stop-start feature
- Now available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- New advanced safety features available
- New available Sync Connect lets you unlock and start your car with your smartphone
Ford Escape Rankings and Research
The 2017 Ford Escape ranking is based on its score within the Compact SUVs category. Currently the Ford Escape has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 46 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
2017 Ford Escape Pictures
2017 Ford Escape Review
Nimble handling, lively turbocharged engine options, and loads of sleek, user-friendly tech features help the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape stand out among the leaders in the very competitive compact SUV class, based on our analysis of expert reviews and data.
The Escape doesn't quite make it to the top of our rankings – its lackluster base engine doesn't help, and while it's fairly roomy, some rivals are roomier. However, it's still a top contender and well worth your consideration.
Upper-trim Escapes get the SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system. It's packed with features and is one of the main reasons the Escape is a top choice if you want a high-tech vehicle. SYNC 3 is easy to use and responds quickly when you press the on-screen buttons. Little design details make the infotainment system user-friendly. For example, the optional navigation system has a simple one-line address input. Just type in your destination and go. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are new options for 2017. Internet connectivity is available through the new SYNC Connect system so your passengers can use their portable devices while traveling. Using SYNC Connect and the FordPass smartphone app, you can also unlock the Escape or start it remotely.
The 2017 Escape has wide, comfortable front seats. Adult passengers should have plenty of headroom and decent legroom in back. (For a little more rear-seat legroom, check out the Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester.) The rear seats also recline. Cloth upholstery is standard in both rows, but you can upgrade to leather. Other optional goodies include power-adjustable, heated front seats and a new heated steering wheel.
The Ford Escape has one of the higher cargo capacities in the compact SUV class. There are 34 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 68 with the rear seats folded. The Escape has a low cargo floor, which makes it easier to load heavy items like mulch or golden retrievers.
One of the Escape's standout features is its foot-activated power liftgate. Simply wave your foot under the rear bumper and the rear hatch powers open – great if your arms are full of groceries. Unfortunately, it's only available on the top-of-the-line Titanium trim.
More Upscale Interior
Last year's Escape earned praise for its premium interior. Not content to rest on its laurels, Ford gives the refreshed 2017 model even more soft-touch surfaces (which your elbows will appreciate) and new styling on the dashboard. Additional sound insulation means luxury-grade quiet on the highway. The center console has been rejiggered for convenience's sake: An electric parking brake replaces the old hand lever, freeing up storage space, and the shifter has been moved back, so it's easier to reach the climate controls.
Puts the Sport in Sport Utility
The Ford Escape is one of the most nimble compact SUVs you can buy, rivaling the Mazda CX-5. The Escape's suspension provides a nice balance between ride quality and cornering stability, so you can tackle twisty roads and remain comfortable on long road trips. The steering is quick to respond when you turn the wheel, which rotates easily. All this adds to the Escape's sporty feel.
Lackluster (and Thirsty) Base Engine
The base 2017 Ford Escape S trim comes with a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Acceleration is adequate, but fuel economy is below average. The Escape S gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. For comparison, the Honda CR-V gets 26/33 mpg city/highway, and the Toyota RAV4 gets 23/30.
Lively 1.5 Turbo
Step up to the SE or Titanium trim, and you get a 179-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 1.5-liter turbo engine gives the Escape strong acceleration. Not only is the 1.5-liter more powerful than the base engine, but it's also more fuel-efficient. It gets 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.
Part of the reason the 1.5-liter model is so fuel-efficient is its new stop-start system, which shuts off the engine to save gas. These systems can be noisy in some cars, but this one operates so smoothly you probably won't notice it.
Livelier 2.0 Turbo
The top-of-the-line 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers a big bump in power. It costs $1,295 and gets the same mpg in the city as the base engine, and just 1 mpg less on the highway, making it a practical upgrade. The brawny 2.0-liter model also has one of the best towing capacities of any compact SUV: 3,500 pounds.
The 2.0-liter also comes with the fuel-saving engine stop-start system. Both the 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines are available with all-wheel drive. The base engine is not.
Escape Pricing, Options, and Trims
The Escape comes in three trims: S, SE, and Titanium.
The S trim ($23,600) comes standard with a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, steel wheels with plastic covers, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, automatic headlamps, Ford's MyKey system, Ford's voice-activated SYNC infotainment interface, and a six-speaker stereo.
The S is available with very few options: alloy wheels ($595) and remote start ($495).
You'll have to step up to the SE trim ($25,100) if you want any selection of options.
The SE comes standard with a 179-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, an outside temperature display, a compass, illuminated vanity mirrors, satellite radio, and a keyless entry keypad. Considering it’s just $1,500 more than the S and comes with so many additional features, the SE is worth the investment.
Available standalone options in the SE include a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine ($1,295), all-wheel drive ($1,750), a panoramic sunroof ($1,495), and a power liftgate ($495).
You can order the 201A Equipment Group ($1,395), which includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a nine-speaker stereo, a 110-volt outlet, rear parking sensors, and SYNC 3. Add navigation to this package for $795.
The SE Leather Comfort Package ($1,595) includes leather upholstery, a power passenger's seat, and heated front seats.
The Titanium trim ($29,100) comes standard with many of the options and packages that are optional on the SE, including the Leather Comfort Package and most features from the 201A Equipment Group. It also comes standard with customizable colored interior lighting, a proximity key, push-button start, a foot-activated power liftgate, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, and driver's seat position memory.
The optional 301A Equipment Group ($1,995) includes automatic high beams, automatic parking, a heated steering wheel, lane keep assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Adaptive cruise control with automatic pre-collision braking is available as a $595 standalone option.
Escape Safety and Reliability
Ford gave the Escape a host of new advanced safety options for 2017, including lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, automatic high beams, and automatic pre-collision braking. That's in addition to the safety features it had last year, which include a standard rearview camera and optional front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The Escape's high-tech safety features are now fully competitive with those of the rest of the class.
The 2017 Ford Escape is backed by a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Other SUVs to Consider
The Honda CR-V has more cargo space than the Escape, and it gets better fuel economy with its base engine. While the CR-V can't quite match the handling performance of the Escape, its ride is smooth on long highway trips. Your rear-seat passengers will also be pleased with the CR-V's excellent rear-seat legroom.
The Mazda CX-5 is one of the sportiest compact SUVs on the market. It also gets class-leading fuel economy. Like the Escape, it has a sleek, easy-to-use touch-screen infotainment system option. Other highlights of the CX-5 include its high-quality cabin materials and attractive design. Just make sure you order the larger engine; it provides much better acceleration on the highway.
Details: 2017 Ford Escape
The 2017 Ford Escape is a five-seat compact SUV. It comes in three trims: S, SE, and Titanium. The Escape receives a major refresh for 2017, but it hasn't been fully redesigned since 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2017 model years.
Standard features in the 2017 Ford Escape include a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, steel wheels with plastic covers, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, automatic headlamps, Ford's MyKey system, Ford's voice-activated SYNC infotainment interface, and a six-speaker stereo.
Available features include a 179-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, leather upholstery, power front seats, heated front seats, driver's seat position memory, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt power outlet, customizable colored interior lighting, push-button start, a proximity key, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a nine-speaker stereo, a 10-speaker Sony stereo, satellite radio, navigation, Ford's SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system, SYNC Connect remote control by smartphone, automatic parking, adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and a foot-activated power liftgate.
- "The Escape faces a lot of competition, including the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Because this is such a hot segment, automakers throw a lot of value into their offerings, sometimes making the distinctions minimal. The Escape makes for a solid choice with its comfortable and easy ride quality and engine options. Sync 3 gives it an edge amongst the competition, especially with its support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto." -- CNET
- "The 2017 Ford Escape is a big improvement on what was an already remarkable crossover, and the customer-focused changes pay dividends to the Escape faithful. We can't predict if the upgrades and equipment differentiators will be enough for Ford's compact entry to claw back the sales deficit to the RAV4 and CR-V (the Toyota outsold the Ford by about 9,000 units in 2015, the Honda moved about 39,000 more units), but the new Escape is an excellent weapon to begin the fight back to the top." -- Autoblog
- "Neat technology is what people want nowadays, true, but they also want a responsive ride with a comfortable, practical interior. The Escape has all of the above, but so do so many competitors. With a starting price of $23,600, $25,100 for an SE and $29,100 for a range-topping Titanium, it's well priced to maintain its position; it's also a great time to be a compact-SUV shopper." -- AutoWeek
Research Prices: 2017 Ford Escape
Over 75,000 car shoppers have purchased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,279 off MSRP across vehicles. See what others paid for the Ford Escape and get upfront pricing to make sure you don't overpay. Learn More »