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#12

in 2011 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,453 - $19,371
Original MSRP: $21,240 - $33,080
MPG: 23 City / 28 Hwy
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2011 Ford Escape Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Though everyone appreciates the Escape's soft-touch materials, reviewers still have mixed opinions on the interior's styling. A few also find the seats aren't versatile enough.

  • "Escape's interior imparts a low-buck atmosphere with lots of hard plastic trim and odd panel textures." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Escape's cabin was given a welcome complete overhaul a few years ago, and it encompassed both nicer materials and a more attractive design." -- Edmunds
  • "After a redesign last year, little has changed visually inside the Escape. That's good, because the Escape interior is fresh and crisply contemporary without trendy excesses. Materials and textures are satisfying if not luxurious, and seat construction has been re-engineered and soft points added to the door panels." -- MSN

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Seating

Reviewers say the five-seat Escape is spacious, though a few complain that it lacks some features that might make it more comfortable. In particular, they criticize the fact that the rear seats don't slide to increase rear-passenger legroom (a feature offered on the pricier Chevy Equinox). In addition, the base model comes with only a manual two-way driver’s seat, which might make it difficult to find a comfortable driving position.

Cloth-trimmed seats are standard on base XLS models. The XLT upgrades to premium cloth made from 100 percent postindustrial materials. The cushions use a polyurethane foam derived from soybean oil.

  • "Up front, the seating position is too tall, which gives the driver the feeling of hovering above the controls, and there's no telescoping steering wheel. The backseat is flat and devoid of recline or fore/aft adjustments.” -- Edmunds
  • "A thicker headliner and carpeting, as well as laminated side glass, help quiet the interior, and the Escape's rear seat remains one of the roomiest in this class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Knee clearance and foot space are well above the class norm, helped by a flat floor. Supportive and well-contoured [rear] seat is wide enough for short-trip three-adult comfort." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The vehicle lacks useful details such as sliding rear seats, as you get in the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The sliding seats in those models gives them 3 inches more rear legroom -- important if you tote teens or adults back there." -- USA Today

Interior Features

The Escape’s SYNC infotainment system and upgraded navigation system with Sirius Travel Link are praised by reviewers. However, test drivers offer mixed opinions on the control layout and the sparsely equipped base model. The base XLS comes with manual air conditioning, an audio input jack and a single-disc CD player. Unfortunately, very few options are available for the base model. They include Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system, but not much else.

Spending the extra $3,000 for the XLT might be worth it for the conveniences it adds. You’ll get a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, a compass and outside temperature display, dual illuminated vanity mirror visors, MyKey, Sirius satellite radio, a six-way power driver’s seat, and front seatback map pockets. Options for the XLT include a premium sound system and leather upholstery. But to get Ford’s voice-activated navigation system, a standard SYNC system or even something as simple as dual-zone climate control, you’ll have to upgrade to the Limited model.

  • "The…Escape also receives a redesigned center stack, featuring an updated version of Ford's excellent navigation and infotainment system -- and, of course, SYNC. The new high-resolution screen is extraordinarily clear, and the menu structures are easy to use." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Major controls are logically located, but buttons for some secondary information functions are buried to the left of the steering column. The navigation system is relatively easy to program." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

The 2011 Ford Escape provides 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 67.2 cubic feet with those seats folded down. This is good for its class, though the Escape lacks some of the versatility offered by its rivals. The Chevrolet Equinox, for example, has less overall cargo space (63.7 cubic feet), but it comes with a sliding rear seat which allows you to expand the space or increase legroom for rear passengers.

If you really want more cargo space, though, look at the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. They each provide more than 70 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down, and they only cost a few hundred dollars more than the Escape.

All Escapes come with a floor console with removable interior bins and four cup holders. XLT and Limited models add an overhead console with dual storage bins, as well as map pockets on the front seatbacks. The Limited also comes with a Cargo Package, optional on other models, that includes a cargo area cover, a lockable/hidden/waterproof trunk underneath the rear cargo area, and roof rails with cross bars. A power liftgate is not available.

  • "Cabin small-item storage is only average." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Folding [the rear seat] can seem complicated, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tumble forward before the seatbacks can be flipped down." -- Edmunds
  • "Unlike more stylized crossovers, the Escape's squared-off roof line creates a tall hatch opening that permits maximum cargo cramming." -- Kelley Blue Book

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