With a complete makeover for 2013 the Ford Escape did not need much added for 2014. Showing off as a leader in this class regarding fuel efficiency, style, and technology the Escape is leaving the competition in the dust. Rated as one of the 10 Best SUV’s under $25,000 for 2014 by Kelley Blue Book, the Escape is a great value and a really great vehicle to drive.
With the ability to head off road for short stints and offering a style that turns heads the Escape is an impressive small crossover SUV that is easy to love and even easier to drive and enjoy. Offering a more powerful engine than most of its competition this SUV leaves them eating dust. As a great blend between a car and a full-size SUV the Escape offers a comfortable suspension and responsive steering that makes it not only powerful, but also fun to drive whether it’s for errands around town or off to work for the day. With its power plant there is no shortage of passing power on the highway and with a well-designed insulation system the road is not allowed to make noise inside the vehicle.
Keeping with the Ford tradition of offering shoppers plenty of options to choose from even under the same hood, the Escape has three engines that can be put in the power area of the vehicle. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that carries 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is only available with front-wheel drive (FWD) and when mated to the six-speed automatic transmission offers 22 city/31 hwy mpg.
Next up is the first of the two EcoBoost engines available a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that shows up with 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine when set up with the six-speed automatic transmission brings in a fuel efficiency of 23 city/33 hwy mpg for the FWD model and 22 city/30 hwy for the all-wheel drive (AWD) version. Many owners will find this is the best engine choice, but if there is a need for towing the final engine might be the best option.
Finally at the top of the engine list is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the engine needed for any towing as the maximum towing capacity for this vehicle even with this engine is only 3,500 pounds. Pairing this engine up with the six-speed automatic transmission brings a fuel efficiency of 22 city/30 hwy mpg in FWD and 21 city/28 hwy mpg for the AWD version. If the towing is needed, the automatic hand-free lift gate option is eliminated from the list of possibilities.
The cabin of the Escape is cozy, according to Ford dealers Indianapolis, and offers plenty of great materials from the seats to the steering wheel and even some metal accents across the dashboard. With all knobs and controls in the right places, especially for someone who has owned a Ford in the past, the vehicle is easy to understand and offers a fun feel even inside the SUV. Backseat space is limited and really only comfortable for children but with the fold down rear seat the cargo space can be increased and is flexible allowing the owner to pick up materials needed for a great weekend project.
Offering a unique and interesting look from all angles the Escape offers style as well as road cruising looks. With a large lower grill and slim upper grill as well as the wrap around headlights the front of the Escape looks like an open mouth that is gobbling up the road or off road areas with ease. Add to this the sleek and stylish curves from the front all the way to the rear lift gate and the SUV really shows off. Don’t forget about the high body lines that start at the front door and work their way back, adding a bit of swiftness to the overall look. Finally top it all off with the massively magged out 19-inch wheels and dual chrome exhaust tips and the vehicle is truly finished off and ready to go.
The standard features found on the Escape S model include a six-speaker audio system with auxiliary ports, air conditioning, audio and cruise controls in the steering wheel, the MyKey system, airbags all around, a host of electronic safety features, covered steel wheels, and black plastic exterior trim elements. Even though the list isn’t long, it is well thought out and makes perfect sense to offer these as the standard features for this SUV.
The optional features are simply trim level increases and a fully loaded Titanium version offers features that include the 2.0-liter engine, four-wheel drive, leather seats, a panoramic moon roof, blind-spot warning, automatic parallel parking, an eight-inch touch screen, a navigation system, Sync with MyFord Touch, and a foot operated lift gate. Adding all these features to the Escape turns the vehicle from being a very plain and simple SUV to one that could compete with some luxury SUV’s. Along with raising the competition the addition of all these features increases the fun level, ensuring a smile on the face of anyone who chooses to drive the Escape.
Starting out with the Escape S model the entry price comes in at $23,600 but that is a very limited model with the least desirable engine, black plastic exterior trim and covered wheels. By moving to the SE model all those issues are corrected and the price starts at a still affordable $26,500. The price can increase dramatically to a fully loaded Titanium model that comes in over $37,000 but with all the features added, this Escape can be well worth the added cost and it allows for the towing that some may need even in the small SUV. Overall, the 2014 Ford Escape is a great and fun small crossover SUV that is deserving of attention for a large crowd.