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Ford
Escape
2016
Go
James Flammang
Contributing Editor - July 9, 2015

2016 Ford Escape OVERVIEW

Ever since it debuted for 2001, Ford’s Escape set the pace for the growing compact crossover SUV market. Last redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Escape gives shoppers a greater choice in four-cylinder engines than most models: a 2.5-liter, and a pair of direct-injected EcoBoost fours (1.6 or 2 liters), each promising a different towing capacity and slightly different gas-mileage estimate.

What's New for 2016

A newly available SYNC 3 communications/entertainment system has a fresh interface that uses a capacitive touchscreen, similar to those in tablets and smartphones. New One Box Search features, included with the available navigation system, let users look up points of interest or enter addresses, as they might with an Internet search engine.

Choosing Your Ford Escape

For the first time, Escape SE can have a leather comfort package, adding heated leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power mirrors, and one-touch front/rear windows. A chrome appearance package now is available for the SE trim, including 19-inch chrome wheels and partial leather seats.

Cargo space is an ample 34.3 cubic feet, doubling when the rear seatbacks are folded. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags for first and second rows, and an SOS Post-Crash Alert System.

Ford’s Escape offers three engine choices: 1.6-liter EcoBoost at 178 horsepower for the SE and Titanium series; 2-liter EcoBoost (240 horsepower), also for SE/Titanium; or regular 2.5-liter (168 horsepower), which is unavailable in the Titanium. Both EcoBoost engines are direct-injected for greater efficiency. Fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the 2.5-liter; EcoBoost engines are slightly more thrifty. Ford’s six-speed automatic transmission offers SelectShift manual gear-selection.

Three trim levels are available: S, SE, and Titanium.

S

Basic entry-level Escape has standard 2.5-liter engine and six-speed automatic, but 1.6- and 2-liter EcoBoost four-cylinders are available. Only front-wheel drive is offered. SYNC, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, reverse sensing, tilt/telescoping steering column, and 17-inch steel wheels are standard. Curve Control technology can automatically slow down the Escape when cornering at excessive speed.

SE

Adds $1,900 with the 2.5-liter engine. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost is only $300 higher, but the 2-liter EcoBoost adds a further $1,495. Offered with front-wheel or all-wheel drive (for an additional $1,750), the SE comes with a Secure Code keyless entry keypad, 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, foglamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Front-drive SE with the 1.6-liter engine gets an estimated 23/32 mpg (city/highway); AWD, 22/30 mpg. Ford’s “intelligent” all-wheel drive analyzes data from 25 signals, including wheel speed, gas-pedal position, and steering-wheel angle. It makes this analysis 20 times faster than an eyeblink.

Titanium

Available only with either the 1.6- or 2-liter EcoBoost engine, the top model adds $4,085 to the SE’s MSRP. Standard Titanium equipment includes a hands-free liftgate, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Sony 10-speaker audio with HD radio, SYNC 3, power front seats, roof rack rails, and 18-inch wheels. Available Active Park Assist can locate a parallel-parking space and automatically steer the vehicle into it, as the driver operates only the gas and brake pedals. A Blind Spot Information system with cross-traffic alert also is included in that Tech package.

CarsDirect Tip

Picking the best Escape isn’t so easy. Even before thinking about options, you have to choose between three engines and three trim levels, with front- or all-wheel drive. That being said, we’d opt for the SE over the basic S, preferably with helpful all-wheel drive and an EcoBoost engine, which is more modern and efficient than the familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

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