A staple in Ford’s lineup since 2001, the Escape has seen many changes throughout its life. In 2017, Ford refreshed its small crossover, giving it a more grownup appearance and tweaking its powertrain options. Do these changes make the hot-selling escape a better crossover than before?

Pricing and Equipment

Value is the name of the game in the compact crossover segment, and the 2017 Ford Escape plays it well. It comes in at a base price of $24,495 (destination fees included) and includes a decent number of desirable standard features, like:

  • Automatic headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • Rearview camera
  • Six-speaker audio system

Buyers looking for additional features can opt for the SE or Titanium trims, which start at $27,745 and $29,995, respectively (destination charges included). Those seeking even more premium amenities can opt for the Equipment Group 201A package ($1,256 on SE), SE Appearance Package ($1,249), or the Equipment Group 301A package ($1,924 on Titanium).

Performance Pros

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is one of the better-performing small crossovers on the market today. This is particularly true with its 200-horsepower 2-liter powerplant. We also noted that the advanced stability-control system works nicely in the corners, slowing one wheel when it senses slippage.

  • Tight suspension delivers great balance in the corners
  • Plethora of engine options, topping out at 245 horsepower
  • Advanced stability system keeps the Escape on its intended path

Performance Cons

Its tight and responsive suspension is one of its best qualities, but this also opens the door for a ride that some may find just too stiff. We also noted that the Ecoboost engines rarely actually meet their fuel economy numbers during out tests.

  • Ride can be a little harsh for its class
  • Real-world fuel economy doesn’t always match EPA estimates
  • "Sport: shift mode doesn’t do much

Interior Pros

Ford Escape

If there is one area the Escape crushes it, it’s the tech options that are available. We also noted that our editors had no trouble fitting in the rear seats, thanks to the high roofline.

  • Tons and tons of available tech options
  • Decent headroom in the rear seats for adults
  • Tall and square cargo area makes good space for luggage

Interior Cons

While headroom is great, the Escape falls a bit short in legroom. The swoopy dash tends to interfere with knee room.

  • Rear legroom is a little tighter than some competitors
  • The swoopy dash is nice, but it cramps the knees a bit
  • Seats can be a bit too firm for some passengers

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Small crossovers are always a little nimbler than their larger counterparts, but the Escape takes this to a new level. Its suspension makes it feel almost like a lifted hatchback, delivering precision and response in the corners.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

When looking at the EPA numbers, the Ford Escape looks great at up to 30 mpg highway. Sadly, these Ecoboost engines have a tough time actually hitting the numbers the EPA bestows upon them.

The Bottom Line

In the sea of gray that is the compact crossover market, the Escape is a pleasant change of pace. Its powerful 2-liter engine is a refreshing dose of performance that this segment lacks and its precise handling caters to younger buyers. As long as you can look past the lower-than-expected fuel-economy numbers and the intruding dashboard, the Escape is a great option for growing families.