John Diether
Automotive Editor - December 15, 2017

Expert Rating

3.35 (Good)
22 City / 29 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2018 Ford Escape OVERVIEW

The popular Escape returns for another year to mix it up with the top contenders in its class. With its blend of style, technology, and economy, the compact crossover has never had a problem attracting buyers. The 2018 Ford Escape comes off as a natural fit for many American lifestyles.

What's New for 2018

The SEL model joins the lineup, featuring leather seats, a power liftgate, and other upgrades. The mid-level SE and top-trim Titanium receive adjustments to equipment and option groups. The available 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is now reserved for Titanium models only.

Choosing Your Ford Escape

The front-drive Escape starts out with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Most models run with Ford's 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, which yields 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. There's also the 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque for class-leading performance. Every Escape comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is available with the EcoBoost engines.

According to EPA estimates, the 2.5-liter delivers 24 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The 1.5-liter is rated at 26 mpg combined, or 24 mpg with all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter comes in at 24 mpg combined, or 23 mpg when paired with all-wheel drive.

The Escape can carry up to five passenger, along with 34 cubic feet of cargo. With the rear seat folded, cargo space expands to 68 cubic feet.

Engine availability and major options vary by trim level:


Priced from $24,845 (including $995 destination), the Escape S comes with the 2.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive. Along with all the expected features in this class, the S gets an electronic parking brake, an adjustable load floor, an infotainment system with Ford's Sync voice-command system, and a rearview camera. The exterior carries black trim and 17-inch steel wheels. Options are limited to remote start ($450), a cargo cover ($135), and various floor protection items.


For $26,600, the SE furnishes the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine and extras like a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, automatic headlights, and chrome exterior trim. All-wheel drive becomes available at this trim level for $1,350. The Safe and Smart Package ($1,295) tacks on numerous safety aids: blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, automatic wipers with de-icers, and automatic high beams. The SE Sport Appearance Package, also $1,295, adds heated front seats with driver memory, partial leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 19-inch black wheels, LED lighting, and gloss black trim. An upgraded infotainment interface, known as Sync 3 ($850), includes a touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Navigation can be added to the system for $795. A panoramic sunroof tops things off for $995.


The SEL ($29,000) builds on the SE and also comes with a full leather interior, a power liftgate, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, and Sync 3. The Safe and Smart Package, navigation, and panoramic sunroof continue as options. The SEL can get bright-finish 18-inch wheels for $595.


The $34,040 Titanium gets the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, plus standard remote start, navigation, and 18-inch wheels. Exclusive features include a hands-free power liftgate, keyless ignition, a power passenger seat, ambient interior lighting, front parking sensors, and a 10-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio. The Safe and Smart Package and sunroof are still optional. Nickel-finish 19-inch wheels can be added for $695.

The available Towing Package ($495) permits the SE and SEL to pull up to 2,000 pounds. So equipped, the Titanium is rated to tow $3,500 pounds.

CarsDirect Tip

We recommend skipping the S and starting your build with at least the SE, if only to get the EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive if you want it. Our first priority with options would be the Safe and Smart Package, which supplies all the safety technology you need for a reasonable $1,295.

Get your price on a Ford Escape »

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