The 2018 Ford Escape recently received a significant refresh and the crossover takes top honors for being one of the most well-packaged vehicles to drive in its segment.
The Escape has been a hot seller for Ford for more than a decade now. The third-generation model has been on sale for five years in North America and just recently got a makeover that helped it be more competitive in a very saturated marketplace.
Make sure you check out our full review, but here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of this very popular compact crossover.
2018 Ford Escape Pros and Cons
Zippy Acceleration: The top-tier 2.0-liter EcoBoost with a robust 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque is a great engine that feels a lot more alive than others in the segment. A zero-to-60-mph run of 7.1 seconds puts it at almost the top of the compact crossover class. “It leaps away from lights and easily steps out for passing moves at highway speeds without a worry,” Jonathan Yarkony of AutoGuide.com says in his review. The standard stop/start system is also so smooth that you barely notice it’s working.
Multiple Engine Options: A trio of engines are available to suit varying customer needs. A base naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes an adequate 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The peppier mid-level turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine makes 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the top level engine is a 2.0L turbo making 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. All engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, while others in the segment are saddled with CVTs.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Ford Escape
Attractive Driver Assistance and Technology Features: Offered in higher trim levels are several innovative driver assistance technologies with the most noteworthy being an advanced active park assist feature. It reduces driving anxiety by assisting with parallel and perpendicular parking. It takes care of all steering wheel inputs, so all a driver has to do using this system is change gears and moderate the brakes or throttle. The system can also help you exit a parking spot. No other car in its segment offers this parking assist feature. Adaptive cruise control, collision warning, adaptive headlights, and automatic emergency braking are also all available.
Older Styling: The Escape has been around for quite a few years now and although it recently got a little nip and tuck for its fifth model year, it has a style that is now begging for a redesign. While competitors such as the Mazda CX-5 are now going for more of a premium and less blocky look, the Escape’s conservative and straightforward design elements are slowly beginning to stick out like a sore thumb.
Messy Infotainment Interface: The newly introduced Sync 3 infotainment system improves usability by making the system more responsive, less glitchy, and easier to navigate, but it still lags behind FCA’s excellent UConnect and even Chevrolet’s very user-friendly setup. Luckily, the availability of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay soften the blow a bit.
Rear Seat Legroom a Little Lacking: Although rear seat legroom measures at an acceptable 36.8 inches, a significant number of its competitors such as the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue offer one to two more inches. The Honda CR-V completely dominates in this category by offering a limo-like 40 inches of rear seat legroom.
Cargo capacity also lags behind the Honda CR-V with 34 cubic feet in the trunk and 68 with the seats folded flat compared to the CR-V’s 39.2 and 75.8 cu-ft ratings.
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