2014 Ford Escape

Starting MSRP: $23,100

Estimated MPG: 22 city / 31 hwy

2014 Ford Escape Review

The 2014 Ford Escape remains one of Ford’s best products and a top choice in the compact crossover SUV segment.

By Tim Esterdahl
Last Updated 05/03/2016

With many great features and responsive driving, the recently redesigned Ford Escape remains a top choice in a segment full of great options.

For 2014, the Ford Escape comes in three trim levels: S, SE and Titanium.

Exterior

Exterior
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The 2014 Ford Escape is just one year into its new redesign and those changes really helped it stand out in the segment last year. This year, Ford decided to make the rearview camera and Sync system standard on all trim levels. Also, the Titanium trim no longer has the 2.0L turbocharged engine as standard. Lastly, the SEL trim level has been discontinued.

Interior

Interior
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On the inside, its upgraded materials and roominess come as a bit of surprise. Also, Ford’s sync system, gauge clusters and center column controls are all well placed and easy to reach. Even though, MyFordTouch has its share of critics, this doesn’t diminish the appeal of the other features.

Officially, the Ford Escape is known as a compact crossover SUV. This means it has the size associated with SUVs while retaining the car-like ride and engines found in compact cars.

Performance

Performance
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For the 2014 Ford Escape, there are two main engine choices, one of which is an EcoBoost turbocharged engine. Ford really likes this engine and, as such, offers it throughout the trim levels. As an example of this, the non-turbo 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 168 HP and 167 lb-ft of torque is standard and only available in the S. This is the base package and the majority of used Ford Escapes will have higher trim levels.

The 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder makes 178 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. It is the standard engine in the SE and Titanium.

There is also a larger 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine optional in the SE and Titanium. This engine puts out 240 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Mated to this engine is a standard six-speed automatic transmission and all but the S are available in front or all-wheel drive.

It can also tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

EPA fuel economy estimates have the 2.5L non-turbo as 22/31/25 city/highway/combined. The 1.6L EcoBoost is rated at 23/33/26 while the 2.0L front-wheel drive is rated at 22/30/25. All-wheel-drive versions are 1-2 MPG less.

Technology

Technology
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Whether you are a fan or a critic of the MyFordTouch system, the fact is the system is a bit polarizing. Ford has done quite a bit of work improving this system and it keeps getting better. Besides the MyFordTouch, the Ford Escape comes with an assortment of technology offerings like iPod/USB interfaces, auxillary hook ups, six-speaker system, CD, Satellite radio and navigation.

The hands-free power liftgate is a great feature since all you need to do is swipe your foot under the tailgate and it will open (as long  as you have a key nearby).

Next, is the automated parallel-parking system. Being frank, a large majority of Americans can’t parallel park well. This system takes the stress out of parking and, while it takes time to develop trust with it, it is incredibly handy.

Last, but not least is MyKey. This is a system where parents can set different things like radio volume and top speed for teen drivers. For many parents, there is a large fear factor when turning over the keys and this system helps mitigate this concern.

Safety

Safety
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Like other SUVs, the Ford Escape comes with a full selection of standard safety features like Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag and full-length curtain-type airbags.

Plus, the rearview camera, blind-spot mirrors and MyKey are all standard. Rear parking sensors are optional on the S and SE (standard on Titanium). The blind-spot warning system with cross-traffic alert is optional on the Titanium.

During government crash testing, the Escape earned an overall four stars (out of five) with four stars for total frontal-impact crash protection and five stars for total side-impact protection.

It received a top score of “Good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway in its frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The crossover SUV’s price is a bit higher than its competitors, but it should be a good bargain long term for new and used Escape buyers. Maintenance and total cost of ownership should be consistent with other crossover SUVs.

The fuel economy offered by the small EcoBoost engine should be more cost-effective in terms of fuel economy than its rivals. Opting for the non-turbo or larger turbo will diminish this advantage.

Overall

Overall
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While the Ford Escape has famously been recalled quite often already, we think Ford has been overly cautious at times and most of these recalls shouldn’t worry new and used buyers. With many strong competitors in the segment like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Ford Escape should not be forgotten. It is a strong offering from Ford and should be factored into any buying decision.

Consumer Rating

3 Star Rating

"First Ford I have purchased in many years. Drives and rides nice. Electronics "SYNC Microsoft" not user friendly. Had to take it to the dealer for a "hard reset" just so I could set the time and date. Would not buy another one with the SYNC system." -- AKA Ford Escape