A Complete Review of the Ford Escape

June 25th, 2021 by

What you need to know about the 2017-2021 models

Are you in the market for a pre-owned Ford Escape? If you’re considering a compact SUV for your next purchase, we invite you to take a closer look at the Ford Escape, which was most recently redesigned in 2020.

Here’s a quick overview: The newer models feature a sleeker exterior with an impressive amount of leg room in the second row. This popular SUV is well-known for its reliability, ample cargo space and leg room, and maximum towing capabilities. The most recent models also include energy-efficient hybrid options that offer more miles per gallon.

But we know there’s a lot of information out there, and there’s an especially big difference between the 2019 and 2020 models. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the Ford Escape. Read on for a complete review of this popular vehicle, including a model comparison, overview of safety and performance features, pricing, how it compares to other SUVs, and more.

Black Ford Escape profile viewTable of Contents

Ford Escape Scorecard

Here is our ranking for the Ford Escape. We chose these ratings when compared other similar SUVs. The Escape is a very affordable option that offers style, high performance, and enhanced safety features. You will also find an updated exterior, strong powertrain options, easy-to-use second-row seats, and user-friendly controls.

    • Interior – 7/10
    • Performance – 8/10
    • Safety – 10/10 (5/5 crash test rating)
    • Reliability – 7/10
    • Fuel economy – 8/10
    • Value – 10/10
    • Overall rating – 8/10

The Pros & Cons of a Ford Escape

Let’s take a closer look at each model year. It’s important to note that the Ford Escape was redesigned in 2020, so there’s a distinct difference between the 2019 and 2020 models.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
* The Ford Escape was completely redesigned in 2020, and there were no major changes to the vehicle in 2021.

Ford Escape Interior Features

The interior features in a Ford Escape will depend on the model year. Keep in mind that the features listed below may also vary depending on the trim level, and Ford redesigned the vehicle in 2020. The 2020 and 2021 Ford Escapes also feature many of the same interior features as the earlier models.

Ford Escape 2021 Interior

Ford Escape Performance Features


When it comes to engines, the 2021 Ford Escape offers the most variety because of the addition of the hybrid models. Choose from:

  • 5L EcoBoost Engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology
  • 2L EcoBoost Engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology
  • Hybrid 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine
  • Plug-in 2.5L iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine

The 2020 Ford Escape features the same engine types, except for the plug-in.

Gas Mileage

The newer models have an average gas mileage of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway. The 2021 hybrid average 44 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway. (Hybrid cars get better mileage in the city.)

Riding & Handling

The Ford Escape offers sedan-like steering and handling and a comfortable, enjoyable ride. It’s suitable for moderate off-roading due to its ground clearance and all-wheel drive. It’s also appropriate for driving in inclement weather.

Towing Capacity

The Ford Escape can tow anywhere from 1,500-3,500 lbs. depending on the model year and trim.

2021 Ford Escape Towing a Boat

Ford Escape Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Ford Escapes a 5/5 safety rating. The 2021 model also received a safety rating of 9.7 from S. News & World Report.

The newer Ford Escape models (2020 and 2021) feature Ford Co-Pilot 360 Technology, which includes:

  • BlueCruise
  • BLISÒ (Blind Spot Information System)
  • Lane-keeping system
  • Pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking
  • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Rear view camera
  • Active Park Assist 2.0
  • Auto high beam headlights

The newest model is also a top safety pick for small/4-door SUVs from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The 2017-2019 models don’t feature the Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology but come with standard safety features such as antilock brakes, airbags, brake assist, and child safety locks.

When it comes to crash test ratings and overall safety, the Ford Escape has certainly improved. The 2017 Ford Escape received poor marks for crashworthiness on the passenger-side door and headlights from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2021 Ford Escape did not receive any poor marks. Click the links below for the complete reports.

Vehicle rating reports from the IIHS:

Ford Escape 2021 Cruise Control

How Does the Ford Escape Rank?

As you can see from the list below, the ranking for a Ford Escape varies widely depending on year. Here are some of the highlights:

Ford Escape Model Comparison

Let’s break down the Ford Escape by year and trim. Although there are certainly differences, all trims from each year feature seating for five passengers. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when reviewing the table below:

  • Ford Co-Pilot 360 Technology includes BlueCruise, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), lane-keeping system, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, evasive steering assist, rear view camera, Active Park Assist 2.0, auto high beam headlights, and more.
  • SYNC 3 features hands-free calling, 911 assistance, and Sirius XM
  • FordPass Connect allows you to connect to your Ford Escape from an app.
  • ActiveX is a high-end synthetic leather material.

2021 Ford Escape

The 2021 Ford Escape, which did not change from 2020 model (except for the addition of the hybrid models), is a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and was named one of the Best Compact SUVs for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. The 2021 model received a safety rating of 9.7 from U.S. News & World Report.

2020 Ford Escape

The 2020 Ford Escape was completely redesigned and was the winner of the 2020 Performance Compact SUV Award from J.D. Power.

Please note that the key features build on each trim level, which means the 2020 Escape Titanium comes standard with all the features listed in the SEL, SE, and S.

Ford Escape Inventory


2017, 2018, and 2019 Ford Escape Models

The pricing, specifications, and features for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ford Escapes are very similar, with the MSRP ranging from $23,750 to $23,940 depending on the year. For these SUVs, however, you are likely looking at a pre-owned model, which would be less depending on the year, mileage, and trim. All three models get 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and come equipped with brake assist, child safety locks, a hands-free communication system, and wireless cell phone hookup.

Is the Ford Escape a Good SUV?

The Ford Escape is a popular SUV that seems to have become more reliable and dependable over the years. It was first redesigned in 2013 and then again in 2020. The rankings vary, but generally the Ford Escape falls into the middle of the compact SUV group. It’s a very affordable SUV that provides a lot of value for your money and offers a spacious interior, stylish exterior, all-wheel drive, and excellent gas mileage. Ford is also a widely trusted brand.

Should I Buy a Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape has been a fan favorite for the last 20 years and continues to improve year after year. The Ford Escape was ranked #7 (out of 11) on the list of 11 Best Compact SUVs for the Money in 2021. It was noted that the while the average purchase price for the 2021 Ford Escape may be high, the vehicle is reliable and “returns great fuel economy ratings.”

Red 2021 Ford Escape driving on a country road with Mountains in the background

How Much Does a Ford Escape Cost?

It depends on the year, mileage, and overall condition of the vehicle, but a pre-owned Ford Escape will typically range between $16,500 and $25,00. The MSRP for a 2021 Ford Escape S Model starts at $24,885, with the highest-end model, the 2021 Escape Titanium Plug-In Hybrid, starting at $38,585.

Ford Escape Insurance

If you’ve insured any vehicle, you know the cost will depend on many factors, and the Ford Escape is no exception. Here are the main considerations that will affect the price:

  • Driver’s age, gender, and marital status
  • Car make, model, and year
  • Where the vehicle is parked
  • Annual mileage
  • Driving record
  • State requirements
  • Credit history
  • Vehicle’s safety features
  • Type of insurance coverage
  • Deductible amount
  • Discounts

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much it will cost to insure a Ford Escape, but here are some estimates to give you a good idea:

  • According to Money Geek, expect to spend about $1,157 per year on insurance for a Ford Escape, but remember — it’s only an estimate. The amount will change (sometimes by as much as hundreds of dollars) based on the insurance provider you choose and the model year of your vehicle.
  • Expert Insurance Reviews estimates that insurance for a Ford Escape is typically about $1,170 annually with the highest rates for teenagers ($4,276 annually) and high risk drivers ($2,492 annually).

Looking for even more information? SmartFinancial offers a complete breakdown of Ford Escape insurance by model year and age group.

Ford Escape vs. The Competition

The Ford Escape certainly has its fair share of competition. So, how does it stack up against other compact SUVs? One of the biggest advantages of the Ford Escape is the ample backseat space to stretch your legs; the 2021 model has 40.7 inches of second-row leg room, which is more than the Toyota RAV-4, Honda CR-V, Jeep Compass, and Chevy Equinox.

The Ford Escape also ranks well in terms of total affordability, fuel economy, stylish appearance, and features. It offers excellent gas mileage and a variety of price ranges to fit your budget.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Ford Escape falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to the top-ranked compact SUVS for 2021 (#10 out of 17). The top five SUVs on the list are the Hyundai Tucson (#1), Honda CR-V (#2), Mazda CX-5 (#2), Kia Sportage (#4), and the Subaru Forester (#4).

MotorTrend ranks the Ford Escape #6 out of 13 on its latest list of best compact SUVs, with the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and the Subaru Forester nabbing the top three spots, respectively.

2021 Ford Escape Second Row Leg Room and Trunk space

Find Your Next Ford Escape with Merchants Auto

If you’re considering a pre-owned Ford Escape (or any type of compact SUV), we can help! Merchants Auto is the largest pre-owned dealership in New Hampshire and the largest family-run pre-owned car dealership in New England.

The inventory on our 26-acre lot is always changing. We have hundreds of vehicles to choose from with more than 30 different makes — including hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, pickups, sports cars, fuel-efficient models, compact cars, and work vans.

We strive to save our customers time and money, and our ultimate goal is to provide an enjoyable and hassle-free car buying experience.

Ready to get started? View our Used Ford Escape Inventory Now!

Posted in Models