The Ford Escape has been on sale in the US since 2000, entering its current, third generation in 2012. The Escape's last major update came about for the 2017 model year, so not much is new for 2019. Ford's compact SUV is built alongside its upmarket cousin, the Lincoln MKC, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Powertrain and specs
The Escape is offered with a choice of three engines, beginning with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, which is a little low among standard engines in the class. Stepping up to the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque makes the Escape more competitive, while the top-tier 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque places the Escape near the top of its class for engine performance. All of the Escape's engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The most efficient Escape with the 1.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg highway, which is less than the Honda CR-V's 28/34 city/highway mpg and the class-leading, diesel powered Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain with 28/39 city/highway mpg.
When optioned with all-wheel drive and the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the Escape returns 21/27 city/highway mpg, which is better than the similarly powered and equipped Kia Sportage (20/23) and the all-wheel-drive, 2.0-liter, gas-powered GMC Terrain (21/26).
Interior and towing
There's plenty of room inside the Ford Escape for up to five occupants and all their gear. Behind the second row, there's 34 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the back seats and you'll get up to 68 cubic feet, which is near the top of the class. If you need to haul more, the Escape offers up to 3,500 pounds of towing.
With just a 4.2-inch center-stack display and a six-speaker stereo, the Escape offers little in the way of standard interior tech, but if you're willing to tick some option boxes, you can get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an 8-inch touchscreen as well as a 10-speaker Sony with HD and satellite radio.
The same goes for driver-assistance systems. None comes standard on the Escape, but adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, collision-mitigation braking, cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beams and autonomous parallel parking are available.
Options and pricing
Across the Escape's four trims, base prices are $24,105 for the S model and $32,620 for the top-tier Titanium plus $995 for destination. The base S comes with the 2.5-liter engine, 17-inch steel wheels with painted covers, power windows and cloth seat upholstery.
The $26,500 Escape SE features the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with automatic stop-start plus 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, skid plates, remote start and keyless access with push-button start. The SE's interior includes a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and Sync 3, which bundles the 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The $28,445 SEL trim adds LED headlight accents, heated outside mirrors, rear parking sensors and a power liftgate. Inside, there's a leather-wrapped steering wheel with leather seats as well.
Finally, the $32,620 Titanium trim features the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with automatic stop-start, 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights and a foot-activated power liftgate. The Titanium's cabin includes a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, the 10-speaker Sony stereo, embedded navigation and a power passenger seat while also including autonomous parallel parking.
The 2019 Ford Escape is on sale at dealerships nationwide now.