2015 Ford Escape

#6 in 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs Overall Score: 8.8 / 10
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2015 Ford Escape Overview

The 2015 Ford Escape ranks 13 out of 18 Compact SUVs.

The 2015 Ford Escape’s performance balances sporty handling and ride comfort, which few compact SUVs accomplish. However, when the Escape was new, a number of rivals offered better fuel economy estimates and cabin controls. While the 2015 Escape earned a good safety score, its predicted reliability falls short against a number of competitors.

SEATING


5

MPG


21-23

  CITY


28-32

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


4WD, FWD

HP


168-231
See full 2015 Ford Escape specs ยป

Pros & Cons

 

  • Zippy turbocharged engines
  • Sharp handling
  • Comfortable ride
  • Attractive interior styling

 

 

  • Slow infotainment system
  • Low fuel economy estimates

 

Ford Escape Rankings and Research

The 2015 Ford Escape ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Ford Escape has a score of 8.8 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 36 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.6
Cost to Own: 9.2
Safety: 8.5
Reliability: 3_0

Rankings

2015 Ford Escape Pictures

2015 Ford Escape Review

By Colin Aylesworth January 9, 2017

The 2015 Ford Escape’s performance balances sporty handling and ride comfort, which few compact SUVs accomplish. However, when the Escape was new, a number of rivals offered better fuel economy estimates and cabin controls. While the 2015 Escape earned a good safety score, its predicted reliability falls short against a number of competitors.

Handling is where the 2015 Escape shines, based on the data that drives our rankings. While many used SUVs in the class force you to choose between ride comfort and nimble handling, the Escape offers both. Typical of a compact SUV, the Escape’s base engine delivers just enough power for most tasks. When shopping for used Escapes, look for a model that has one of two upgraded turbocharged engines, as they offer quicker acceleration. It’s worth noting that the 2015 Kia Sportage, however, gets zippy acceleration with its base engine. When the Escape debuted, most of its competition – including the Nissan Rogue – earned better fuel estimates.

The 2015 Ford Escape’s interior was made with high-quality materials and has pleasant styling. Its front seats are roomy and supportive, and there’s plenty of head- and legroom in the back seats. Though some compact SUVs offer a bit more cargo space, the Escape has a good amount, and a nifty hands-free liftgate is available in some used models. The MyFord Touch infotainment system can be slow to operate. You’ll find simpler infotainment systems and dashboard controls in competitors like the Kia Sportage.

The 2015 Escape is mostly unchanged since its redesign in 2013. The 2015 model is a part of the compact SUV’s third generation, which began in 2012. You may save money by considering used 2013 or 2014 models, which both share many features with the 2015 Escape. 

2015 Escape Performance

The Ford Escape base engine has adequate power for daily commuting, though its two available turbocharged engines deliver more satisfying acceleration. The Escape offers both sporty handling and ride comfort, but its fuel economy estimates are pretty low for the class.

Power and Fuel Economy

The 2015 Escape’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 168 horsepower. It delivers adequate acceleration, which is typical for a compact SUV. An available turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offers a bit more strength at 178 horsepower, and an available turbocharged 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers even more punch. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

With the base engine, the Escape returns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. That’s a bit lower than most rivals’ fuel estimates, including those of theNissan Rogue and the Mazda CX-5.

For an SUV with a stronger base engine, check out the Kia Sportage. Its 182-horspower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine offers plenty of power for most driving situations.

Handling

When the 2015 Ford Escape was new, auto writers said its precise steering and athletic handling made it one of the more enjoyable performers in the class. With its comfortable ride quality overall, the Escape offers well-balanced driving dynamics.

The Nissan Rogue also offers a comfortable ride, though its driving dynamics aren’t quite as sporty as the Escape’s. The Kia Sportage, on the other hand, has sharp handling but a harsh ride.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the Escape, and all-wheel drive is available in some models.

2015 Escape Interior

Inside, the 2015 Ford Escape’s materials are first rate, and critics found the styling inviting. The Escape’s front seats are spacious and supportive, and its reclining rear seats offer good headroom and legroom. Cargo space is good for the class, and the hands-free liftgate in some models is a standout feature. The available MyFord Touch infotainment system works decently for many tasks, but it can be slow to respond to touch inputs. Some climate controls can be difficult to reach.

Features and Infotainment

On one hand, reviewers found phone pairing, the navigation system, and audio settings in the MyFord Touch system worked relatively well compared with 2015 rivals’ systems. The system also earned points for its sharp display screen when the Escape was new. On the other hand, MyFord Touch can be delayed in responding to touch inputs, and some competitors’ systems are generally faster and easier to operate. Additionally, some critics found the Ford Escape’s climate controls to be too low-mounted on the dashboard.

Consider the Kia Sportage for a better-performing infotainment system and simpler dashboard controls. If you would prefer limited interaction with a touch screen, the Nissan Rogue’s infotainment system offers physical buttons and knobs for many features.

The 2015 Escape comes standard with a rearview camera, a USB port, and Ford's voice-activated SYNC system, which includes Bluetooth. Some models include a panoramic sunroof, parallel park assist, automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Sony stereo system, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring.

Seating

The Escape seats five on cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat can be found in upper trims. The Escape’s front seats are supportive, and the driver can easily get into a comfortable position. However, some may find the seats too narrow. The Escape’s rear seats offer plenty of head- and legroom.

The Nissan Rogue offers a bit more seating comfort with its supportive front seats and sliding and reclining rear row. The Kia Sportage’s rear seats also recline.

The Escape has a complete set of LATCH anchors and tethers in the rear outboard seats. Its middle seat has an upper tether with the ability to borrow lower anchors from the two outboard seats. The IIHS gave the Escape a Marginal rating for its LATCH system when the SUV was new, noting some anchors were buried too deep in the seats and could be confused with other hardware.

Cargo

The Ford Escape has 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 67.8 cubic feet with the seats folded. That’s a good cargo capacity for the class, but rivals like the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue offer a couple cubic feet more.

One advantage the Escape has over rivals, however, is its available hands-free power liftgate, which opens when you hold your foot under the rear bumper.

2015 Escape Features and Trims

The five-seat 2015 Ford Escape comes standard with front-wheel drive. It is available in three trims: S, SE, and Titanium.

S: The base S model comes standard with a rearview camera and Ford's voice-activated SYNC system, which includes Bluetooth, an auxiliary input, and a USB port. Powering this model is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

SE: The SE trim has all the features in the base model, plus satellite radio and a power driver’s seat. Some models have a 1.6-liter engine that generates 178 horsepower, while others have a 2.0-liter engine that produces 240 horsepower. Select used SEs may come with a power moonroof.

Titanium: The Titanium trim comes with all the above features, plus leather upholstery, automatic temperature control, a hands-free power liftgate, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker Sony stereo, and a MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. Some models may come with blind spot monitoring and parallel park assist.

2015 Escape Safety and Reliability

The 2015 Ford Escape earned a slightly lower safety score than others in the class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted five crash tests on the 2015 Escape. The compact SUV earned a top rating of Good in all but the small overlap front crash test, in which it received a Poor rating. On the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star crash test rating scale, the 2015 Escape earned four stars in the overall, frontal, and rollover crash tests, and five stars in the side crash test. Rivals like the Mazda CX-5 performed better in crash tests.

The Escape comes standard with a rearview camera. Features like blind spot monitoring, parallel park assist, and front and rear parking sensors can be found in top-trim models. That’s a decent amount of features for the class, but you can get a few more in the Mazda CX-5.

With a reliability score of three from J.D. Power and Associates, the Ford Escape is predicted to be about as dependable as most other cars. For a compact SUV with a better reliability rating, consider the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox or 2015 GMC Terrain, which boast the best scores in the class.

Ford covers the 2015 Escape with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The warranty is fully transferable.

Read more about safety »

Read more about reliability »

Other SUVs to Consider

If you like the Escape’s handling, the 2015 Kia Sportage is likely to please you – though its ride quality isn’t as comfortable as the Escape’s. The Sportage’s base engine delivers satisfying acceleration, which is rare for the class. It also performed slightly better than the Escape in crash tests when it was new, and its predicted reliability score is a bit better. Inside, the Sportage has an attractive cabin and simple-to-use dashboard and infotainment controls.

The 2015 Nissan Rogue’s cargo hold is a bit larger than the Escape’s, and you can adjust the space into 18 different configurations to hide your belongings. The Rogue’s zero-gravity front seats offer excellent comfort and support, and its sliding and reclining rear seats add flexibility. If you need more seating, the Rogue is one of few SUVs in the class that offers a third row. TheRogue’s infotainment system has physical buttons and knobs for many features, so you won’t have to give your attention to the touch screen to make adjustments. The Rogue also earned better fuel economy estimates than the Escape, and it performed better in crash tests when it debuted.

Compare the Escape, Sportage, and Rogue »

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