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2016 Ford Escape Review

The 2016 Ford Escape ranks near the top of the compact SUV class because of its spacious cabin, carlike handling, and peppy available turbocharged engines. However, its safety ratings are below the class average.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious back seat
  • Sporty handling
  • Potent available turbocharged engines
  • Below-average safety scores for the class
  • Frustrating standard audio system

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Ford Escape's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Ford Escape has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 39 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Ford Escape Overview

Is the 2016 Ford Escape a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2-row Escape is a good used SUV. It’s both fun to drive and practical, and there's plenty of room in the rear for adults to stretch out. Its standard audio system has hard-to-reach controls, but the available SYNC 3 infotainment system is well-regarded.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 39 Ford Escape reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2016 Escape.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Ford Escape?

You can expect to pay between $14,500 and $24,000 for a used 2016 Ford Escape, based on more than 3,200 listings for this vehicle on our site. The average list price is $18,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Ford Escape Cost to Own?

The true cost of owning a vehicle is more than its list price. Estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Escape are about $21,300. That’s less than the expenses of most 2016 affordable midsize SUVs. Five-year costs for the 2016 Equinox, for example, are about $24,900, while the 2016 Tucson's are around $22,000. The 2016 CR-V's, however, are estimated at about $20,800.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Model?

With a base price of $23,940, a new 2018 Ford Escape is around $2,300 more than the average price of a used 2016 Escape. Both come with the same base engine, but the 2018 Escape’s turbocharged engines are more powerful than those available in the 2016 model. The 2018 Escape also benefits from a 2017 interior and exterior refresh. Just to sweeten the deal, the new model is also available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as active safety features like adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Additionally, as with all new cars, the 2018 model gives you the benefit of a new-car warranty.

The 2018 Escape is worth a look, but the 2016 model will likely save you money.

Read about the new Ford Escape »

If you prefer a new SUV and the 2018 Escape isn’t in your budget, there a couple 2018 subcompact SUVs worth considering, though they're smaller vehicles, of course. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 starts at $20,110 and offers great handling, while the 2018 Jeep Renegade starts at $18,445 and features mild off-road abilities in its base trim. Just be aware that the entry-level 2018 models will likely have fewer features than a similarly priced 2016 Escape.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Ford Escape?

The 2016 Ford Escape has an above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five. However, the Escape scores lower than other top-ranked 2016 compact SUVs, like the Chevy Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, and GMC Terrain.

Read more about Escape reliability »

2016 Ford Escape Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall on the 2016 Ford Escape. The driver’s side knee air bag may not always inflate. Make sure the dealer takes care of this issue before buying a used Escape.

See more information on Ford Escape safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Ford Escape Is Best?

The 2016 Escape is part of a generation that launched for 2013. The 2016 Escape is a solid model to consider, and it will probably cost you less than a 2017 model, which received an interior and exterior refresh. Technology fans, however, will like the 2017’s available active-safety features, as well as available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has an available 1.5-liter turbo engine. The 2013 through 2015 models are similar but earn lower overall scores than the more recent models.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Escape »

Which Used Ford Escape Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Ford Escape is available in three trim levels: S, SE, and Titanium. The Titanium costs more, but it’s the best choice among the three. It has several comfort-focused features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, and two USB ports. The Titanium also shares the SE’s fuel-efficient turbocharged engine that gets 31 mpg on the highway.

See 2016 Ford Escape trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Escape?

The 2016 Ford Escape’s safety ratings are below average for the compact SUV segment. Competitors like the 2016 Honda CR-V and 2016 Hyundai Tucson score much higher. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Escape four out of five stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Escape the highest rating of Good in all but the small overlap front driver-side and passenger-side tests, where it earned the lowest possible rating of Poor. The IIHS also gave the Escape's headlights a Poor rating for forward visibility.

The 2016 Escape comes standard with a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include parallel park assist, front and rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert.

See Escape safety scores »

2016 Ford Escape Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Ford Escape or 2016 Honda CR-V?                     

The 2016 Honda CR-V may be less fun to drive than the Escape, but it's an excellent SUV. The CR-V has superior fuel economy (26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway), almost perfect safety scores, and slightly more cargo and rear-seat space. Additionally, the CR-V won our 2016 Best Compact SUV for Families award. These two are neck and neck in our rankings, so let personal preference guide your purchase decision.

Which Is Better: 2016 Ford Escape or 2016 Hyundai Tucson?

The Ford Escape does a few things better than the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. The Escape handles better, and its available turbocharged engine provides faster acceleration. You’ll also get more legroom and cargo space in the Escape. The Tucson, however, has a better reliability rating and a near-perfect safety score. When new, the Tucson was our 2016 Best Compact SUV for the Money. For practical reasons, the Tucson is the better choice.

Compare the Escape, CR-V, and Tucson »

2016 Escape Performance

How Does the 2016 Ford Escape Drive?

The Ford Escape offers athletic handling, and though the Escape's ride is on the firm side, it's comfortable overall. Models equipped with 19-inch wheels might ride too harsh for some, though. The Escape has standard front-wheel drive; four-wheel drive is available.

The base model Escape has a 168-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Two EcoBoost turbocharged engines are available: one with 178 horsepower and the other with 240. All three engines pair with a responsive, smooth six-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine has adequate power for daily commuting, but acceleration is much better with the turbocharged engines. All are quiet and refined.

Does the 2016 Ford Escape Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy estimates for the 2016 Escape range from 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for the 240-horsepower EcoBoost all-wheel-drive model to 23/31 mpg city/highway for the 178-horsepower EcoBoost model with front-wheel drive. The Escape's fuel economy is on par with that of most rivals in the compact SUV segment.

2016 Ford Escape Towing Capacity

The Escape’s towing capacity ranges from 1,500 to 3,500 pounds, depending on the powertrain.

Read more about Escape performance »

2016 Escape Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Escape Seat?

The 2016 Escape seats five and is available with power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The Escape's front seats are relatively pleasant, though narrow, and drivers should have no trouble finding a comfortable position. The reclining rear seats provide good room for adults.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Ford Escape?

The Escape has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the second-row outboard seats. There's an additional upper tether on the second-row middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Escape’s LATCH system a Marginal rating, the second lowest, for ease of use.

2016 Ford Escape Features

The 2016 Ford Escape comes standard with Ford's voice-activated SYNC system, which includes Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker stereo system, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system. In the base model, the Escape's climate and audio controls can be difficult to reach and hard to tell apart. The SYNC 3 system has straightforward menus and is responsive to voice controls.

See 2016 Ford Escape specs »

Read more about Escape interior »

2016 Ford Escape Dimensions

Ford Escape Cargo Space

The 2016 Escape has 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 67.8 with them folded. Overall cargo room is great for the class. The Escape's low cargo floor makes it easy to load items. An available hands-free power liftgate opens the hatch when you kick your foot under the rear bumper.

2016 Escape Length and Weight

The 2016 Ford Escape is almost 15 feet in length, with a curb weight ranging from 3,502 to 3,732 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Ford Escape Built?

Ford built the 2016 Ford Escape in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Escape Shoppers Should Also Consider...

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Mazda CX-5 2016 2016 Mazda CX-5

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