$19,116 - $27,186

2019 Ford Escape Performance Review


Performance: 8.2

With energetic engine options, agile handling, and a comfortable ride over smooth roads, the 2019 Ford Escape is one of the best-performing compact SUVs. The Escape's ride can get a little bumpy over broken pavement, however, and gas mileage is below average for the class.

  • "With snappy engine response and strong braking and handling, the Escape feels more like a sport sedan than a touring crossover." -- Edmunds
  • "Solid, sophisticated, and athletic, the fun-to-drive Ford Escape delivers agile handling and a taut, yet supple ride." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "The base 2.5-liter engine is competent enough, but it's the EcoBoost engines that really bring the zip." -- Autotrader (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Escape's standard 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is potent enough for your daily travels, but there are more-powerful and fuel-efficient engines available for the Escape. The 179-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine packs a stronger punch, and it's the most fuel-efficient in the lineup. The 245-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the most powerful of the bunch, but you need to step all the way up to the Titanium trim to get it. A six-speed automatic transmission comes with each engine. It generally shifts smoothly, but some reviewers claim that it takes a while to downshift.

The standard 2.5-liter base engine delivers an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is slightly below average for the class. The midrange 1.5-liter engine gets an improved 23/30 mpg city/highway, and the 2.0-liter engine gets 22/29 mpg city/highway.

  • "The accelerator pedal response is smooth, but the transmission tuning isn't great and shifts are slow. Whether using the shift paddles in Drive or Sport mode, downshifts don't happen as quickly as we'd like them to. This can be an issue when merging with traffic." -- Edmunds
  • "The Escape's trio of powerplants spans from the adequate 2.5-liter 4-cylinder in base models to the 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that makes the Escape capable of very quick escapes. If you go with that most powerful engine, we recommend all-wheel drive, which helps put the power down better. Most buyers will be more than happy with the 1.5-liter turbo that splits the power difference between the base and range-topping engine." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The 1.5-liter engine is more than satisfying in both power delivery and fuel consumption, while the Titanium's 2.0-liter turbo provides acceleration similar to that of some luxury crossovers. Drivers accustomed to V6 power will find this engine hard to resist." -- Autotrader (2018)

Handling and Braking

With a taut suspension and tight, responsive handling around curves, it's no wonder the Escape earns praise for its performance. You may notice some jerky movement over uneven pavement, however. Front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available in all but the base trim.

  • "The firm suspension tuning gives the Escape a bumpy ride on most road surfaces. Not teeth-rattling but noticeable. It's not our first choice for metro highway commuting. Other crossover SUVs do a better job of soaking road bumps while maintaining agility." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2018 Escape is among the nimbler, fun-to-drive compact SUVs, splitting the difference between the athletic Mazda CX-5 and the more comfort-oriented Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The sporty character shines within the first few miles, with handling agility that's reminiscent of a well-honed European car. The ride is firm, yet composed." -- Consumer Report (2018)

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