Through four generations, the Ford Escape has been a fixture in Canada’s compact crossover SUV segment. An all-new fourth-generation model arrived in 2020 with the Escape’s first hybrid powertrains since 2007.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
For 2021, Ford has expanded the availability of the Escape’s gas-electric hybrid drivetrain: it’s now available in all but the base trim level where last year it was limited to the top-end Titanium version. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant is now on offer, too; it was originally meant to go on sale last year but production delays meant it only reached showrooms as a 2021 model.
Ford offers the Escape in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels. S, SE and SEL are standard with a 1.5L three-cylinder turbo, which comes with front- or all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Optional in SE and SEL and standard in Titanium is the conventional hybrid powertrain, which matches electric power with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable transmission, and front- or all-wheel drive. These three can further be optioned with a PHEV system that uses the same drivetrain, but with a small boost in power output and some all-electric driving range.
Finally, SEL and Titanium also offer a conventional 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine that’s standard with AWD and an eight-speed automatic.
S trim comes dressed in 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers and black door handles. Inside, there’s air conditioning, a 4.2-inch digital driver info display, power windows, auto on/off headlights, and a six-speaker stereo.
Escape’s standard safety package comprises forward collision alert with automatic braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams.
SE adds 17-inch alloys, passive keyless entry, Sync 3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, heated front seats, and body-colour door handles. SE Hybrid adds dual-zone A/C, and a 6.5-inch driver info screen. SE PHEV gets 18-inch wheels.
SEL gets 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic A/C, an extra two cupholders (for eight total), a heated steering wheel, remote engine start, a 10-way power driver’s seat, ActiveX upholstery, heated side mirrors, LED signature lighting, a power tailgate, backup sensors, and fog lights. SEL Hybrid gains a 6.5-inch driver info display.
Titanium trim’s additions are adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, 19-inch wheels, a digital gauge cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient cabin lighting, active park assist, a universal garage door remote, a 10-speaker B&O sound system, navigation, power front passenger seat adjustments, chrome exterior trim, black roof rails, hands-free tailgate operation, LED headlights and fog lights, and rain-sensing wipers. Titanium PHEV downgrades to 18-inch wheels.
SE options include a cold weather package that heats the steering wheel and adds dual-zone A/C, heated side mirrors and remote engine start. An SE convenience package brings a power driver’s seat, dual-zone A/C, and a power tailgate.
An SEL tech package brings a 10-speaker stereo, hands-free tailgate, digital gauges, and wireless smartphone charging.
Titanium offers an elite package with nickel-painted wheels, skid plates, head-up display, chrome grille, panoramic sunroof, perforated leather seating, and wireless smartphone charging.
The panoramic sunroof is also a stand-alone option in most Escape trim levels.
A Co-Pilot360 Assist+ package adds adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, evasive steering assist, navigation, and SiriusXM Traffic/Travel Link.
Ford’s fuel consumption estimates for the Escape are 8.5/6.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 1.5L engine and FWD, and 9.0/7.6 with AWD. With the 2.0L/AWD combo, ratings are 10.4/7.5 L/100 km.
Hybrid ratings are 5.4/6.3 L/100 km (city/highway) with FWD, and 5.5/6.4 L/100 km with AWD.
As of this writing, Ford had not published estimates for the Escape’s PHEV powertrain.
The Ford Escape’s main competitors are the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson. This little crossover also competes with the Nissan Rogue, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, the Jeep Compass and Cherokee, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
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