2019 Ford Escape Review with video

The Basics

-Base Price: $25,899 Cdn + taxes and fees

-As test price: $43,689 Cdn + taxes and fees

-Average fuel economy over one week of testing: 11.5L/100km (20 US MPG)

-Competitors: Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, etc

The 2019 is part of third generation of the Escape, and it falls on the smaller end of the SUV / Crossover lineup, right between the smaller Ecosport, and the larger Flex.  If you’re looking at the Escape you might also be considering the Chevy Equinox, Honda CRV or Mazda CX-5.  The Escape comes in 4 different trims, starting with the base model S, and working it’s way up to the Titanium, which we’re driving here. Price wise, there’s a pretty big variance, with the base model starting at just $25,899 and the titanium, at the other end of the spectrum starting at $37,199 Canadian and this model we’re in, as equipped, is going to run you $43,689 Canadian. So what do you get for all that extra money? Well There’s a few different engine options, starting with a 2.5L inline 4 cylinder, it makes 168 horsepower and 170 foot pounds of torque, a 1.5L Ecoboost good for 179 horsepower and 177 foot pounds, and the top of the line 2.0L Twin Scroll Ecoboost, which we have here, and it gives you a big jump up to 245 foot pounds, and 275 pound feet. This engine is also the thirstiest of the 3, with Ford saying to expect 10.2L/100Km which works out to 23 US MPG, but we’ve been getting about 11.5/100km, which works out to just over 20 US Mpg. The two smaller engines average just slightly better.

If you’re looking to tow anything big, you’re likely not thinking of a smaller SUV like this, but it’s nice to know that you can. The twin scroll Ecoboost lets you pull up to 1587 Kilograms, or 3500 Pounds, where as the smaller Ecoboost engine will pull 907 Kilos, or 2000 pounds. For the uninitiated, Ford’s Ecoboost line of engines are designed to be as powerful as bigger engines, but provide better gas mileage through smaller displacement and the addition of turbochargers.  The Twin Scroll option that we have in this model is pretty neat too, the way it works is by having two exhaust and gas inlets of different sizes to maximize efficiency of the exhaust pulsations and eliminate turbo lag.  From a drivers perspective, the pickup is noticeable, and this the engine I’d want if I were to buy a new Escape.  Our 2011 has that 2.5L, and my main knock against it is it’s lack of power.  All models come with a 6 speed automatic, and you can opt for front wheel, or Fords intelligent four wheel drive system, which basically adjust power and torque to the wheels as they slip and grip on different surfaces.  Again, if I were to buy a new model, this is an option I’d want.

Other options available that I would include were I to buy one include this panoramic moon roof, heated seats and steering wheel, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which I’ll talk about more in a sec, remote start, and park assist, which I will say works excellent. It was bang on every time I tried it and never missed a beat. It’s another one of these features that I sometimes worry will replace our need to know how to parallel park on our own, but if you or someone who’s driving your car is uncertain if they’ll be able to fit in a certain spot, it’s awesome to just let the car tell you it can fit, and then do it like a pro.

Inside the escape things are well done and comfortable.  The fit and finish are excellent, and the consoles are well laid out.  I like how the climate controls are clear and easy to use.  As you know, I’m a big fan of all this operation coming from tactile buttons.  I’m less of a fan though, of the infotainment controls layout.  The screen here is touch, which is fine, but it’s set back a little bit, and I found a little tough to reach, and in them setting it back like this, there’s this sort of ledge here, and where they’ve placed all the controls for the system.  It strikes me as another one of these ideas that an automaker does in an effort to stand out, but is just less effective than old standard.  I acknowledge that some people may like this layout, but I’d prefer to have screen set further forward and buttons that are facing the rear of the car, instead of the roof.  That said, the buttons themselves are straight forward and well thought out.  Once you get used to where they are, using them to navigate the system works well, as do the steering wheel controls.

Otherwise the infotainment system is decent, the screen is nice and easy to read, and I do love how there’s a nice easy button to just switch off the display, as opposed to having to go in through a bunch of touch screen menus.  When we put Sloan, my two year old daughter, in the backseat at night time it’s great to be able to just hit that button and not have this giant bright light distracting her. This is Ford’s Sync 3, which is their highest level of infotainment, and it’s pretty great. My brother’s been raving about it for years to me, he loves how using the car’s voice activation button lets you talk right to Siri or your Google assistant, depending on whether or not you use Apple Carplay or Android Auto, both of which are supported. Sync 3 also supports the WAZE app, which is a really good community driven GPS app. If you’ve never explored it, I recommend it. The traffic updates that it gives you are sourced from real people in those situations in real time, so it’s incredibly accurate and it works really well. The Esacep also has the Fordpass connect system, which includes a wifi hotspot and lets you do things like lock or unlock your car, or start the engine from your smart phone. If you’re like me and sometimes find yourself wondering if you locked the car or not after you’re comfortably seated in the movie theater or restaurant, this feature is great.

The seats are nice and comfrotable, both driver and passenger get 10 way power adjustable here in the Titanium trim, and I found the seating position to be quite truck like, like you pretty upright and your legs feel below you as opposed to stretched out in front of you.  I like this in an SUV, especially a 4 wheel drive one, it makes you feel like it’s more on the truck side than the car side of the spectrum.  The leather and stitching look nice and high class, and carries throughout the interior.  In the back seats, while there might not be a huge amount of room, a cool feature that I LOVE is that the rear seats recline.  Might not be a huge thing for young kids, but teenagers or other adults back there would definitely appreciate this on longer trips.  Giving your kids the ability to sleep while you’re driving is invaluable.  Big plus here.  

In our rear facing car seat test we measured 31 inches from the back of the front passenger seat to the glove box, which is respectable for a car of this size, and in our standardized trunk test the Escape had no issues as well, easily holding a stroller, camera bag, diaper bag, football, two bags of groceries, and some other odds and ends for good measure.  The Escape offers 964 litres of space with the rear seats folded up, which is less than the Honda CRV, but more than the Mazda CX-5 and Chevy equinox. If you opt to fold the seats flat you get up to 1925 litres. In our decibel test the escape measured in at 65 decibels at 100Km/h and that’s on dry roads with winter tires.

All in all it’s a great little SUV. If you’re family is on the smaller side and you’re looking for an urban do it all-er, but you might want to take the occasional trip to the mountains or the lake, I think the Escape is an excellent choice. It’s well equipped without breaking the bank, and offers a host of little detail stuff that I think can really improve your experience. It’s upright seating combined with the powerful engine you can get give you a feeling of confidence and presence on the road. The infotainment layout is a bit quirky and might take some getting used to, but like I was saying, we’ve owned once since 2019, and after this test drive, when it comes to replace our old one, the new model will definitely be a contender.

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 3/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3/5 (65 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 4/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 34.5/50= 69%

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