2021 Ford Escape

2021 MODEL
$24,885 - $36,435
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2021 Ford Escape Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020
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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

Ford took the automobile world by storm when it presented the completely redesigned fourth-gen Escape in 2020. Yes, the American giant’s second best-selling product after the F-series truck is now all-fresh and looks nothing like its previous generation. Gone are the boxy proportions and the new Escape is more oval and stylish and looks like a true modern day compact crossover. The move from Ford though comes as a backdrop of its plans to eliminate its small cars and sedans. With the compact and agile new fourth-gen Escape, Ford seeks to serve those customers who wish a small-car like handling Ford products.

See detailed review »

Pros

Diverse powertrain options

Athletic handling

Plentiful standard features

Intuitive infotainment

Cons

Compromised cargo space

Uninspiring base engine

Interior materials not as good as rivals

What's New?

No significant changes for 2021


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 Ford Escape in Agate Black Metallic color 2021 Ford Escape in Dark Pewter and Dark Titanium, premium cloth color 2021 Ford Escape in designo manufaktur Desert Sand color 2021 Ford Escape in Ingot Silver Metallic color
Agate Black Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Competition

7.0

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Ford Escape S

S

power
181 hp
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$24,885 - $26,385


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr SUV (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $24,885 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
S 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $26,385 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Ford Escape SE

SE

power
181 hp
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$27,105 - $28,605


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr SUV (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $27,105 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
SE 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $28,605 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Ford Escape SEL

SEL

power
250-hp @ 5,500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$29,265 - $32,640


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 4dr SUV (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $29,265 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $30,765 MSRP (22/24/28) 181 hp, 1.5 L, Inline 3, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $32,640 MSRP (22/24/28) 250-hp @ 5,500 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Ford Escape Titanium

Titanium

power
250 hp
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$36,435


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $36,435 MSRP (22/24/28) 250 hp, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
8-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.0

Overall Rating


Well, the new Escape does serve the expectations of Ford and its customers but with some added practicality for sure. However, along with the new exterior sheet, there is a lot more happening with the new Escape. It now gets diverse powertrains options to pick from, is more spacious and stylish on the outside as well as more efficient. Moving on now it won't take long for Ford to introduce the 2021 Escape to the market. However, still fresh and young, the 2021 Ford Escape is mostly expected to be a carry-over model. Since we know that the 2021 F-150 That's exactly what we try to do here: a quick look at the 2021 Ford Escape.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 

7.0/10
Competition

 
 

2021 Ford Escape Features

With very recent changes still lingering in the shadows, the 2021 Ford Escape would carry-forward its current five-tier trim level. You would still get to choose from an S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium. A standard FWD with an optional upgrade to AWD along, three engines to pick from as well as the features segregation should also mostly remain the same. 

Trims

S

SE

SE Sport

SEL

Titanium

MSRP

$24,885

$27,095

$28,255

$29,255

$33,400

Engine

1.5-liter turbo inline-3

1.5-liter turbo inline-3

2.5 Liter I-4

1.5-liter turbo inline-3

2.5 Liter I-4

Features

Heated mirrors

Adds to S  - 

Adds to SE - 

Adds to SE Sport - 

Adds to SEL - 

 

Post-collision safety system

Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist

SE Sport Premium Package w/Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist

Sport front seats

Adaptive cruise control

 

Blind spot and lane departure warnings accident avoidance system

Satellite radio with 6 months of provided service

Leather steering wheel

Leatherette interiors

Leather upholstery

 

Cruise control

Multi level heated front seats

Aluminum Mini Space-Saver Wheel (VP)

Black Roof-Rail Crossbars 

Full LED headlamps

 

6-way driver and 4-way manual front seats

8 -way power driver's seat with power adjustable lumbar support

10-way power driver seat

18 in. wheels

10-way power drivers and 6-way power passengers seat

 

Climate control

Panoramic Vista Roof

   

10 speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio

*2020 data used for reference

Expected price and release date

No official note on the release date from Ford but we do expect the 2021 Escape to arrive in stores somewhere towards the end of 2020. Importantly, with no major changes, it's prices for its new model year shall also be identical to that of the 2020 model. Expect the 2021 Ford Escape to carry an MSRP of $26,000 approx.

2021 Ford Escape Engine and Performance

With no changes, the 2021 Ford Escape shall sport the same three tasteful engine options as seen on its current 2020 model. First up is a standard 180- hp EcoBoost 1.3-liter turbo 3-cylinder on the S, SE and SEL models. Next is a 198 hp 2.5-liter inline-4 mated with an Atkinson Cycle hybrid setup on the SE Sport and Titanium models. Finally, there's a 250 hp 2.0-liter turbo inline-4, optional with the SEL and Titanium models. 

Irrespective of the engine choice, the Escape feels to have just the right amount of power to comfortably perform its daily duties. The three delightful engine combo also ensures that there's something in for every kind of driver. The standard 1.3- turbo offers a good balance of power and efficiency while the 2.0-liter turbo adds in a lot more spirit and enthusiasm. Thanks to the 2.0-liter turbo ample torque available at a wide band. Also, the CVT transmission with the Atkinson hybrids and 8-speed auto with the rest, are smooth and precise in their operation. However, the 8-speed unit does seem a bit reluctant towards downshifts. 

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV 4

MSRP

$24,885

$25,300

$25,050

$25,850

Engine

1.5-liter turbo inline-3

2.5-liter inline-4

1.5-liter turbo inline-4

2.5-liter inline-4

Transmission

8-speed automatic

continuously variable-speed automatic

continuously variable-speed automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

180 @ 6,000

170 @ 6,000

190 @ 5600

203 @ 6,600

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

177 @ 3,000

175 @ 4,400

179 @ 2,000

184 @ 5,000

No surprise, all the “humble” daily driving compact SUVs in the competition here carry somewhat similar power figures. While the Escape and Mazda CX-5 do offer higher output optional engines, the Toyota takes the lead in the standard engine comparison with iyts marginally better 203 hp. However, Toyota's marginal bump doesn’t make it surprisingly better on the road than its rivals. 

How quick is the 2021 Ford Escape?

However sporty and aggressive they try to be, we all know that comfort-oriented compact SUVs are not actually meant for sprinting. The redesigned Escape is no different as well. No surprise, the 2020 Ford Escape runs from 0-60 mph in an acceptable 8.4 seconds.

With no mechanical or dimensional tweaks, the numbers should be the same even for the 2021 Escape. 

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV 4

0-60 MPH (sec0

8.4

8.7

8.3

8.5

Quarter mile (sec)

NA

16.7

16.4

16.6

Top Speed (mph)

130

122

121

130

Engine

1.5-liter turbo inline-3

2.5-liter inline-4

1.5-liter turbo inline-4

2.5-liter inline-4

While its acceleration figures might seem average on paper but pitch it against rivals and unfolds an altogether different story. The all-new Ford Escape is only 0.1 seconds slower than the best in class Honda CR-V. The CR-V completes the 0-60 run in just 8.3 seconds. Thanks to the CR-V’s faster shifting CVT.

How well does the 2021 Ford Escape handle?

Take it out for a spoon and the fourth-gen Escape introduces you to its balanced character. A retuned suspension, lighter chassis and several helpful electronic assists arm the Escape with a poised and comfortable ride. Even with its larger 19’ inch wheels, the Escape glides over bumps without any vibrations. Cabin noise and body movements are very controlled as well. Switch to the available “sport” mode via the rotary selector and the suspension stiffens up a bit and the Escape gains some instant enthusiasm. 

However, where the Escape fails to impress with its handling. It might look sporty on the outside but that doesn’t translate quite efficiently into its in-road behavior. That is mostly because of its steering which is precise though but feels totally numb with no feedback. The same can be said about its cornering abilities. Flip it around twisties and the Escape starts screaming for more traction with significant body movements and understeer. The available AWD does help it around corners but the overall feel is not as convincing as the Mazda CX-5.

2021 Ford Escape: Braking

Along with the overall enhancement, the fourth-gen Escape also gains upon its braking abilities. Discs at all four corners along with ABS remain the same though, but the enhanced aerodynamics make the braking procedure more confident.

The pedal feels firm and reassuring and 60-0 stopping takes 128 feet. 

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV  4

Brake Front (in.)

12.8

11.7

11.1

12.0

Brake Rear (in.)

12.0

11.5

10.2

11.1

60-0 MPH (ft)

128

123

128

134

Curb Weight (lbs)

3299

3456

3473

3370

Compared to rivals, the Escape offers average braking performance. Well, that's not surprising at all even. The Escape’s average show might be because of its poor traction and grip. In its segment though, the Nissan Rogue shows up the best braking performance with a 60-0 braking distance of just 12 feet. 

2021 Ford Escape Fuel Economy

While its base engine might seem small and relatively low on power, it does bring some additional benefits. The powertrain also compromises some of its energy but for a good reason. No wonder, the escape’s smaller 1.5-liter inline-3 offers good fuel economy. To be precise the 2020 Ford Escape delivers a 30 mpg combined economy which is happily livable with a car of its class. 

Models

Ford Escape

Nissan Rogue

Honda CRV

Toyota RAV 4

MPG (city)

27

26

28

26

MPG (highway)

33

33

34

35

MPG (combined)

30

29

30

30

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

14.7

14.5

14.0

14.5

Range (City/Highway, in Miles)

396.0/441.0

377.0/478.5

378.0/448.0

377.0/507.5

Among its segment, the Escape’s fuel economy seems very competitive. Its combined d30 mpg output is exactly similar to that of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. However, the class comparison also reveals the Escape’s drawbacks. Ford had to reduce the engine capacity for a better fuel economy, while the Toyota RAV4 offers the same with a 2.5-liter engine.

2021 Ford Escape Interior

On the inside, the fourth-gen Escape is a stark departure from its predecessor. The interior layout is fresh, clean and has a good build quality as well. Its grown-up dimensions offer more space on the inside while the lower roofline allows better outward visibility. While the wooden texture on the dashboard does look good, the plasticky surfaces certainly don't help. In terms of quality, the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 offer much nicer cabins. 

The available bucket-seats in the front row feel comfortable with decent bolstering and under-thigh support. Power front seats with power lumbar support and heating are also available. However, the leather surfaces are not as smooth as the CR-V or CX-5.

At the rear, the seats have a comfortable recline angle and can offer a lid back and forth for optimal comfort and convenience.

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV 4

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.0/57.6/42.4

41.6/56.6/43.0

40.1/57.9/41.3

39.5/57.8/41.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.3/56.0/40.7

38.5/55.9/37.9

39.2/55.6/40.4

39.5/56.4/37.8

No shortage of space at all and the Ford Escape also offers a very roomy cabin. While its front and rear seats might not show best in the classroom on paper, but there's enough space around them for occupants to stretch out. Not as comfortable as the Honda CR-V but long journeys in the Escape shouldn't be a grouse either. 

Interior Features:

  • 10-way Power Driver seat with Front Row Heat
  • 6-way power passenger seat
  • Available ambient lighting
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Center Console with Convenient Media Bin
  • Selectable Drive Mode
  • Visor Vanity Mirrors (Driver and Front Passenger)
  • Heated front seats
  • Slidable rear seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Split-folding rear seatback
  • Rear ventilation ducts

Infotainment

For infotainment needs, the fourth-gen Ford Escape gets an 8.0-inch standard touchscreen sitting atop the dash. Running on Ford’s Sync3 software, the system gets standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, WiFi hotspot and a 6-speaker audio system. Higher models also enjoy a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio, Satellite radio and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. The infotainment system is sharp with good graphics and clean interface making it very easy to operate. 

With swift responses, the system is also very easy to use even while driving. However, the sa,e cannot be said about the driver’s display which is quite complex to fiddle with. Thanks to its awkward animation and complex interface. With the updates being fresh and new, we expect the 2021 Ford Escape to carry the same infotainment setup. Some of the highlights of the 2020 Ford Escape’s infotainment are listed below.

Infotainment Features

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth and USB
  • WiFi hotspot
  • SiriusXM Satellite radio
  • 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio

Cargo

With its overall enhanced proportions, the fourth-gen Ford Escape not only gains on its space in front of the seats but also at the back. Yes, we are talking about cargo space which the new Escape is very good at. To keep it simple, the 2020 Ford Escape offers a 37.5 cu-fts of cargo space which is more than acceptable for its class.

Expect a similar cargo space for the 2021 Escape as well.

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV 4

Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)

37.5

39.3

37.6

37.5

However, despite an impressive cargo area, the Escape is not the most generous in its class. While the CR-V and CX-5 offer similar cargo room to the Escape, the Nissan Rogue stands out with its best in class 39.3 cu-fts of cargo space. Thanks to its longer body than the competition.

2021 Ford Escape Exterior

The latest model of the Ford Escape follows a  complete redesign policy based on aerodynamic stability and sleek body structure. Though it might look smaller than its earlier generation, the new fourth-gen Escape is actually longer, lower and wider than its outgoing model. However, it beautifully enwraps its proportions in a sleek yet oval-ish profile that does look fresh and attractive.

The new face gets a redesigned wider grille that has chrome highlights on it. We love the way the bonnet protrudes towards the front and the raised flair which houses the LED headlamps. While it does seem inspired by a Porsche Cayenne, the front end does look modern and sporty.

Models

2021 Ford Escape (Expected)

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Honda CRV

2020 Toyota RAV 4

Length (in)

180.5

184.5

180.6

180.9

Width (in)

74.1

72.4

73.0

73.0

Height (in)

66.1 

66.3

66.1

67.0 

Ground clearance (in)

N/A

7.8

7.8 

8.4 

Wheelbase (in)

106.7 

106.5

104.7

105.9

Curb weight (lbs)

3299

3456

3473

3370

A curvy roofline, chrome-treated window-line and large 19’ inch wheels make it look premium and stylish from the side. At the rear, things are pretty minimalist with slim tail lamps, aluminum bumper, roof-spoiler and twin chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.  Overall, the Ford Escape has a very trendy and stylish outfit that does look sporty yet stylish at the same time. While its rivals do carry a conventional touch in their profile, the Escape brings a very fresh touch to the segment. 

Exterior Features

  • Halogen Fog lamps
  • Rain-Sensing Wipers
  • Acoustic Laminated Front Door Side Glass
  • LED Signature Lighting
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips
  • Hands-Free, Foot-Activated Liftgate
  • Panoramic vista roof
  • Daytime running lights
  • Body-color rear spoiler

2021 Ford Escape Safety

Ford’s are generally known for their good safety exercises and the fourth-gen Escape is no exception. With a rigid new architecture and better standard features, the Escape is one of the safest cars in the segment. It's improved aerodynamics also help its safety proposition. No surprise the 2020 Ford Escape received a Top Safety Pick recognition from IIHS and a 5-star rating from NHTSA. Thankfully, we will get to see a similar defensive safety suite even in the 2020 Ford Escape. Some of its highlighted safety features are listed below.

Safety Features

  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Emergency Braking Preparation
  • Post and pre- Collision Safety System
  • Stability Control
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System
  • Traction Control
  • Rear View Camera
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps
  • AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control)
  • SOS Post-Crash Alert System
  • Ford Co-Pilot 360+

 

2021 Ford Escape Competition

7.0/10

2020 Ford Escape vs Honda CRV

The Honda CRV is considered one of the benchmarks in the segment. Apart from the Escape’s nimbleness, the CRV topples the Ford in almost every aspect. It has a more premium interior build quality than the Escape, offers better ride and handling, is loaded with all the tech-stuff available in the segment and has a third row as well.

2020 Ford Escape vs Toyota RAV 4

One of the world's largest selling crossovers, the Toyota RAV4 has a rock-solid presence in its segment that is very hard for any other car to challenge. The RAV4 has a punchier engine than the Escape, its interior layout is more soothing, has a sturdy road presence and offers a great off-roading ability as well. Above all it handles much better than the Escape and has a very responsive steering. 

2020 Ford Escape vs Nissan Rogue

When compared to the 2020 Ford Escape, the Nissan Rogue seems more like a mixed bag. While its engine is not as refined as the Escape’s and offers a hazy driving experience, but it does aces ahead of the Ford on certain terms. It has a more premium and well-built interior, offers better cargo space along with a third row and has plenty of standard features as well. 

 

2021 Ford Escape Final Verdict

If you are out in the market for a compact SUV that looks stylish, offers good economy and space as well as rich in safety and creature comforts, the Ford Escape is a very good choice. However, if you a sporty driving character is also in your wishlist, the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 are more suitable options.