2018 Ford Escape Review
  • Car Review

2018 Ford Escape Review

By Autolist Editorial | August 17, 2020

Quick Facts:


  • The transmission is smooth shifting.
  • Great handling and driving dynamics.
  • Attractive exterior design.


  • Standard features are a bit lacking.
  • Disappointing fuel economy for the segment.
  • Certain powertrain configurations feel weak.

Would we buy one? Yep!

Vehicle Type: Four-door compact crossover SUV with seating for up to five.

Price Range: The starting MSRP is $24,935-$33,135, before upgrades. All prices include a destination charge.

Powertrain: A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and two-wheel-drive are standard.

All-wheel-drive, a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine are available.

Competitors: Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Toyota RAV4.

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Overall Score: 8.5/10

Safety Features: 8/10


For 2018 the Ford Escape holds its ground in safety with standards like rearview camera, airbags, stability control, and ABS on all trims and a more detailed suite of enhanced safety features available as well.

The available driver-assistance package will give you more advanced safety features such as rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with emergency braking, active park assist, lane-keeping, and adaptive cruise control.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Authority gave the 2018 Escape four out of five stars in crash tests, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it 'Good' scores in most crashworthiness categories.

Value: 9/10


As a crossover SUV, the 2018 Escape is a good offering. It has enough essential features, robust optional upgrades, and on-road performance to keep most drivers happy.

There are four trim levels for the 2018 Escape lineup: S, SE, SEL, and Titanium.

2018 Ford Escape S $24,935 MSRP, Ford Escape SE starts at $26,695 MSRP, the Ford Escape SEL $29,095 MSRP, and the premium trim Ford Escape Titanium starts at $33,135 MSRP

All-wheel drive is available for an additional $1350 in every trim level but the FWD base S model.

The reasonably inexpensive Ford Escape S makes an attractive proposition for an entry crossover SUV with typical features from a cost-conscious perspective. It lacks in performance, and, ultimately, the top-tier Titanium trim is our pick with the SEL as a second choice. A fully loaded Escape Titanium with the all-wheel-drive setup delivers sure-footed driving with the 2.0-liter engine, plus enhanced infotainment and sporty 18-inch alloy wheels. Leather seats and a heated steering wheel add interior comfort, making the Ford Escape Titanium a worthy consideration.

Tech Features: 7/10


For the 2018 Ford Escape, there is a new Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Available features include a navigation system, satellite radio, Bluetooth capability, a premium audio system, push-button start, a towing package, a sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Ford Escape Titanium gets extras like HID headlights, self-parking technology, voice-activated navigation, USB ports, and a 10-speaker Sony premium audio system.

Practicality: 7/10


The 2018 Escape has 68 cubic feet of cargo storage with the rear seat folded down. Ford has been conscious of interior functionality, and the Escape has steadily been improving inside and out.

Seating is generally comfortable in both front seats and rear seats, though the headroom could improve in the back. All passengers and drivers have adequate legroom. A 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat and front passenger seat are available on higher-tier trims.

A hands-free power liftgate for loads, heated exterior mirrors for moisture control and visibility, and LED running lights are available. Entering and exiting the Escape is more comfortable with the help of some of these features.

The Ford Escape is suitable for everyday cargo and transport, but more spacious rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport are worth considering if cargo space is essential.

Styling & Design: 8/10


Ford's segment conscious approach to the Escape's interior and exterior details has improved with each successive model year. The exterior is sharp and has consistent panel gapping on this compact SUV. The interior feels smartly executed in its layout and color palette.

New for the SEL is leather-trimmed cloth heated seats, a perimeter alarm, sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, and roof rails, giving it a sharper look.

Cloth seats are standard with leather upholstery available.

Driving Experience: 9/10


Ford kept the same powertrain lineup for the 2018 Escape as the previous model year, and that is mostly a good thing. The Ford Escape Titanium model gets an exclusive 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 6-speed automatic transmission.

The base front-wheel-drive and 2.5-liter engine setup on the Ford Escape S are unimpressive but okay for general driving, as is the more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

For more performance and improved handling, the 2.0-liter turbo is the way to go. It rivals and even surpasses the sporty Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 on some points regarding negotiating corners and general driving dynamics. Acceleration and control with the 2.0-liter turbo are impressive during a busy commute too.

Fuel Efficiency: 8/10


The 2018 Ford Escape model year may not be the most fuel-efficient in the crossover SUV segment, but it is not the least fuel-efficient, either.

According to the EPA, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with the two-wheel drivetrain gets 26 mpg combined. For the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with the same drivetrain, EPA estimates gas mileage at 24 mpg combined. The 2.5-liter, coupled with the 6-speed automatic transmission, gets 24 mpg combined.

The Ford Escape AWD 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine gets 24 mpg combined, making it a little heavier on fuel economy than the two-wheel drivetrain. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with AWD gets 23 mpg combined, making it the least fuel-efficient.

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