What's New for 2014:
- SEL trim level is discontinued for 2014
- Hands-free liftgate available in conjunction with Class II towing package
The 2014 Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV. Its primary competitors are the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Models and Features
Ford sells the 2014 Escape in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. The SEL variant is discontinued this year.
Standard equipment for the Escape S includes air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows, trip computer, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers. Sync Bluetooth connectivity with 911 Assist is standard, and the 6-speaker stereo includes a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. Additionally, the Escape S includes cloth seats, a manual height adjuster for the driver's seat, front floor mats, integrated blind-spot mirrors, reversing camera, and MyKey programmable vehicle features.
The Escape SE is equipped with a turbocharged engine and upgraded exterior trim, as well as dark-tinted rear privacy glass, aluminum wheels, automatic headlights, and fog lights. A 10-way power driver's seat is also included for the Escape SE, along with a SecuriCode keyless entry pad, satellite radio, a compass, and an outside temperature display.
Leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, and heated seats are standard for the Escape Titanium trim level, which can be identified by its unique exterior trim, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators and puddle lamps, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Additionally, this version of the compact crossover SUV is equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, MyFord Touch technology with an 8-inch color touch screen and 3 free years of Sync Services, and a premium audio system with HD Radio, iTunes tagging capability, and 10 speakers. The Titanium trim level also includes keyless passive entry with push-button starting, a power liftgate, ambient cabin lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 110-volt power outlet, and rear park-assist sensors.
Options and Packages
Ford offers few options for the Escape S. Buyers looking for upgrades will want to start with the Escape SE, which, in addition to Intelligent 4-wheel drive (4WD), can be optioned with a more powerful engine and a Class II Trailer Tow package with 3,500-lb. towing capacity and trailer sway control.
An additional upgrade for the Escape SE includes a Convenience package with MyFord Touch technology, 8-inch color touch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, additional stereo speakers, media hub, 110-volt power outlet, and rear park-assist sensors. The SE can also be equipped with a navigation system, power panoramic Vista Roof, power liftgate, all-weather floor mats, cargo area protection, cargo cover, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The main upgrade for the Escape Titanium is the Titanium Technology package, which includes bi-xenon headlights, a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, front park-assist sensors, and Active Park Assist. Exclusive options for the Titanium trim level include a hands-free foot-activated liftgate and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
Under the Hood
A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque powers the 2014 Escape S. Escape SE and Escape Titanium trim levels have a direct-injection, turbocharged, 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine generating 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter made at both a lower point in and across a broader portion of the rev range. As an option, the Escape SE and Escape Titanium can be equipped with a direct-injection, turbocharged, 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque.
A 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive (FWD) are standard for all three engines. An Intelligent 4WD system is optional with the EcoBoost engines.
The 2014 Ford Escape is EPA-rated to return between 21 mpg in the city with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and 4WD, and 32 mpg on the highway with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and FWD.
Safety Ratings and Technology
As this overview is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not published official crash-test ratings for the 2014 Escape.
Standard safety equipment includes a knee air bag for the driver, side mirrors that show what's in the SUV's blind spots, a reversing camera, and an SOS Post Crash Alert system that sounds the horn and activates the emergency flashers following a collision.
The 2014 Escape also includes MyKey programmable safety features, which allow the vehicle's owner to program certain vehicle characteristics, such as speed and stereo volume restrictions, seat belt usage warnings, fuel warnings, and more.
Sync 911 Assist service is also standard, and works when a smartphone is paired to Sync and present inside the vehicle. If a collision resulting in air bag deployment occurs, the system dials an emergency services operator to help speed rescuers to the SUV's exact location.
The Escape Titanium can be equipped with a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, as well as an active park-assist system that steers the Escape into a parallel parking space while the driver operates the foot pedals and transmission.