By on September 22, 2014

2015 ford escape titanium ecoboost side

Today’s cute compact crossovers are slowly replacing mid-size sedans as the most popular vehicle on the market, and with good reason too. They have smaller footprints, are easier to drive, are more versatile, more economical, and AWD systems provide a piece of mind during foul weather. Is the Escape a…wait for it…game changer?

 

2015 ford escape titanium ecoboost dash interior

The interior is unmistakably Ford, with clear analog gauges and the MyFord Touch system high and center. The seats are very comfortable, heated in the front, and the angle of the headrests is adjustable so they will not press against the back of your head like some other Fords. The rear seat is best for two passengers but three adult butts or three booster seats will fit. The rear bench folds flat and is split 60:40. The dash is made of at least four different types of materials which do not always complement one another or match up perfectly, such as where the A-pillar meets the dash. HVAC controls and other buttons are small, low in the dash, and obscured by the shifter. At night the interior ambiance lighting can be adjusted in color and intensity to match your mood.

The MyFord Touch system received a slew of upgrades over the years and is now actually usable by a novice. Some of the touch-screen buttons are small and shorter drivers may need to stretch to touch the screen. Those truly adventurous can opt to shout at the system to get it to do what they want. The system easily connected to my phone and offers a ton of options and features which will likely go unused by most buyers. An Audi or Lexus-like knob would make this one of the best systems on the market.

2015 ford escape titanium ecoboost interior details

The previous generation had large square windows but this one, like the rest of the auto industry, has smaller windows all around. Despite that, visibility in all directions remains surprisingly good. Doors are large and open wide, making the chore of loading kids into the car a task that won’t break your back. Auto up and down on all windows, as opposed to just the driver’s window, is a nice touch. The rear bumper height is low, making loading and unloading easy. The big rear power hatch can be opened by waving your foot under the bumper, but it is slower in operation than other cars.

The top engine choice is a 240hp and 270lb-ft 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder which is very nicely matched to the vehicle; smooth, quick, and responsive. The six-speed automatic has two driving modes, D and S. In S it downshifts sooner and holds the gears longer, but not too long, where it becomes annoying. The ride is smooth and when tossed into a highway ramp, the Escpape remains neutral and composed, if a bit top-heavy. In this 4WD configuration, the EPA rates the Escape at 21mpg city and 28mpg on the highway. When equipped with a Class II trailer tow package, the little Escape can tow a 3500lb trailer.

2015 ford escape titanium ecoboost exterior details

The 2015 Ford Escape starts at $22,610 for the base SE model with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine and 2WD. Those wanting 4WD need to step up to the SE with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine (178hp/184tq) which starts at $26,810. Our Titanium model, with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost ($1195 over the 1.6-liter), starts at $31,965. Equipment Group 301A adds HID headlights, blind-spot detection, automatic wipers, and parking sensors for $1735. Navigation system is $795 and destination charges are $895 for a total MSRP of $35,150. At the time of this writing there was a $750 factory incentive.

The Escape is a nice vehicle overall, but aside from the peppy engine it does not bring anything new to the market. While none of its competitors feel more exciting in any comparable way, it feels like Ford decided to make just another vehicle to fill the market niche. The powerful engine is nice, but this is a price driven category where competitors offer one engine at a much lower overall price.

2015 ford escape titanium ecoboost rear side

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. 

Ford provided the vehicle for this review.

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136 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Ford Escape Titanium...”


  • avatar
    GranMarkeez

    …yawn…

    still not the bees’ knees in this class.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I like the styling except for the side vents. I think it brings unique style to the segment. I am not sure about long term durability since the leather in my coworkers 2 years old one is terrible already.

    • 0 avatar

      That seems to happen with a lot of the newer Fords, especially those with black leather. One of my friends has a 3-year old Explorer Limited (with about 42,000 miles, and I’m appalled at how many faded areas and color creases there are in the upholstery.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      At $35K, it is worth upgrading to the Lincoln. The leather in my Lincoln has worn much better than similar Ford products.

      Anyone buying a $35K+ Esacpe should go check out the Lincoln MKC. The dealers will be happy to see something in the showroom besides tumbleweed.

      • 0 avatar
        ZCD2.7T

        I did check out the MKC. It drives very much like the Escape, but with a smidgen of extra power. I think it looks good, but the lower roofline and resultant limited headroom made it a no-go for me (at 6′ 2″).

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I am 6’4″ and I didn’t have a problem with headroom in the MKC. Either your torso is longer than mine or it’s because the one I drove did not have a moonroof.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            The one I drove had the extended moonroof. The headroom problem was even more pronounced in the back seat – I literally couldn’t sit up straight without significantly reclining the rear seatback.

            Moonroofs/sunroofs are “de rigeur” in the $40-$50K SUV class, so this seems like a big drawback to me.

            Moreover, the Escape we rented also had a moonroof and I had no headroom issues in that vehicle at all, front or rear.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I agree that is a drawback. I tend to avoid panoramic moonroofs in general because of my height.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Where has your MKC review been, by the way?!

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s been a long month. It was about three quarters finished when I came home to three feet of sewer water in my (finished) basement. My spare time has been spent fixing that. I finished stuff I have to do yesterday. Hopefully I’ll have my review done this week.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ok, I will quit hasslin you – for now!

            Hopefully you had a sewer backup rider on your homeowners insurance.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            No problem. I expect nothing less.

            I did have a sewer backup rider. It was for $10,000. It doesn’t cover everything we lost, but it helps. We had over $10K in damage so insurance just ate the deductible.

            I bumped my coverage up to $25K the day after the flood. Anyone with a basement needs that type of coverage. $10K is a furnace, water heater, and the clean up.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    “They have smaller footprints, are easier to drive, are more versatile, more economical, and AWD systems provide a piece of mind during foul weather.”

    You left out the reduced fuel mileage, increased weight, crappy handling, higher cost of ownership, and higher fatality rate (per 100 mil miles).

    Nothing comes in a brown diesel with a manual trans so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      “You left out the reduced fuel mileage, increased weight, crappy handling, higher cost of ownership, and higher fatality rate (per 100 mil miles).” As compared to what exactly? My Escape gets better fuel mileage than the ranger it replaced, don’t know/don’t care about the wight thing, CUV or lifted truck; a brick on Popsicle sticks is still a brick on Popcicle sticks, higher costs of ownership; please to explain that one, and higher fatality rates? Do you have any data to prove any of your assertions or are you just in a bad mood? Your brown diesel station wagon needs urea to operate. You might be all filled with piss and vinegar; but your diesel needs piss to operate.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Don’t mind him. He’s just one of the horde of interneters who think everyone should want the same things as him, otherwise they’re sheeple. It doesn’t matter that they’ll never drive their car on a track or take turns too fast, that they value ease of entry/exit more than mpg, and that the more upright seating position of a CUV compared to a wagon is genuinely more comfortable and efficient leaving more real-world cargo area than a wagon of the same footprint. Certainly the fact that CUVs are built on car platforms (and so drive like cars) & are much more efficient than larger SUV (or even large cars from a decade ago are not pertinent to the discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        I think his point is that not everyone thinks that the CUV is a categorically better vehicle. This year it seems every publication out there is going out of its way to declare that the CUV has triumphed over the inferior and old-fashioned sedan.

        Of course they fail to mention that CUVs are larger without providing much more interior room, suffer from comparatively poor fuel economy and handling, and are downright dorky looking. Does anyone honestly think that the extra inch of ground clearance is going to magically see them safely through a blizzard while all sedans on the road are high centered in snow drifts or stuck in ditches?

        I get it, CUVs are trendy and buyers can’t get enough of them but CUVs have some pretty serious drawbacks that make them very unappealing to many.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “Of course they fail to mention that CUVs are larger without providing much more interior room”

          This isn’t really true. Most CUVs have a higher hip point taller roof and actually are much more comfortable than a low-roof sedan/wagon or, interestingly, a high-floor SUV.

          Other than that, they handle just fine for what most people do.

          If you have to call them comparatively silly, do so versus MPVs like the Kia Rondo or Chevy Orlando. I personally would take an Orlando over an Equinox, or a Rondo over a Sportage: I get the same high roof, but I also get a lower floor, another row of seating and more car-like ride and handling. Heck, I even get the choice of a stick in both now.

          The problem is that, at least in North America, we aren’t buying MPVs in any quantity (yet). We’re slowly being weaned off the SUV tit, and while I don’t think people will embrace low-roofers any time soon, we’re probably less than a decade away from CUVs giving up any pretense of off-road capability.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Cargo space in that Escape looks pretty good though. Unfortunately, the CUV is the closest thing to the wagon that every family actually needs, but is too embarrassed to buy. Not that wagons are available anyway, so CUV it is to haul stuff.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          In the class of vehicle I shop for my daily driver, there is nothing that would make me want a BMW X3 over a 328i Wagon. The Wagon does everything better other than being trendy. Just as roomy, rides better, handles better, gets better fuel economy. Though given how much sales of the new 3-series wagon are up, maybe they ARE actually trendy.

          If I had to choose between a CUV and a regular sedan though, I too would certainly choose the CUV. And since that IS the choice 99% of the time, it makes sense that this segment is on the rise.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I think the X1 is closer to the 3-wagon, and it starts at $12K less. The wagon goes for $42K before you start adding necessary options – not something most Americans will pay for when there is a less dorky alternative available, i.e., the CUV.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            You think wrongly. The X1 is comparable to the E91 3-series wagon, whose platform it shares. It is MUCH smaller than the F31, while also riding and handling worse. It is also of very noticeably inferior interior quality. That $10K difference in entry price is very noticeable. They can sell it cheap because they build it cheaply. And it is not $10K cheaper when comparably equipped anyway.

            And I would say the X1 is far dorkier than either generation of 3-series wagon. The X1 is plain ugly. And even the wizards of Munich can’t make a CUV handle like a BMW without making it ride like a buckboard wagon. No free lunch.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Oh, the X1 certainly sucks. But the people who are leasing new BMWs aren’t paying the premium for a 3-series wagon.

            As for dorkiness, the people I know who drive X1’s would never even look at a 3-wagon. Doesn’t give off that CUV vibe.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @TMA1

            You evidently need a better class of acquaintances! :-)

      • 0 avatar
        RetroGrouch

        “As compared to what exactly?”
        …as compared to the car the CUV was based on.

        “higher costs of ownership; please to explain that one”
        Will adding a foot to the height and 15% to the curb weight make bushings, ball joints, tires, and drivetrain stuff last longer? Will that added height and weight make the CUV handle better? Are control arms made of less aluminum (cheaper) if the vehicle is heavier? Will the autotragic slushbox last longer while pushing around more weight? Physics is a cruel mistress. I understand that the perpetually renting typical American leases a new car every three years so these are not their concerns. I maintain my vehicles until they die beyond 300k miles.

        Well, one of my track cars did not survive its third tire wall encounter thanks to my LeMons co-owner.

        “Do you have any data to prove any of your assertions or are you just in a bad mood?”
        For vehicle fatality rates, find the NHTSA rates broken down by vehicle type. The last time I looked, cars still had lower fatality rates that light trucks. Increased safety requirements for light trucks in the past decade have closed some of the gap but the gap still exists.

        “You might be all filled with piss and vinegar”
        I am certainly a retrogrouch but I took exception to the author’s casual statement about CUVs being better than sedans without mentioning the downsides to the added weight and height. Mentioning the article’s lack of the negatives of CUVs hardly qualifies me for the piss and vinegar championship of TTAC.com

        “but your diesel needs piss to operate.”
        I currently own two gasoline powered station wagons. I have never owned vehicle that was brown on the outside or diesel on the inside. Only my generator runs on diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      TorontoSkeptic

      Have to agree with the comment. “easier to drive, more versatile, more economical” is at best a matter of opinion, at worst demonstrably false.

      Easier to drive – in spite of the higher center of gravity and greater weight?

      More versatile – I guess this a matter of interpretation, but I’m guessing a “regular” sedan has more room inside, at least for passengers.

      More economical – worse fuel economy, higher MSRP, more expensive down the road for things like replacement tires… what exactly is the argument for them being “more economical”? $35k for a compact SUV is supposed to be a deal? In sedans we’d be talking about top-trim full-size (Avalon, Impala) or luxury Japanese compacts (Infiniti, Acura, Lexus).

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Easier to drive probably means better visibility. Possibly referring to ease of getting in and out too (though I would disagree there).

        As lifted hatcbacks, CUVs are definitely more versatile than sedans. They have more headroom and it’s easier to load crap into a hatch than a trunk. You can also load more of it. Maybe sedans have more legroom or something, but every CUV I’ve been in has had enough for me (@ 6′).

        I can’t imagine what Kamil is referring to with the “more economical” comment. As others have pointed out, CUVs typically cost more upfront and generally weigh more than their sedan counterpart, therefore drinking more gas and adding wear to consumables like brakes and bushings.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      There are a few mid-sized family sedans that can fill the bill are less costly, sporty plus more fun to drive. The new Chrysler 200 is available with AWD and the well regarded 3.6 Pentastar. The Ford Fusion is available with the same power train as the Escape and AWD.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Rented one last year for a road trip. The ridiculously-cramped driver’s footwell forced me to bring it back and exchange it for something else.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    We had one of these as a rental for a week as well. I was seriously impressed – it’s quick, with excellent overall refinement and road manners. Very smooth and composed in 80-mph freeway running, which is NOT something that can be said of many of its competitors. Felt European, in a good way – not surprising, since its origins are Ford of Europe.

    We currently own an Acura MDX, another good-handling, refined SUV. If we can live with less space (a big “if”), I’d actually consider an Escape to replace the MDX. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

  • avatar
    7402

    Test drove one of these. Glare on big center screen renders it useless much of the time. Rear seats alone disqualified it–compare the comfort level to cheap stadium seats which obviously informed the both the aesthetic and ergonomics. Ponderous steering. Acceleration OK, but wow does that eco-thingy wheeze when it’s working hard.

    A few thousand dollars lower in the food chain and it might have been a go. I bought a Subaru Forester instead.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      You found the rear seats that bad? I think my C-Max has the same seats, and I find them comfortable enough. Definetly not up to par with out MKT, but you’ll need to go into the executive/luxury sedan category to find better. I have sat back there for trips between Detroit-Grand Rapids and Detroit-Chicago. No problems at all.

      Personally, I think the C-Max is a better vehicle for those that buy the FWD Escape and don’t tow.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        I own a C-Max. MIL owns an Escape. In the Escape it feels like the rear seats are narrower and more upright, but for all I know they’re identical and other factors make them seem less comfy, e.g. In the Escape the ride is rougher and there’s less height between floorboard and ceiling.

        Which brings me to the author’s take on CUV vs sedan: Yes, compared to a sedan a CUV has easier entry and exit, smaller footprint, and better visibility. But lifting the floorboards for that SUV look is a waste of space. Combine the CUV’s high roof with the sedan’s low floor and you get an MPV like the Ford C-Max: same advantages as the CUV plus more interior room and better ride and handling than a CUV. Yes, the box on wheels look can be dorky (be grateful VW doesn’t send us the Golf Plus) but it can also be really cool (see original Scion xB, current Kia Soul).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Do you spend a lot of time sitting in the back of your car? Back seats are for children and those who cannot arrange their own transportation – neither get a vote.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “Back seats are for children and those who cannot arrange their own transportation – neither get a vote.”

        Frameable quote!

        My back seats have always been only for briefcases, small backpacks and anything else too small to need loading in the hatch.

        The thought of loading several people into my car spazzes me out.. it’d be like having to go back to apartment living.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        I frequently go places with friends or more than my nuclear family. Being in one vehicle lets the trip be part of the social event. If the only reason you would have adults in the back is that they can’t arange transportation, I may have discovered the root of our differing views. Friends.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Nice, but retrograde.

    Move the A-pillars way forward and give me windowlets. More front-row space and improved visibility.

    If we’re going to get wee-dinkum transverse I-4s we should also get a larger occupant envelope. Like in the Fit or C-Max.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      If someone is just buying a commuter and doesn’t tow, the C-Max is so much better. More headroom, more rear-world leg room, better visability, better gas mileage, and the C-Max is not a dark cave.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Now that I’m less blinkered by Nippophilia I’m starting to seriously dig the C-Max. Really catches my eye every time I see one and I need to test drive.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Surprisingly, I like it better than the Golf GTI it replaced. It isn’t as fast, or fun to drive, but I get 20 MPG better than the GTI, visability is better, the tall doors make it so easy to get in the back, and I don’t get punished by Michigan roads anymore. I love the idea of a GTI, but it’s practicality is overrated.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Sounds like it checks the only boxes I care about.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Then I recommend an SE with no options. Unless you live in an area where it gets cold. Then I recommend splurging on the $295 winter package. Heated mirrors, heated cloth seats, and puddle lamps are worth the extra cash.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Thanks. Yep, the SE it what I’ve been considering online. Naturally, since I always buy base :-)

  • avatar

    I do not like the styling of the Escape. It’s got too many lines, the proportions are wrong, and the rear fascia is cringeworthy. I also don’t think it’s a game-changer because it was already popular before the recent redesign, and it doesn’t seem to be any more popular now; plus none of the other cars in the segment are emulating the Escape; the Escape is merely using the same game plan for “flashier and fancier” that every other car is using. It doesn’t necessarily bring any new styling or panache to the segment that other crossovers weren’t also bringing.

    That said, it ties with the CX-5 for being extremely pleasant to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Just wait until it gets the Aston Martin treatment….

      At least the Taurus side vent will most likely go away.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        That side vent is so tacky. A vestige of the much-unloved 2008 Focus that was immediately mocked into a redesign. My cousin bought one of these Escapes, and I thought the vent had to be a Pep-Boys add-on at first.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I call it “Klingon Soccer Mom” styling. I won’t be a repeat buyer.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Right. It lacks understatement, so it’s not really aspirational. It reminds me of a Grand Am. Affordable and OK when you can’t buy something truly special. Not that you should buy over your head (I currently drive a salvage-title Honda), but as I save up for my next car I’m aiming higher (either in design or content).

  • avatar
    alsorl

    The escape makes the rav4, rogue, and crv all look like they are playing catch up in design and technology. I recently rented the same escape with out the titanium package at the salt lake city airport. It had the 2.0L with AWD. It also had 47,000 miles on a the odometer. Even with it being a rental in a city they gets over 500 in of snow in the mountains it still drove like it was new with only a few thousand miles on her. It really surprised us on how well it drove and solid it felt with that many rental miles. On the other end of the spectrum we rented a rav4 in Kansas City a few months ago. It had around 26k miles and it felt like a piece of crap. Brakes were terrible and it just looked and drove like a very used CSR with a very poor build quality. Lots of wind noise and rattles through out the car. Breaks also felt extremely weak.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    The answer to the question “is it a better value than previous generation?”: Absolutely Not.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I don’t mind the styling because it’s very similar to every other Ford right now, but I like the CR-V’s clean styling better. I also like the CR-V’s flat floor and better legroom.

    We rented an Escape (although not the Titanium) during our time in San Diego. It was fine. Rear visibility was awful like every other new car, and the fuel door being on the wrong side caused a few mishaps, but it was certainly quick enough merging onto I-5 and MPGs were around 23 for all-city driving, which is better than 3 out of 5 vehicles we have at home. Our family’s philosophy when it comes to rentals is “what’s the cheapest thing you can give me that’ll fit 4 people and their luggage?”, so I think we did all right.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Whenever I read ‘game changer’ on this site now I feel uneasy, much like that sensation when I push my pinky deep into my belly button and I get that bad tingle in my knob.

    So lets both stop it.

  • avatar
    r129

    It is amazing to me that so many people think of a compact CUV as an “upgrade” compared to a mid-size sedan. I don’t even think they are equivalent. To my sensibilities, the Fusion, Accord, and Camry are quieter, more refined, more comfortable, ride and handle better, and have more usable passenger space than a comparable Escape, CR-V, or RAV4. The Escape is basically just a taller, higher Focus, and is equivalent to a compact car in most measures. Maybe the typical car buyer doesn’t care, but I find that most people don’t even realize this. Try telling someone that a Fusion is a larger vehicle than an Escape, and watch their incredulous reaction! I don’t have a problem with people who buy CUVs, as it’s their choice, but I can’t say that I “get it.”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I realize not every Escape will be this 35k+ equipped model, and most will be “popularly priced” (closer to 27ish-28ish), but it absolutely fascinates me, as well, that so many people would choose a compact SUV for anywhere near the 30k mark, let alone halfway to 40k, given the alternatives in sedan (large, medium, premium, etc.) and hatch world (premium and every other kind).

      I am all about VALUE, which does NOT make me CHEAP, but means that I would rather pay for QUALITY at a FAIR PRICE.

      I am not saying that the Escape, even in fully trimmed guise, is a poor vehicle (though I’d never buy one for reasons some here have mentioned – and mainly because I do not trust Ford’s long term reliability/durability especially in the area of motor and powertrain), but I am saying I’d prefer anything from a base model Honda CRV (manual, 23k as I’d equip it)) to a Honda Accord Sport (manual, 23k as I’d equip it) to a Hyundai Sonata (21k as I’d beat the dealer down to on it, in about 8 months when the hype wears off) to a Mazda 6 to a Mazda CX-5 (23k as I’d equip it) to a Volkswagen Golf SE or GTI (22k to 26k, manual, yeah, reliability/durability may be an issue here) to Hyundai Genesis 3.8 (assuming Hyundai finally resolved their suspension issues on the Genesis, which is a far more solid, large premium sedan, that will cost a mere 1 or 2 thousand for than the MSRP on this Escape after hard negotiation).

      I not only don’t get the CUV craze, but I especially don’t get the public willing to essentially pay 25% to 40% more for a compact car foundation that’s put on stilts TAKE MORE OF MY MONEY PLEASE DEALERSHIP/MANUFACTURER I BEG OF YOU! craze.

      • 0 avatar
        ZCD2.7T

        Honda CRV – slow and BORING to drive, though eminently practical.
        CX-5, not as slow, better to drive than the CR-V, but plebian interior appointments and nothing like as refined/polished as the Escape.

        All the sedans – apples to oranges. Carrying capacity, particularly for bulky items, isn’t in the same league.

        Golf – closer, but still really lacking in overall space by comparison, plus not AWD.

        Finally, the American public has voted IN DROVES with their checkbooks on the whole “minimally-optioned manual-transmissioned anything” vs. “nicely-equipped automatic-transmissioned ride”, so the manufacturers are providing what sells, and profitably…Go figure!

      • 0 avatar
        Boxofrain

        Up here in Canada, every one of these small SUVs no matter what manufacturer cost $30,000 bare minimum to get into an AWD model. That’s often for a midrange model, never a loaded one or one with a higher trim. Those can push $40,000 up here.

        If you do a build and price on a Mazda CX-5 and choose the model that starts with the 2.5 engine and choose all wheel drive you are over $30,000 before taxes. Of course they still offer the 2.0 version just to claim a low price, but the 2.5 seems like the minimum you would want in a vehicle of this type. For this price you don’t even get a leather wrapped steering wheel or rear cargo cover. The Honda CRV is the same thing, and that model comes with those cheap looking steel stamped wheels. If you choose the front drive model, why not just get the Mazda 3 hatch and save a bunch of money.

        This segment is popular now and auto makers are taking advantage with high prices. These things just don’t seem like they are worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          95% or more of U.S. buyers have no need for AWD or 4WD. There’s absolutely nothing they gain with it that a good set of aggressively treaded all season tires (or better yet, snow tires) wouldn’t let them accomplish (I’d argue it’s likely/possible that AWD gives drivers a false sense of security that leads to more accidents, though I don’t have the data to prove it – the stopping is the problem).

          The same could be said of something probably closer to 75% of Canadian buyers (still a significant difference).

          The OEMs of all wheel drive components are raking it in these days, in large part based on consumer ignorance in the vast differences in capabilities afforded by a simple change in tire design and type).

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            95% or more of internet commentators think they know what everyone else needs. Many people live between New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. Many of the places in between receive a few heavy snowfalls a year, often spread out between December and March. Driving on dry roads for months at a time wears snow tires to uselessness quickly. Changing tires every time the forecast indicates a coming winter storm isn’t for most. AWD, reasonable ground clearance, and good all-season tires are a viable strategy for people who need to get around in places where snowfall is infrequent enough that municipalities won’t justify good snow removal equipment and where snow tires will be worn bald between said snowfalls. Try to at least consider that not everyone is you.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @CJinSD

            Those are the people who need winter tires (note, not the same thing as “snow” tires) more than anyone else. For the simple reason that those regions are completely unequipped for dealing with snow and ice when it does happen. The temperatures in the winter in that region are more than cold enough for winter tires to be of benefit even when it is not actually snowing.

            And repeat after me please – “AWD only helps you go, it does nothing to help you stop or steer”. I would always prefer to have an overabundance of stopping power to going power. The number of AWD equipped idiots in the ditch every snowstorm proves me correct. If I lived in Atlanta, I would certainly be using winter tires in the winter. They would go on later and come off earlier than I do here, but I would still use them. They also give the added benefit of letting you use higher performance tires the rest of the year, as you don’t need to compromise as much for the cold months.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Winter tires and snow tires are interchangeable terms, setting the tone for the rest of your response. Doubt me? Look it up. Temperatures are all over the place in the winter in places like my original home town, Charlottesville, VA. I had Pirelli Winters for my car when I last lived there. I was also young and enjoyed stuff like changing over from one set of tires to another. I also had access to a friend’s massive shop for doing such things in comfort and storing a set of wheels and tires. When I moved to a better climate, I gave my winters and wheels to a friend with the same model car. He wore them through to the cords in a couple months of commuting 70 miles each way on dry roads.

            I don’t think you’re much of a driver if you sincerely believe that AWD isn’t an advantage in turning and in some cases stopping. I’ve had all common drive configurations, and driven them in most conditions. My Audi 4000S quattro’s locked center and rear differentials were better than ABS in the worst stuff, making for the some conditions claim for braking. They were absolutely better than pre-ABS brakes in any slick conditions.

            I was taught to drive in the snow by my father; who learned to drive in Toronto, in cars with rear wheel drive, drum brakes, and bias ply tires. I’ve yet to see him overwhelmed by conditions in any car, but he’s worked his way through all types of car/tire combinations to currently drive a CUV on all-seasons when there is deep snow. He lives at the bottom of a hill on a dead-end street that gets plowed days after snowfall. While it is true that I used to get up that hill with a customized differential E30 on winters, I don’t find it my place to tell him to spend his 70s changing tires in the snow so he can impress idiots by driving around people that would be unsafe behind the wheel of anything in his TSX.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @CJinSD

            There are tires that are optimized for snow, and there are tires that are optimized for cold pavement that can handle a bit of snow. They are certainly not the same thing. The studable Hankook iPikes I run on my Range Rover are snow tires, the Z-speed rated Dunlop Winter Sport SPs I run on my BMW are performance winter tires. I suggest you do a bit of research. I would run winter tires year round before I ran *no season* tires in the winter. I would have no qualms running the Winter Sports through an Atlanta winter. The iPikes would be much less appropriate, though probably worth their weight in gold when one of those city-paralyzing 6″ snowfalls happens.

            Locked diffs were better than the primitive ABS available in the time of the 4000Q. They are NOT better than modern 4 channel fast-cycling ABS in the snow. And how many vehicles even have the capability of locking the diffs anymore? The CUVs in question are not even full-time AWD for the most part, most are some form of FWD until it slips arrangement.

            Again, AWD will get you through that unplowed snow to get into the driveway with all seasons. It won’t do a damned thing to help you when you get caught out in a sudden storm on the road or an icy shady corner or iced over intersection. I too can manage to get anywhere I need to go in a RWD car with all-seasons on it, I have done so many times, and I drive rentals more than my own cars. True fun is getting stuck with a Mustang as a rental in North Dakota in the winter. BTDT, didn’t quite stain my shorts. But being the cheap Yankee that I am, I cannot see paying for AWD on a non-off-road capable vehicle when just the correct tires gives more benefit for the cost of a cheap set of used wheels, assuming you will have the car long enough to buy a second set of tires. And THAT is a lesson my Maine born and raised Grandfather taught me. The ultimate is AWD AND snow tires, but again, why waste the money if you don’t otherwise need AWD?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The tire rack description of your Dunlops is winter/snow tire. They’re synonyms. The Honda CR-V introduced in 2012 always starts in 4wd and then disengages the rear wheels once a predetermined speed is reached, re-engaging if slip is detected. There is no tread wear rating for your Dunlop snow tires, but users complained of premature wear by snow tire standards and none of them covered more than 7,500 miles. A person in Atlanta might see one snowfall per set of tires, which would make them very silly.

            The ABS in the Audi I drive today can’t cope with undulating broken payment. It feels like it is accelerating when I try to stop while crossing heaving pavement, which is common near intersections in my neighborhood. It’s a 2012 too, but maybe brakes have gotten much more advanced since then.

            Somehow, you’re still missing the point that you live in Maine and most people do not. Maine knows snow removal. Maine has cold winter temperatures. Central eastern seaboard states aren’t equipped for timely snow removal and have temperatures that fluctuate in the winter. Snow melts and then temperatures drop and snow falls again, leading to a dense mess. Three days after a blizzard, it can be 60 degrees and sunny. Then it can be mild for three months before another snow storm arrives. Driving on your SNOW tires from Dunlop, you’ll be more hopeless than anyone on all-season tires during that second snowfall, because you’ll be relying on the belts for tread. Or you’ll be saving money by buying another set of SNOW tires to replace the ones you wore out on 70 degree dry highways instead of buying a Subaru Outback that cost less than your BMW and is better at everything that you actually use your car for.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        I call them bird brains. Many species of birds will fight for the highest perch in a given setting. I guess the concern is what the higher ranking birds will drop. If I get a bird brain tailgating me on a straight headed to an interchange, I take great pleasure in leading their high COG barge into a turn at speeds that leave them pushing out onto the shoulder safely scrubbing off speed in what I hope is a sphincter clutching epiphany that they shouldn’t have brought a trucklett to a car fight. But I’m sick that way.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      As far as I can understand it, the CUV craze stems more from a desire to sit upright than anything else. I, for one, didn’t bother looking at sedans/coupes when I went for my first wheels because I didn’t want anything I’d have to bend down into.

      It has very little to do with value, real or percieved.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Ah yes, another self-confessed driving champ!

        Have no idea where you live, but here RWD was awful in winter. Screaming tires from vehicles that just sat there wheels spinning. Having to continually push the neighbor. Despite the worst winter in decades this year here in Nova Scotia, the lack of spinning tires in my subdivision these days is a plus compared to the rose-tinted remembrance of the days of yore, myth and legend.

        But I don’t claim to be a driving champ. I just remember being the only vehicle to pass everyone on an icy hill with marble-sized ice pellets in my new quattro back in’88. Including two cop cars with incredulous looking drivers.

        Now almost everyone around here is AWD equipped except the folks driving Civics and equals. Studded tires help them out.

        RWD is so out-of-date, and stuck buses, semis and garbage trucks prove it every winter.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          A properly balanced RWD car (My BMW carries 52% of its weight on the rear tires), with appropriate winter tires and modern stability and traction control is just fine in the snow. I have zero problems here on the coast of Maine, which is nearly identical in climate to Nova Scotia, if not colder and icier.

          As someone else on here already said, I find it hilarious that people will spend $6K more on a car to keep from spending $600 on appropriate winter tires. Which help you to stop and steer, as well as go. AWD + winter tires is the ultimate of course, but I can’t see bothering unless you actually need the AWD for other reasons (i.e. off pavement use, or the real mountains). Ultimately, my BMW is better than my Range Rover in ordinary suburban slippery conditions because despite both vehicles having top-notch snow tires, the Rover still weighs nearly 1500lbs more, and is thus MUCH more difficult to stop or steer. It accelerates like crazy, but you can’t stop it! The Rover is much better in unplowed deep snow, but realistically if the plows have not come by yet, you really have no business being out on the road in this area.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Sorry, did you mean to reply to my other comment? Notice I made no claims of being a “driving champ” there either.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Well…not true. As in my case, there were no available wagons.
        I need to carry stuff. I need to carry stuff on the roof as well.
        I wanted a powerful, perky engine.
        I test drove sooooo many of these. It really did come down to just the Cx5, the Forester and the Escape.
        The CX5 was just not powerful enough for me. After driving the Ford, no other cat besides the Subie turbo came close. I simply refuse to drag from stop to stop.
        I love power.
        The Forester was simply sans dealers. If you are like me, you want to feel a dealer is nearby to give the service required for the warranty and break in period. Subaru had nothing. Closest dealers at both of my houses were all 1 to 1.5 hours away.
        This was not acceptable.

        And I wish all the posters above would stop with that car vs CUV crap. Cars cannot do what CUVs do. And visa versa.

        Now…IF there was a decent wagon available, I would have considered. The BMW was stupid expensive and the rear cargo area was piss poor.

        The Acura was slooooow!

        I waited…but the Mazda6 diesel never came. And now reading about it total lack of power without the after treatment I am glad I did not wait.

        I am looking forward to the redesign of the Edge.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      I think I hear the “sit upright” thing more than any other reason why people like CUVs. That, and their supposed advantages in poor weather conditions for people who would rather pay $6000 more for a vehicle than shell out $600 for a set of snow tires, but that’s another story. My question is, when did it become so important for everyone to sit upright? I understand that it might be easier for older people to get in and out, but aside from that, why the obsession among the general public? Ever since the SUV craze of the 90s, there have been people who have wanted a higher vehicle so that they can “see” over all the SUVs on the road, thus causing more CUVs/SUVs to be on the road, and more people wanting to “see” over them. Besides, cars have become so tall today (park any current sedan next to its 90s equivalent, and the difference is dramatic) that driving positions in general are more upright than they’ve ever been.

      In any case, I totally agree with DeadWeight that compact CUVs are a TERRIBLE value when compared to nearly anything else that you can buy (or rent!). If everyone is okay with that, it’s great news for the automakers.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I don’t find any of this class of car any easier to get in and out of than a mid-size sedan, most of which are pretty tall these days. If anything, they are harder as I have very short legs for my height. But I am tall, so I still have the leg length of the average size male, and longer than the average female. Sitting up high is of absolutely no advantage when everything else on the road is this tall now. So I just don’t get the appeal of sitting up high.

        I certainly get the appeal of the hatch on the back – I won’t have a vehicle as a daily driver without one.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I can’t speak for the city slickers (no offense to them), but I know I’ve always preferred sitting upright because that’s all I was driving for the 8 years before I got my license: tractors, truck, pickup, minivan. Nothing where I’m in a low position. It also explains why I consider 23 hwy MPG to be good–it’s in comparison to everything else.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I recently had a rental Escape, and I came away quite impressed. One of the things the author failed to mention was the Escape has a thimble for a gas tank. That was my only real criticism.

    For me, the Escape was spacious, comfortable, had ample cargo room and drove well. The front seats were terrific.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Is 15.1 gallons a small gas tank? Both the Rav4 and CRV have gas tanks that are under 16 gallons as well (15.3 for the Rav4 and 15.9 for the CRV).

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        My gas tank is 13 gallons and I can go 300 miles on the highway. I’d actually have to stop more often to get out and stretch than to refuel.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          15.1 gal is tiny. My similar sized Outback has a 19 gal giving it around 420mi comfortable range on the hwy. The Escape couldn’t break 300 comfortably. Heck my stable’s Q7 has a 26.5 gal tank.

          By comfortably, I don’t mean the low fuel light comes on and I start sweating. My life isn’t the Top Gear Basel to Blackpool chalange.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            What? Even using city MPG, 21*15.1=317.1. That’s breaking 300 with comfort to spare.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Gas gauges are as pessimistic as he suggests. One of my cars supposedly has a 13.2 gallon gas tank. I’ve driven it past the point where it has zero bars and the low fuel light has been on for 50+ miles, yet I’ve never put in more than 11.3 gallons. That time I was probably being shorted by the pump, judging by how little gas it usually takes to fill. Another car I drive is regularly returned to me by my business partner with 0 miles showing as its range. I hate not knowing how many miles it has been indicating a 0 mile range, but nobody has run it out of gas yet. I have taken to just moving it from one parking spot to another in such situations so he thinks I drove it without filling it up. Why should I be the one worried about making it to a gas station?

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            15 gallons means the needle on E with the light on at 12 and people who aren’t idiots already stopped to fill up at 11. Upper 200s is exactly right.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Gas gauges are as pessimistic…”
            As well they should be – running a tank dry these days will fry a fuel pump – in most cases a $1000 repair.
            It’s certainly a good idea to learn how accurate your fuel gauge/low fuel warning light is, and always fill up before you hit the 2-gallon mark – this will prevent the possibility of the fuel pump sucking air (which will reduce its life) during hard cornering.

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    I’ll weigh in here as I purchased a new CRV earlier this year. I moved from a Maxima to a CUV due to arthritis – it makes a huge difference in daily life. After lots of research, test drives, and message board reading, I narrowed it down to the C-Max, Escape, and CRV. I actually liked the C-Max best and have driven my employer issued 2011 Escape Hybrid 39K miles and the powertrain is the strong point of the vehicle. 36 MPG on average by the way. The C-Max quality has been horrible and every example I looked at had different body panel fit issues. The Escape drives very nice. It’s quieter than it’s competition and the 2.0 turbo is a lovely engine. It’s markedly more thirsty than the CRV, going by Fuelly.com and message board complaints. I average 29 MPG in my normal routine and just returned from a 1400 mile trip from SC to MI and back at 31.7 MPG. Coincidently, my 2010 Camry 4 cyl returned the same mileage in town and would give me a hair over 32 MPG on the same trip.

    The Escape is behind in real world space utilization and has some ergonomic issues compared to the CRV. The reliablility has not been stellar either. Styling is subjective, but I think it’s fine. The rear end is certainly better than the CRV.

    In the end, I didn’t want to pay more (mpg, sticker price, out the door price, and expected depreciation.)for a less useful and reliable vehicle even though it drove better than the CRV.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbolove

      That is really good mpg for the 2.0T. I’m wonder if the through break-in miles are resulting in the better than advertised mpg?

      I’m looking at a 2010-2011 9-4x/SRX with the turbo 2.8 similarly priced as a used Escape 2.0T.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Nice little CUV, and the 3500 lbs towing is amazing in a day and age when most manufacturers are scared to admit their vehicles can tow anything.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I can’t help it. The 07-12 Escape is just the best looking CUV of that size that’s been produced in the last 15 years (Grand Vitara a close second). This new one is so meh, another high beltline small windowed two box vehicle with a C-Pillar the size of Montana.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Just a quibble, but the ’08 was the first year with the ’08-’12 styling. With both a Grand Vitara and an ’09 Escape, I’d say the Vitara looks better even though the styling generation is 2 years older than the Escape. Despite being the owner of the Escape, I’d say it looks a bit dated compared to current cuv’s. But you have plenty of company in people who like the ’08-’12 styling.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “…AWD systems provide a piece of mind during foul weather”

    Sigh. Unless the car is putting a piece of human brain on the seat for you, it’s “peace of mind.” No “a” needed, either.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      How do AWD systems provide peace of mind in foul weather? Higher center of gravity, more prone to tipping, and heavier vehicles make me more anxious rather than less.

      I just hope driving an AWD vehicle doesn’t make me lose a piece of my mind up in here.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        It provides peace of mind to those who don’t know how to drive in snow and can’t be bothered to learn. Remember, until the mid-80’s, the majority of American cars were RWD and we got through the winters just fine.

        Personally, I’d be content with FWD if I could also get it with some decent ground clearance.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          “Remember, until the mid-80′s, the majority of American cars were RWD and we got through the winters just fine.”

          I’m old enough to remember, and no they did not. People that could get around in said cars were few and far between where I lived at the time. I actually enjoy driving in the snow, whichever wheels are driven. I’m far from average in this regard. Learn to drive an AWD car well, and you’ll get where you’re going more quickly and more safely. Or are rally teams composed of people that are just waiting for some internet know-it-all to show up in a 1976 Buick and humble them all? AWD had to be banned in Trans-Am and Indycar racing to avoid making RWD obsolete, which should provide some evidence about what performs the best no matter what the objective.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I will safely pass most fwd and awd vehicles on their all seasons in my low slung RX-8 with X-Ice or iPikes or (any) Nokians in as much as 8″ of snow, and I’ll also stop faster (safely) in icy conditions, as well.

            How do I know this? 9 winters. I can’t begin to recount how many ditched AWD and even 4×4 vehicles I have passed over those 9 winters, safe and secure on my dedicated snow tire enabled trek.

            Snow tires are among the least appreciated, most capable things vehicle related that I can think of, and tire technology (silica, compounds, tread design) has advanced dramatically over the last decade.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            A regular Mazda RX-8, which may or may not coincide to your “low slung RX-8,” has 4.7 inches of ground clearance. It wouldn’t go further than one car length in 8 inches of the wet, heavy snow of the mid-eastern-seaboard. Do you really think the people that get stuck in 4x4s would do any better if they were driving your car?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            First, in the really bad/accumulating snow storms, anyone should attempt to stay in the tire tracks created by the preceding traffic.

            Second, I’ve gotten along just fine on side streets covered in DEEP snow on Nokians while nose deep in the white stuff (as in plowing snow with my bumper cover).

            *Putting 17″ wheels and 215/55/17 tires on rather than the summer 225/45/18s gives about a 1/2″ increase in clearance, helping a bit, too.

            Finally, the ditched AWD and 4x4s I often see in/after heavy snows are most likely the byproduct of incompetent or reckless driving (but that’s the thing; many of the drivers of these vehicles have no idea what they are doing, forget the laws of physics in terms of stopping, and/or are running all season rubber that defeats their vehicles’ AWD advantages).

            I’m not saying rwd is better than AWD or 4×4 in the snow. I am saying are with traction control, stability control, and modern abs can accomplish amazing things that would shock many people when its coupled with good or excellent dedicated snow tires.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Notice I didn’t say “good”. I said “just fine,” which is vague Minnesotan vernacular for anything between “excellent” and “well, at least we’re all still alive.” Personally, I’m glad most cars are FWD, since the average driver doesn’t care, and I’m also glad there’s still a few RWD models for those who want them.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        I guess it’s that whole awd traction thing to get through slush and snow. It would be pretty damn hard to tip over a new escape, the probability of it tipping over is no greater then then well worshiped Camry. Sure if your driving like a douche and your have a lot of insecurities of not sitting on the ground to drive a vehicle it maybe a bit scary for some.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    $35,000.

    Let’s let that sink in a little. That’s Highlander LE+ AWD money. Or something else which doesn’t say “I’m a compact CUV.”

    Ford continues to disappoint me with their pricing. It’s like they think people are saying, “Oh, Lexus is too expensive so I’ll buy a Ford” or something.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      While I’d never consider a $35K Escape, the same stupefying pricing applies to the Highlander IMHO. There are several limited models over $46K on local Toyota lots. The “big” motor AWD Escape starts at $27,900. The V6 AWD Highlander LE starts at $32,180. The real crime is that a NA 4 cylinder FWD Highlander *starts* at just a hair under $30,000. Almost every car sold today has an eye watering fully optioned price.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You’re forgetting the Highlander is a size up, and seats up to 8. It’ll also carry higher resale value, and will arguably be more reliable in the long run. It’s also generally more prestigious than an Escape.

        And yes I realize some of these are subjective, but some of them are not.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          IMHO, that “prestige” was lost with the 2013 Highlander redesign.

          The Second Gen just looked very formal and stately. The first gen was okay, too.

          That Predator styling of the new one is just… I dunno. Toyota trying too hard.

          They’ll sell like hotcakes to the upper-middle class grad school conservatives and their-sinking-in-debt middle-class counterparts anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t like the new version either, as they have replaced the seriousness with derp. It has an awkward front overhang, and a back end just like the new Pathfinder (which I don’t like either).

            But I still think the middle class holds them in high regard. My dad would rather shop Highlanders than RX’s. I don’t get it. I keep telling him just shop the RX and he won’t have to worry about “finding one with options” because they come loaded.

            But then after we discuss it a while, he plays a little fake trump card, “Your mom wants the third row seat.” And I give up.

            They live alone, all 3 kids have moved out – my mom persists in a fantasy world where we still travel together.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            My lady and I checked out a 2010 Highlander.

            Very tasteful black over black and fully loaded.

            I really dug it, but wasn’t ready for my AARP Card at the old age of 29.

            I only tuck my shirt into my pants sometimes… not all the time. Lol

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          I think you’re absolutely wrong on the prestige factor.

          Many Escape/CR-V/RAV4/CX-5/etc buyers would not even look at anything with three rows of seating. Unless there’s a legitimate premium badge on the front, they end up perceived as one step short of a minivan.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re saying a CUV to many people is not desirable once it has three rows, because suddenly it’s a minivan.

            …what?

            Those buyers either 1) don’t have the money for something larger, or 2) don’t want a “big” CUV. It has nothing to do with the third row. Just a coincidence.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            No, it’s more than that. The third row makes it a “family hauler” and gives people images of soccer moms and screaming children and Cheerios ground into the carpet.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            A family member’s ’14 Durango has admirable 3rd row seats relative to most of the competition, and is just an outstanding vehicle overall (it’s what I’d buy if I were to buy any SUV, large or small, and I’m very picky).

            That Durango was purchased for 32ish k out the door, or nearly 8k off of the window sticker.

            The 8 speed transmission, Pentastar V6 (which gets her better fuel economy than my sister’s smaller SRX) and upgraded interior over the ’13 makes it every bit a premium vehicle IMO, and is a classic example of Steve Lang’s “hittin’ them where they ain’t.”

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            Don’t confuse prestige with quality. The Durango is an excellent vehicle, no question about it.

            But at the same time, you find a lot of press lauding the Grand Cherokee, and not a lot of attention paid to the Durango.

            I would also bet that the average transaction price of the GC is higher, despite having a slightly lower base MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Eeveryone has overlap in pricing Corey. Like johnny said, there are Highlander’s in the $40K range, but you can also option up a Rav4 to be more than the Highlander.

      A Flex SEL or Explorer XLT can be speced out for the same price as this Escape.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Of course they do! Just seems like Ford overprices things lately. Side note, I couldn’t have a Flex unless it was loaded. You very clearly can tell the lower trims on that vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I don’t see many Flex SEs around. Most are Limiteds with a scattering of SELs. In my neighborhood, the Flex Limited Ecoboost is the most common trim/engine.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            What’s the one where it’s available in limited colors – like silver lower half and all black on top? Limited Sport? Those are sweeeet.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s the Limited with the Appearance Package. It comes with the blacked out 20s, black roof/mirror caps, and limited colors. It also changes the interior for the better too. It removes wood grain and replaces it with black and aluminium trim. Two tone seats as well. If someone is spending $40K large on a Flex, they better pay the additional $495 for all of that. At least think of the second owner.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That is a very worthwhile $495. You’ll surely get your money back out of it (plus more) later. That’s such a serious looking car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Definetly. It makes the Flex look so much better. The colors they pair with the black roof look awesome too.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I guess is it available on Titanium package too? This looks RAWR.

            http://www.auto123.com/ArtImages/138894/Ford-Flex-Titanium-2011_i02.jpg

            Maybe that’ll be my next car. Or the XC70.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Basically the Titanium trim became an appearance package on the Limited and SEL. It’s a $495 option on the Limited and $1495 option on the SEL. The Limited comes standard with the aluminum liftgate trim. I think the Titanium had that, plus the black roof, other trim pieces, and until the refresh, was the only trim that spelled out F L E X on the front.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks, you’re good at Ford trims!

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      That $35k is actually about 28k in real life pricing. Ford is also offering 0% 72 month financing on the 2014 Escape. I’m not saying its a perfect vehicle. But it is also not boring to drive like a Highlander, it handles well for that type of vehicle and it also does not feel like your driving a mini van like a pathfinder.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Hideous shade of blue; a perfect example of why so many buyers default to black, white and silver.

    The Escape is nice CUV; very solid feeling, quiet at speed, and peppy with the 2L. My aunt test drove one in Titanium and liked it but couldn’t get past the looks. She ended up with the much slower but far cheaper and better-looking CX-5 GT.

  • avatar
    r129

    I noticed that a few commenters have had an Escape as a rental vehicle. I wonder how many of them reserved this class of vehicle, or how many were “upgraded” to one. Lately, the threat of being “upgraded” from a full size car to a compact CUV has become so real, I always make rental reservations at 2 different companies, just in case one of them runs out of sedans. Most people are okay or even happy with this “upgrade”, since the compact CUV typically costs 2-3 times more to rent, but I refuse to drive one on a long trip.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’d be the first one to admit Ford, of all the volume makes, has made the most progress relative to their past products OR many of their competitors, in terms of ride quality, chassis rigidity, solidity and quietness in terms of ride quality/driving dynamics.

      This would extend to the Escape, on a relative to other compact CUV basis.

      It’s rather unfortunate, then, that Ford is pricing their vehicles relatively high given that they’re bringing up the rear in terms of quality control issues and poor reliability.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It even comes with a silver plastic fake fender vent. Kind of de rigeur these days, since even the bargain-basement Korean sedans have them now.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    The base Escape is still called S, not SE, with the 2.5 N/A motor.

    Also, this vehicle has been on the market for 2 whole years. Calling it a ‘game changer’ is a little late.

    But face reality, the US car market will never be what ‘enthusiasts’ demand. Back in the 70’s, buff books whined about all the big cars, now all the SUV’s.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I’m all for fuel economy, but the “eco-boost” solution is a school of design that seems to trade away long-term durability, despite the immediate benefits, which seem to favor the manufacturer (“global” platform).

    3-year lease types don’t really care about a fried turbo, or tiny 4-cylinder engines strained by years of overburdening duty in overweight vehicles.

    I’d much rather have a properly-designed hybrid, where the additional torque is supplied by an electric motor, which actually eases the strain on the 4 cyl. powerplant. Yes, there will be a battery to replace at some point, but at least the condition and remaining life of a battery pack can be determined by (dealer-licensed) software, whereas the mechanical condition of an engine/turbo is more difficult to derive.

    As usual, my ramblings have generated another question: Will unscrupulous resellers of hybrid vehicles gain access to the ability to alter the readout of battery history to hide a worn-out pack? Sort of something to consider, as it will become the new equivalent of “turning back the odometer”.

    • 0 avatar

      I have seen hybrids with 200,000 miles on them and the battery working just fine. I spoke to some NYC cabbies that took battery life and replacement costs into consideration, but none of then had to actually replace a hybrid battery.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      I think hybrid battery worries are kind of a non-issue at this point, at least for “conventional” hybrids. They’re all warranted for 8 years and 100k miles — after that point, the car isn’t going to be worth enough for anyone to bother much with hacking them. And even then, they’re not all that expensive to replace. E.g., Toyota only charges a bit over $2k for the 2nd-gen Prius packs, and you can get rebuilt ones for less.

      In the end, I’d worry way more about transmission failures (in any car) than a hybrid battery failure.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Hybrid battery replacement amounts to an urban myth. There is so little demand for them, that asking prices for Escape Hybrid batteries on eBay are about $700. So much for the $8000 claims.

      There is an ’08 Escape Hybrid in the US with over 500,000 miles on it, and it shows no loss of mileage due to battery degradation. Many thousands of Escape Hybrids and Prius’ have been used as taxis in US cities, racking up 300,000+ miles with no problem.

      In the unlikely event a battery fails, the individual faulty cells can be replaced.

      People tend to associate the dismal life of rechargeable household and tool batteries with hybrid batteries. The difference they don’t know about is the vehicle batteries are carefully capacity and temperature controlled for long life. Typically they are only used between 40-60% capacity and so are basically never fully charged or discharged.

      So far as I know, there is no “readout” to identify the age of a hybrid battery. Battery performance can be analyzed. Even a degraded battery will not affect the other aspects of a hybrid’s efficiency, and so will have only a small effect on mileage.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    If some of the folks above discussing AWD vs FWD+snow tires were as smart as they seem to think they are, they would stop the tiresome habits of unfair comparisons and confusing technological capability with human behavior.

    There is no question AWD vehicles have better traction than 2wd. There is no question a car with better clearance will get through rougher stuff than one with lesser clearance. There is no question more clearance leads to a higher center of gravity which will degrade cornering. There is no question snow tires grip better on snow than all-seasons.

    Yet, some persist in comparing AWD equipped with all-seasons, with 2wd with snow tires. How about making it fair and comparing AWD plus snow tires with 2wd plus snow tires? How about factoring out the skill of the drivers when comparing different vehicle configurations and tire types?

    Consider what an AWD vehicle with snow tires and a skilled driver can do in snow. Can a 2wd with snow tires and a driver of equal skill match it? Um, no.

    I agree that like many features and for many car buyers, AWD is yet another feature that allows manufacturers to condition the public into believing an increasingly upscale vehicle is the minimum equipment level for an acceptable purchase. But AWD probably offers a better value proposition than, say, expensive artsy proprietary headlight clusters or padded surfaces no one will ever touch.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The problem is, the majority of people see AWD as a perfectly fine substitute for having the proper tires on the vehicle. It simply is NOT. *I* know better, which is why my AWD Range Rover runs appropriate tires in the winter, just like my RWD BMW does. And my FWD Saab did. With the added bonus that since I am not using tires that have to be jack of all trades but master of none, I can run higher performance tires for summer use in the summer than “all seasons” that have to be usable all year. The proof that I am correct is all around every winter when the roads are slippery.

      AWD does nothing for the majority of people but waste money and supply a false sense of confidence. I have absolutely NO concern over getting stuck in the winter. I have HUGE concern over being able to stop and steer, neither of which are helped particularly by AWD, in comparison to having the right tires on the vehicle.

      So ultimately, I agree with you that AWD+snow tires is the best. My Rover laughs at winter. But it hits your wallet three ways: costs more to buy, costs more in gas, and costs more to fix. I have AWD on the Rover because that is the only way they come, and I do regularly have to haul boats and Seadoos over a sand beach and up a steep embankment at the lake. That it is a great winter vehicle is just a bonus, the BMW will get me anywhere I need to go. And really, if the conditions are just slippery, and not unplowed snow, the BMW IS better than the Rover. It stops better, and it steers better, because it weighs almost 1500lbs less. The Rover would win a drag race in the slipperies, but who cares?? And this is with the Rover having much more aggressive tires. Obviously an AWD BMW would be better than the RWD one in the same conditions on the same tires. But at a cost I am unwilling to pay. As someone on here previously said, it’s spending $6000 to keep from spending $600 on the right tires. Nicer plastics cost about nothing. Better headlights at least let you see better in the dark every single night(though I find them to be well past the point of value for money too, I ordered my BMW with halogens). AWD is really useful only a handful of days a year, and even on those days, it is just not THAT useful for the majority of people. It will even get some of them injured or killed.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The cell phone Millennial look dash, boring blah grey/charcoal interior and monotone look do not make me think 35 grand. And I still wonder how these highly stressed turbo 4 bangers are going to hold up in the real world, especially after towing. The exterior styling really does little to raise my heartbeat either. I can go right across the street to the Hyundai store and get a V6, larger cargo area and much more pleasing interior looks/quality for this kind of coin!

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