The 2017 Ford Escape is a compact crossover that's now been with us since as long ago as 2000 when it entered the market as a 2001 model year. We're now into what is the third-generation for the Escape, but as the current generation was launched back in 2012, the 2017 model year sees the crossover benefitting from a mid-cycle refresh this time around. The Escape is a superb example of just how popular crossovers are with buyers these days as apart from the odd occasion, where the excellent Fusion sedan takes over briefly, the F-150 is the only model in the Ford range that currently outsells it.
The Escape was already a very attractive vehicle, but the facelift for the 2017 Ford Escape makes it even better looking than it already was. A hexagonal upper grille and stern headlamps that are impossible to ignore replace the previous model’s trapezoidal grille and lights, which takes the styling of the front of the Escape much closer the Edge and other models in Ford's SUV lineup. Fog lamps sitting in their individual hexagon mountings occupy the bottom corners of the front fascia, and they nicely flank the functional air intake that's there to feed the intercooler on EcoBoost versions of the Escape. Turbo-equipped models also get active upper-grille shutters to streamline the airflow at highway speeds, and that helps with fuel economy.
There might only be three different trim levels of 2017 Ford Escape, but that hasn't stopped the manufacturer adorning them with a full complement of three different engines. The entry level trim is the S, the middle trim is the SE, and the range is completed with the top-of-the-line Titanium model.
The standard engine in the S model is a 2.5-liter inline-four that develops 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque, which then goes to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift capability. Meanwhile, SE and Titanium trims come standard with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-four with Auto Start-Stop Technology for improved fuel-efficiency. This engine will get you 179 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, and it also opens up the option of Ford's intelligent four-wheel drive system for SE and Titanium models. There's no option to upgrade the standard engine in the entry level S model, but the other two trims do offer an optional engine. This unit is another inline-four, but this time the EcoBoost engine is a 2.0-liter offering that produces 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque.
Ford has made a smart move with the 2017 Escape as far as balancing fuel-economy and power is concerned. There's no doubting the fact the Escape is one of the most frugal vehicles in its class, but it's not quite the most fuel efficient as that could have led to compromising performance, and that certainly hasn't happened here.
The front-wheel drive only 2.5-liter engine is rated at 21 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined.* The 1.5 is likely to prove to be the most popular powerplant in 2017 Ford Escape, and this one will deliver 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. If the extra capability of all-wheel drive is specified, the EPA ratings are then 22/28/24 mpg, respectively.
The Ford Escape was already one of the very best crossovers in its segment, but the 2017 model is now even better than it was.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.