2022 Ford Escape

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2022 Ford Escape Review: A Bold New Look

After struggling to keep up with the competition for far too long, the Ford Escape finally underwent a complete overhaul for 2020. Complete might be a bit misleading, though. It still gets a turbocharged three-cylinder engine as standard, although with slightly higher outputs of 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. The turbo-four-pot also received minor improvements, but it's the addition of the hybrid options that excited most, although we review those variants separately. With a bold design, both inside and out, as well as a long list of standard features across the range, the Escape is ready to take on the likes of the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson. You can pick it up just as cheaply for $25,555 in the USA, or spring for one of the pricier hybrid models and potentially save more in the long run.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
8.0
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2022 Ford Escape Changes: What’s the Difference vs the 2020 Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape was brand-new for the 2020 model year and last year it received hybrid models, as well as a host of additional safety and other features. This year, Ford is not meddling with a winning recipe and the Escape continues essentially unchanged, save for slightly reshuffled optional features and the addition of three new metallic paint colors: Flight Blue, Atlas Blue, and Iced Blue Silver.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful turbo-four engine
  • Athletic handling
  • Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite standard
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Capacious trunk
  • Disappointing in-line three-cylinder
  • Inconsistent interior quality

Best Deals on 2022 Ford Escape

2022 Ford Escape Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,185
SE
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,520
SE Hybrid
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,185
SEL
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,895
SEL Hybrid
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,550
See All 2022 Ford Escape Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Escape has never been a show-stopper on the road, with not enough punch from the base engine to have fun, and not enough handling to properly enjoy the more powerful four-cylinder powertrain. However, the lighter 2020 redesign finally turned that reputation on its head. The new-generation SUV has enough power on tap to give it that extra kick in the pants it really needs. Throttle responses aren't overly eager, but there is a sense of playfulness there, especially when you opt for the turbocharged four-pot.

With sub-six-second acceleration times, the Escape is able to deliver on the promise its svelte, aerodynamic design makes. The excellent handling dynamics are a revelation in comparison to Escapes of yore and this means you can actually enjoy what the Ford is offering. Naturally, you'd expect this to come at the expense of ride comfort, but the Escape does a good job of mitigating most road conditions, even when outfitted with the large 19-inch alloys.

Five drive modes allow you to customize your experience to suit your mood, with Sport delivering the most feedback from the wheels and quicker throttle responses, while Normal or Eco take a more mindful approach to cut down your fuel bill or emphasize safer driving.

Verdict: Is the Ford Escape A Good SUV?

Ford's subcompact SUV may have struggled to stand out in the past, but that is certainly no longer the case since its 2020 overhaul. Thanks to a bold design, the Ford Escape turns heads rather than stomachs. The exterior is athletic, while the interior is modern and full of the latest technologies.

Ford Co-Pilot360 is standard on every trim, essentially matching the value offered by its leading competitors like the Honda CR-V. Add to this an excellent infotainment suite on the upper trims, good material choices, and an overall spacious cabin, and Ford may have a real recipe for success. Notably, this isn't the SUV for you if towing capacity is something you prioritize.

If gas engines just aren't modern enough for you, the Escape comes in three available hybrid configurations and three plug-in hybrids, which we review separately.

Check out other Ford Escape Styles

2022 Ford Escape Comparisons

Ford Edge Ford
Honda CR-V CarBuzz

2022 Ford Escape vs Ford Edge

Unlike its smaller sibling, the Ford Edge is not a new car anymore. But it did receive a refresh in 2019, so it's not too outdated. That said, the Edge still feels pretty dated. The smaller SUV has access to the same 250-hp engine available to its big bro, but its lighter body and more athletic design mean that it can do more with the power on offer. When you add the available hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, the Escape just has so much more variety, although the Edge does get a V6-powered ST performance model. Naturally, the Edge has a bit more space inside, but thanks to its 2020 redesign, the Escape isn't that far behind when it comes to passenger space. It can even almost compete with the Edge's 39.2-cubic-foot trunk. With a lower price tag, better fuel economy, more modern standard features, and competitive cargo capacity, the Ford Escape just feels like the better choice. But if you really need the extra trunk space, there's no getting around the fact that the Edge has better ratings in terms of practicality.

See Ford Edge Review

2022 Ford Escape vs Honda CR-V

While it hasn't received a complete update like the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V has always been the more modern of the two SUVs. This means that it doesn't feel that far behind the 2022 Escape. Its standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is a tad stronger than the Ford's, with 190 hp and 179 lb-ft, but it doesn't get the option of a stronger powertrain. Although the CR-V Hybrid is a match for the hybrid powertrain Ford has on offer, it has nothing to rival the Escape's PHEV alternative. Inside, the Japanese SUV has more space, with an impressive 39.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. It also feels more upscale, with higher quality materials and better construction. In terms of driver-assistance features, the two rivals are on par, and the same goes for infotainment. The Ford gets a better sound system, and both get a wireless charging pad on the top trim. While the choice between the two SUVs was always clear in the past, the new updates to the Escape make it a lot more about taste than actual empirical value.

See Honda CR-V Review

2022 Ford Escape Popular Comparisons

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