After a more in-depth refresh last year, the 2024 Ford Escape receives only a tiny bit of polish to help it stand up against segment giants like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. You'd think that with four solid engine options, including a 210-horsepower plug-in hybrid, the Escape wouldn't struggle as much as it does, but the interior is not up to scratch in terms of quality, and the Escape isn't very involving to drive, although it does ride comfortably. But if you really want something from the USA, then Ford's compact SUV may be just what you're looking for, especially if you want a little more kick from the powertrain. However, the more rugged Ford Bronco Sport, which shares a platform with the Escape, might be the more exciting choice in this regard.
The base Escape is now limited to fleets, leaving the Escape Active as the most affordable option for consumers. On the ST-Line and above, intelligent access with push-button start is now standard. A rejigged color palette removes the Rapid Red and Star White options for the Active, although this trim does gain Race Red. Cinnabar Red and Atlas Blue have been removed from the range.
This year, the base Escape becomes a fleet-only model and starts at $28,000. For consumers, this means the Active, with a starting price of $29,345, is the cheapest 2024 Ford Escape. This gets you the EcoBoost Active, and aside from the $40,500 Plug-in Hybrid, it's the only trim that doesn't offer a choice between the gas-fed EcoBoost engine and the hybrid variant. With this in mind, the ST-Line will cost you $30,340 or $33,340 for the gas or hybrid engine, respectively, while the ST-Line Select sells for $34,040 or $35,040. Unlike the rest of the range, the Platinum is actually cheaper in hybrid form at $36,965, while the gas option costs $37,465. At the top of the regular lineup is the ST-Line Elite, which goes for $38,460 as a gas model or $39,460 as a hybrid. These prices are MSRP and do not include the $1,495 destination charge. It is worth noting that the PHEV is eligible for tax incentives.
With this in mind, the Plug-in Hybrid is a good deal if you can stretch to it, since it gets the most fuel-efficient powertrain and a good list of features that include the large 13.2-inch touchscreen and complete safety suite. But if you want to stick with a gas-only model, the ST-Line Select is the best choice since it upgrades from the 1.5-liter EcoBoost to a more engaging 2.0L version. It also gets access to the Tech Pack, which suits it up with many of the features found in the Platinum at a much lower price.
The Ford Escape's interior is modern and well-appointed, with a large touchscreen and digital gauge cluster on upper trims.
Aside from the use of some harsh and cheap plastics, the interior is otherwise modern and well-appointed. The large touchscreen that comes in slightly higher in the lineup is particularly impressive, and it is positioned for ease of access right in the center of the dashboard. This complements the almost-as-big digital gauge cluster also found similarly higher up in the trim range. The materials get upgraded, too, which means you can get an interior space that feels somewhat upmarket, but you have to pay for it. What physical buttons there are get spread out across the central console, the steering wheel, and door handles to avoid a cluttered look.
Sticking with a total of five seats, the new Ford Escape crossover manages to feel quite spacious, with even the hybrids not losing out on much legroom due to their batteries; compared to gas-only models, hybrids have almost two inches less rear legroom. With headroom remaining great all-around, you can easily fit an adult into any seating position without much trouble. Getting inside or out is also easy, thanks to that high roof and a raised floor. A power-adjustable seat for the driver allows them to find a comfortable position that aids visibility, and the few blind spots that may hinder your sight lines are done away by the standard assistance features.
Sticking with five seats was a smart decision as it ensures there is plenty of cargo space behind the second row - namely 37.5 cubic feet, with hybrids only losing three cubes to make room for the batteries. This difference is slightly higher once you fold down the rear seats, which supplies the gas models with 65.4 cu-ft, while hybrids get 60.8 cu-ft. If they folded down flat, there would be even more space on offer.
For small items, there are a number of spots spread around the cabin, including a glove compartment, an armrest cubby, and two cupholders in the front console, with another six more spread out around the cabin. The doors have spacious pockets, too, and there is a pocket on the back of the front passenger seat. Another small bin in the center console is perfect for your smart devices, while an overhead storage tray can take your sunglasses.
|Ford Escape||Toyota RAV4||Honda CR-V|
|40 in. front|
39.3 in. rear
|37.7 in. front|
39.5 in. rear
|38.2-40 in. front |
38.2 in. rear
|42.4 in. front|
40.7 in. rear
38.9 in. rear (hybrid)
|41 in. front|
37.8 in. rear
|41.3 in. front |
41 in. rear
|37.5 - 60.8 ft³|
34.4 - 60.8 ft³ (hybrid)
|37.5 - 69.8 ft³|
33.4 - 63.2 ft³ (RAV4 PHEV)
|39.3 - 76.5 ft³ |
36.3 - 76.5 ft³ (hybrid)
As with most compact cars, the Escape comes upholstered with cloth in its most basic form, while interior colors include Ebony Black and Space Gray. All the ST-Line trims are upholstered in a special vinyl/cloth blend with sporty red stitching, but you get fewer colors to choose from, as only Ebony Black really shows off that feature. The Platinum is the only model with plusher leatherette, which Ford brands ActiveX. This gets the same black and gray palette as the entry-level trim. On this trim, you can upgrade to leather upholstery with special quilting, a change that requires adding the Premium Technology Package. Partial vinyl and cloth in Space Gray or Ebony is available for the PHEV, with leather an option here too.
With the Active as the starting point for the consumer lineup, you get loads of features as standard. These include dual-zone climate control, cruise control, an eight-inch digital cluster, and an eight-inch touchscreen display. The infotainment suite comprises wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM, Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth streaming, four USB ports, and six speakers. As you progress through the range, the Escape adds remote engine start, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 13.2-inch touchscreen, wireless phone charging, a power liftgate, and more widely adjustable front seats. Via several packages, you can add a panoramic vista roof, a head-up display, HD Radio, and a ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
|Dual-zone climate control|
|Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto|
|Heated front seats|
The Ford Escape has four engine options, including gas and hybrid configurations, with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost mill delivering the best acceleration times.
The Ford Escape has four engine options, evenly split between gas and hybrid configurations. Lower trims get the weakest 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that develops just 180 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, but from the ST-Line Select up, a stronger 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine becomes the norm with 250 hp and 280 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive is standard for the base engine, while all-wheel drive is optional but standard with the stronger EcoBoost engine. Every ST-Line model and the Platinum offer an alternative hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter four-pot with an electric motor making 192 hp combined, also with the choice of FWD or AWD. The final setup is a plug-in hybrid that combines the same 2.5L engine with a stronger electric motor for 210 hp combined, though it is exclusively available with FWD. Gas-powered models rely on an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrids use a CVT.
The best performance comes via the 2.0L gas unit, and independent tests claim it will get the Ford Escape from 0-60 mph in just under six seconds. Although the 1.5L EcoBoost isn't very refined, it delivers an adequate 0-60 time of around 7.7 seconds, similar to what can be expected from the PHEV. For the normal hybrid, expect a 0-60 time in the mid-eight-second region. The Escape is capable of hitting a top speed of over 120 mph, not that this is very important for a compact SUV.
Finally, the maximum towing capacity for the base engine is 2,000 pounds, while the stronger four-cylinder can add up to 3,500 lbs. With the hybrids, the maximum towing capacity drops to 1,500 lbs. But, even with AWD, the Escape doesn't have enough ground clearance for more than the most minor of off-road driving.
When it comes to the actual driving experience, the Escape doesn't lack power, but it's not particularly sporty. The steering is light, but the vehicle exhibits a fair amount of body roll, and grip levels aren't high. On a positive note, the ride quality is comfortable, but tire noise is noticeable.
With so many engine and drivetrain combinations, gas mileage varies significantly. The most basic setup sees the Ford Escape get 27/34/30 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles - this being with the 1.5L three-cylinder engine and FWD. With AWD, the same engine gets 26/32/28 mpg. The stronger gas engine is AWD only and manages 23/31/26 mpg.
The hybrids also offer a choice between FWD and AWD, but both setups get the same 42/36/39 mpg. The most impressive of the lot is naturally the plug-in hybrid, with 101 MPGe or 40 mpg combined once the battery runs out. With an 11.2-kWh battery, it allows the Escape to travel for 37 miles on electric power alone, and it takes 10-11 hours to charge at Level 1 or 3.5-4.5 hours at Level 2.
The 1.5L FWD models have a fuel capacity of 14.8 gallons, allowing for a 444-mile range on a full tank. With AWD and 1.5L, the tank size is 15.7 gallons, dropping the range to 440 miles. The 2.0L model has a 15.7-gallon tank, too, enough to cover 408 miles between refills.
The normal hybrid's fuel tank capacity of 14.3 gallons equates to a range of 558 miles, while the PHEV has an 11.3-gallon tank. The EPA says this model can cover 520 miles between its gas engine and electric motor.
|1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas|
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
|2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid|
|2.5L Inline-4 Plug-In Hybrid |
|180 hp||250 hp||192 hp combined||210 hp combined|
|FWD: 27/34/30 mpg|
AWD: 26/32/28 mpg
|23/31/26 mpg||42/36/39 mpg||101 MPGe/40 mpg combined|
|7.7 seconds est.||5.7 seconds est.||8.5 seconds est.||7.7 seconds est.|
The Ford Escape received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and mostly Good scores in crash tests conducted by the IIHS.
The NHTSA's safety review of the Ford Escape returned a five-star overall rating. The IIHS last crash-tested the 2023 model and awarded it a score of Good in every field except for the updated side test, which only received a Marginal result.
One of the reasons for the overall great score is the strong list of safety features that includes seven airbags, ABS, EBD, stability control, a rearview camera, automatic high beams, and even more advanced driver assists. The Active - essentially the base model outside of the fleet-only Base trim - gets the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite with forward collision avoidance, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detention, as well as blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. On upper trims, you get rear parking sensors, evasive steering assist, and a surround-view camera.
|Forward collision warning|
|Automatic emergency braking|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There aren't any recent reliability ratings for the Ford Escape from J.D. Power, but the refresh in 2023 didn't change the underlying machinery. Thus, the 2022 score of 81 out of 100 should still be mostly applicable. However, there have been a number of recalls over the years that might give buyers some pause. These include three recalls for the 2023 model for an instrument panel that may not illuminate, and engine failure leading to a fire risk, and a cracked fuel injector that could leak and cause a fire. The 2022 model year saw multiple recalls for engine, powertrain, fuel system, and electrical issues. So far, the 2024 model is recall-free.
Every 2024 Ford Escape gets an average warranty plan for three years/36,000 miles, or five years/60,000 miles for the powertrain. Hybrid components are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.
The modern Escape crossover is quite handsome compared to its pre-facelift version, thanks to sharper bends around the front fascia and a bolder side profile. Already a bit sportier, it looks even more athletic in one of the many ST-Line guises, which get a large rear spoiler, a black mesh grille, and a bumper insert that looks a little like a skid-plate. LED headlights are standard, along with signature running lights, which can be bolstered by a coast-to-coast LED lightbar on the Platinum and ST-Line Elite. Most trims get LED foglights, too. The base 17-inch alloy wheels are upgraded to 18- or 19-inch alloys as you move up the trim levels. You also get a power liftgate as standard, while the vista roof is an optional extra.
Ford has invested a decent amount of time and energy into the 2024 Escape to keep it competitive in the fierce compact SUV segment. However, no amount of updates or refreshes can remedy the fact that it is fundamentally worse than almost every other option out there. It has some strong points, most of which revolve around the various powertrains, which deliver a good mix of efficiency and performance. It also rides comfortably and all trims have a generous mix of comfort, tech, and safety features. However, you can get the same performance from the Bronco Sport, which is a more capable alternative. The best-selling models in this segment, Toyota's RAV4 and Honda's CR-V, are also better built and more complete packages than the Ford. For now, the attractively styled Escape is an average vehicle in a segment full of sparkling contenders.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Ford Escape: