The 2017 Ford Escape gets updated looks, two new powertrains including a 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo-four and a twin-turbo 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with new engine stop-start technology, a new steering wheel, and a reworked interior.
The 2017 Ford Escape offers new features including an updated automatic parking system, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The new model has a ground clearance that’s lower than its predecessor by 0.1 inches and the fuel tank is slightly bigger than the 2016 version—
by 0.8 gallons.
The Ford Escape is one of the best-selling crossovers in its class of compact two-row SUVs. In size, the Escape falls below the Edge, Explorer, Flex, and the Expedition in the Ford lineup.
Front wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on Ford Escape except the base vehicles with the 2.5-liter I-4 engine.
The 2017 Ford Escape updated engines include a new turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a tweaked twin-turbo 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The 1.5-liter engine makes 179 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. 2.0 EcoBoost option at the top of the lineup makes 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, and is married to the same six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. In 2017 Ford Escapes equipped with the 1.5-liter or the 2.0-liter engines, you can get front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. EPA estimates for the 1.5 EcoBoost are 23/30 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 22/28 mpg with all-wheel drive. Upgrade to the 2.0 EcoBoost and the ratings are 22/29 mpg with front-wheel drive and 20/27 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Base models of the 2017 Ford Escape will come with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5-liter engine also gets the six-speed automatic transmission as well, but it gets a thumb switch for manual control instead of paddle shifters. The base 2017 Ford Escape with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I-4 engine is only available as front-wheel drive. The EPA estimates that the base engine will get 21/29 mpg.
The 2017 Ford Escape missed Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS because of its Marginal rating in the small overlap front test, though it received a Good rating in four other tests and a Basic rating in front crash prevention (higher scores of Advanced and Superior are also available).
The NHTSA has rated the 2017 Ford Escape with an overall five-star rating (out of a possible five stars).
What We Think
In our First Drive review of the 2017 Ford Escape powered by the 1.5-liter I-4 engine in the SE and the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine in the Titanium edition, we were pleased overall with the changes Ford made to its popular crossover. Sure it’s still got some rough ride to it but that’s part of what the Escape customer likes. We thought that comfort tire and wheel equipment felt odd on the front-wheel drive SE we drove.
On the road, the steering reacts quickly without being strangely twitchy and the body roll is minimal until you decide to really toss the small crossover into a hard corner. The new standard engine stop-start system is not intrusive enough and can be switched off. In a First Test review, after we’d driven many of the Escape’s competitors on the same road on the same day, some editors found issue with the 1.5 EcoBoost’s delay with wide-open throttle inputs, with acceleration that’s on the slower side of the class.