Used Car Review

2014 Ford Escape: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo August 2016

The 2014 Ford Escape is unique among compact SUVs in that it offers not only economical transportation but also a range of engine options and a very sporty driving experience. The Escape's European-inspired design is sleek and racy, yet its interior accommodations can fit four adults or two up front with a cargo bay full of gear. And while overall interior space is smaller than competitors such as the Honda CR-V, the Subaru Forester and the Chevrolet Equinox, the Escape's long list of high-tech and luxury features make it a very tempting choice.

Both front-seat headroom and legroom are generous, but the narrow footwells might have larger drivers feeling cramped and confined. Clever features such as a foot-activated power rear hatch, a panoramic glass sunroof and the ability to parallel-park itself make the Escape highly desirable to those who seek the latest in advanced technology. However, we should also mention that the 2014 Escape has had more recalls and problems than the majority of its competitors, many of them serious safety issues.

What We Like

Excellent ride and handling; powerful turbocharged engines; good fuel economy; sleek styling; lots of clever features; upscale interior

What We Don't

Small cargo area; uncomfortable rear seat; poorly equipped base models; glitch-prone MyFord Touch; more expensive than comparably equipped competitors

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The base Escape S is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque and returns 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission option, and all-wheel drive is not available.

Next up are the Escape SE and Titanium, both of which employ a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine rated at 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns impressive fuel-economy ratings of 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Optional on the SE and Titanium models is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an impressive 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Ford recommends but does not require premium fuel for the EcoBoost engines. Using regular fuel will slightly reduce power to compensate for the lower-octane mix.

Standard Features & Options

For 2014, the Escape offers three possible trims: S, SE and Titanium. All but the S trim can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

The S includes 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, a 6-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input jack and Sync voice activation, a rearview monitor, a MyKey programmable key fob (this allows parents to set limits on top speed and radio volume), a tilt-telescopic steering wheel and a rear wiper/washer.

The SE adds the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, 17-in alloy wheels, exterior keypads for the door locks, satellite radio, rear privacy glass, a multi-information screen, reclining rear seats, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar, a rear-seat center armrest, fog lights and automatic headlights. The SE Convenience package adds Sync with an 8-in touchscreen and MyFord touch, an LCD configurable display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt plug-type outlet and Ford's reverse-sensing system. The Leather Comfort package adds leather seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and power windows with a one-touch up/down feature.

The Titanium adds heated side mirrors, leather seating surfaces, a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support and heated front seats. Also standard is Intelligent Access with push-button start, 18-in wheels, high-intensity discharge headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, a foot-activated lift gate, the reverse-sensing system, MyFord Touch with an 8-in touchscreen control panel and Sony 10-speaker audio. Options for the Titanium trim include the Titanium Technology package, which brings bi-xenon headlights, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, rain sensing wipers and Active Park Assist.

Standalone options for the SE and Titanium include a panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation, all-wheel drive and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

Pricing

The Ford Escape holds a slightly lower-than-average resale value, which means you can probably get a nicely equipped SE or Titanium model for about the same price as a midlevel-trim Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester. To get a good idea of the Escape's price range, we suggest using the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2014 Ford Escape:

Recalls were issued for a possible misalignment between the exterior door handle and the outer door panel that makes it difficult to close, for a possible software problem that could result in a delayed deployment of the side-curtain airbags and for a possible substandard weld in the front seatback assemblies.

A recall was issued for a possible malfunctioning instrument cluster.

A recall was issued for a possible problem with a faulty fuel pump that may fail.

A recall was issued for a problem where the fuel-delivery module may crack, resulting in low fuel pressure that could lead to the engine stalling.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

In crash tests performed by the NHTSA, the Escape earned four out of five stars in the front-crash and rollover tests, as well as five stars in the side-impact test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Escape ratings of Good in all but the small-overlap front crash test, where it earned a Poor rating.

The 2014 Escape left the factory with a fully transferable 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Ford does offer extended warranties on its certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, which includes 7 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain from the date the car entered service and a 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive plan for cars no longer covered by the basic factory warranty. CPO cars also undergo a rigorous 172-point inspection to repair or replace any part that's not up to Ford standards.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V costs less than a comparably equipped Escape and offers much better reliability and resale figures. However, it's not as sporty or fun to drive, and it can't match the Escape's long list of available features or engines options.

2014 Toyota RAV4 -- The RAV4 holds its value better than the Escape and offers more cargo room and a better repair history. But the Toyota only comes with one engine option and feels rather sparse inside.

2014 Mazda CX-5 -- The CX-5 is every bit as fun to drive as the Escape and gets better fuel economy. On the other hand, the Mazda's interior is a bit plain, and it doesn't offer such features as the dual-panel Vista Roof or a foot-activated power rear lift gate.

Autotrader's Advice

We think the best choice is the SE trim with the 2-liter EcoBoost engine and the SE Convenience package. This version is nicely equipped and delivers great performance and good fuel economy. We also like the power and fuel economy of the 1.6-liter engine, but it sometimes struggles at high speeds.

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Used 2014 Ford Escape FWD SE
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Used 2014 Ford Escape 4WD SE
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Used 2014 Ford Escape 4WD Titanium
Used 2014 Ford Escape
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2014 Ford Escape: Used Car Review - Autotrader