Buying a previously owned 2016 Ford Escape is a smart choice for a number of reasons. Because it’s a late model vehicle, the 2016 Escape qualifies for Ford’s Certified Pre-Owned Program that offers used car buyers many of the benefits and assurance enjoyed by new car buyers. The 2016 Escape isn’t all that different from the current model, although it wears the original front-end styling we think is more distinctive than the current Escape.
With three engine options, including two turbocharged variants (plus front- or all-wheel drive), the 2016 Escape displays multiple personalities. 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 like the Honda CR-V, the Subaru Forester and the Chevrolet Equinox, the Escape’s long list of high-tech and luxury features makes it a very tempting choice.
The front-seat headroom and legroom are both generous, but the Escape’s 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.
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; 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, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission option, and AWD is not available.
Next up are the Escape SE and the 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/26 mpg combined with FWD and 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined with AWD.
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/25 mpg combined with FWD and 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined with AWD.
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 2016, the Escape offers three possible trims: S, SE and Titanium. All but the S trim can be equipped with AWD.
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 that 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 upgraded SYNC 3 with an 8-in touchscreen and AppLink smartphone integration, 9-speaker audio, 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 1-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 are intelligent access with push-button starting, 18-in wheels, high-intensity discharge headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, a foot-activated lift gate, the reverse-sensing system, SYNC 3 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.
Stand-alone options for the SE and the Titanium include a panoramic sunroof, voice-activated navigation, AWD and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Cargo space with the rear seats up is 34.3 cu ft., which expands to 67.8 cu ft. (pretty good for the class) when a 1-touch lever folds those seats down.
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 checking 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.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2016 Ford Escape:
A recall was issued regarding a driver’s knee airbag that may fail to inflate.
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, in which it earned a Poor rating.
The 2016 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 include 7 years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage 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
2016 Honda CR-V — The CR-V costs less than a comparably equipped Escape and offers much better reliability and resale figures. It’s not as sporty or fun to drive, however, and it can’t match the Escape’s long list of available features or engine options.
2016 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 midlevel models feel rather sparse inside.
2016 Mazda CX-5 — The CX-5 is every bit as fun to drive as the Escape, and it 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.
We think the best choice is the SE trim with the 2.0-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.