2015 Ford Escape Preview

FAST FACTS
  • New Magnetic Metallic paint color
  • Three engine choices
  • Front-wheel or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD)
  • 5-passenger seating
  • EPA-rated 32 mpg highway
  • Optional parallel park-assist system
  • S, SE, and Titanium trim levels
  • Up to 68.1 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the front seats
  • 3,500-lb. maximum towing capacity

Introduction

One of the pioneers of the modern-day small SUV/crossover movement, the Ford Escape has undergone a vast array of transformative changes over the years, resulting in one of the more stylish and technology-packed vehicles of its kind on the market, offering amenities ranging from a foot-activated power tailgate to turbocharged engines delivering equal parts performance and efficiency. For 2015, updates are limited to the introduction of a new exterior paint color.

Exterior Features

With the exception of a single new paint color, the 2015 Ford Escape looks identical to the 2014 model. Depending on trim level, buyers will find exterior goods that include a foot-activated power tailgate, black or body-color trim, heated mirrors, fog lights, wheels ranging from 17-in. steel rims to 19-in. alloys, silver or black roof rails, and a rear spoiler.

Interior Features

Inside, the base 2015 Ford Escape S crossover is equipped with the voice-activated Sync infotainment system, while the mid-level SE adds a power driver's seat with 10-way adjustment, satellite radio service, exterior temperature display, and extra storage provisions. The top-of-the-line Escape Titanium ups the ante a bit more courtesy of the MyFord Touch system, dual-zone automatic climate control, memory settings for the driver, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, push-button start, leather trim, and a premium audio system.

Optional Features

Among the more notable options available for the 2015 Ford Escape are the SE Leather Comfort package comprised of leather upholstery and heated front seats, Titanium Technology package that includes HID headlights and several safety systems, panoramic moonroof, and a navigation unit.

Under the Hood

The base engine for the 2015 Ford Escape is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is directed to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission (this engine is not offered on AWD Escape models). Next up in the lineup is the 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that generates 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. At the top of the range is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that boasts 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Both of these EcoBoost engines can be ordered with FWD and AWD Escapes, and are paired with the 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Fuel Economy

Matching small displacement with turbo technology, the 2015 Ford Escape's available 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine offers the best fuel economy of the crossover's trio of power plants. According to the EPA, a FWD Escape fitted with this engine should average 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg in mixed driving. In AWD guise, those figures drop slightly to 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.

With its extra output, the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder knocks fuel-economy ratings down a few pegs, though not significantly. EPA estimates are 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg overall.

Safety

In addition to standard items such as 7 air bags, a rearview camera, and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, the 2015 Ford Escape can be equipped with safety-related features including automatic HID headlights, parallel park-assist system, front and rear park-assist sensors, blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

In government crash tests, the 2015 Ford Escape received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Escape received a "Poor" rating--the Institute's lowest--for small frontal-offset crash protection.