KBB Logo Expert Review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

The all-new-last-year 2014 Ford Escape is arguably the category’s sleekest, sportiest entry. Its overall balance and responsiveness make it especially fun to drive, its styling sets it apart, and it also offers the coolest set of technologies in the class.

You'll Like The 2014 Ford Escape If...

Get-noticed styling, great fuel economy and a powerful technology package are three good reasons you might find the Ford Escape is just what you want in a small crossover.

You May Not Like The 2014 Ford Escape If...

If you and your passengers like to have plenty of room to stretch out, or if you will really emphasize the utility side of compact sport-utility ownership, you might find the Escape comes up a little short for your liking.

What's New

After its complete character overhaul last year, the Ford Escape gets no significant changes for 2014, just a few minor revisions to equipment and packages.

Interior Features

The inside of the 2014 Ford Escape boasts an impressive display of materials, design and available features. You won’t pass it off as a mid-size SUV, though, because the Escape’s interior is less spacious than others in the category.

Exterior Features

Like some others in the compact SUV segment now, the 2014 Ford Escape shows a strong sense of style. Exterior highlights that distinguish upper-tier Escape models include HID headlamps, fog lights, body-color mirrors and trim, dual chrome exhaust tips and big 19-inch wheels.

Driving Impressions

The Ford Escape is the sporty compact car of compact SUVs – a title it shares with the Mazda CX-5. Ford has done well to infuse several of its recent passenger-car offerings with European-like driving dynamics and feel, and the new Escape also benefits from that effort. With its new-last-year 240-horsepower engine, the Escape runs away from most everything else in its class. Those same characteristics that create the fun factor also help make the Escape easy and pleasant to drive to the store and the office. The 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are terrific, both delivering smooth, ready thrust around town, effortless cruising on the highway and – especially the 2.0 engine – plenty of passing power. This may not be the segment’s softest-riding entry, but most will find it plenty comfortable. Overall, the 2014 Ford Escape is arguably the best-driving compact SUV on the market today.

Pricing Notes

The 2014 Ford Escape S starts at about $23,600, but that’s with the least desirable of its three engine choices, black plastic exterior trim and covered steel wheels. Stepping up to the Escape SE remedies those shortcomings and adds Sync infotainment and other upgrades for $26,500. That’s two to three thousand higher than the better-outfitted Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 base models. At the upper end of the price spectrum, a fully loaded Escape Titanium will exceed $37,000. While that’s almost $7,000 more than a loaded CR-V, it also includes a lot more power and technology. We expect the Escape to perform significantly better than its predecessor model in the resale market, so you’ll get more of your money back when it comes time to trade or sell.

Notable Equipment

The base 2014 Ford Escape S features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux sound system, air conditioning, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel, the parent-friendly MyKey system, and a full complement of airbags and electronic safety features. Base-model compromises include covered steel wheels and black plastic exterior trim elements.

Notable Options

A fully loaded 2014 Ford Escape Titanium comes with enough cool features to embarrass many luxury cars. In addition to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel drive, leather seats and a panoramic moonroof, a top-tier Escape offers blind-spot warning, automatic parallel parking, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, Sync with MyFord Touch, and a liftgate that opens with a wave of your foot. You could get an Acura RDX for the same money, but you wouldn’t have as many fun features to play with.

Favorite Features

HANDS-FREE LIFTGATE

Approach the Escape with your arms full of shopping bags, potted plants or power tools and a simple wave of your foot beneath the rear bumper powers the liftgate open automatically. It’s Escape sign language for "open sesame."

MYKEY

Parents can designate a key that will limit top speed, limit audio volume or even disable the audio system altogether if the seatbelts are not buckled. Big Brother can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

Under the Hood

The 2014 Ford Escape offers a choice of three engines (unique in the compact SUV class). The 240-horsepower rating of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine looks irresistible, but truthfully, the 178-horsepower 1.6-liter version is still plenty powerful, just as smooth, and more affordable and more efficient in the bargain. The base 2.5-liter engine would probably be fine for many owners but it comes only in the base Escape S, which doesn’t look so grand compared to some competitors. All three engines work with a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, driving either the front wheels (FWD) or all four (AWD). If you want AWD you’ll have to choose one of the EcoBoost engines. And if you want the Escape’s full towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, that requires the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (and note that the towing package eliminates the clever hands-free liftgate option).

2.5-liter 4-cylinder

168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm

EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/31

1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

178 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm

184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm

EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 23/33 (FWD), 22/30 (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

240 @ 5,500 rpm

270 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/30 (FWD), 21/28 (AWD)

Editors' Notes

With last year’s total makeover, the 2014 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV became one of the segment’s leaders in styling, fuel efficiency and forward-looking technology. Highlights include a choice of impressive engines, athletic suspension tuning and an updated version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system. One feature everyone will show off is the power liftgate they can open and close, even with an armload, by waving a foot under the rear bumper. Shoppers may look elsewhere if their top priorities are low price and sheer interior space, but the 2014 Ford Escape is a must-see for everyone else. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 Ford Escape Owner Reviews

4.36
918 Reviews
51% 37% 11% 1% 1 star 0%
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Ford Escape: an affordable and reliable mid-size vehicle

2014 Ford Escape S

Upon getting my car, I had a recall notice sent to me regarding the locks on the doors. The Ford dealership took care of it at no charge and provided me with a rental car at no charge as well. I also had a problem with my airbag light being on due to a faulty sensor in the driver seat belt. The other problem I had was with my turbo feature of my escape which caused the check engine light to come on. My car has 95,000 miles on it and has had no other issues at this time. Personally, I don't think it accelerates as fast as a lot of other vehicles but this is expected as it is a midsize vehicle. Since I live in Wisconsin and the weather is often unpredictable it is important to have a reliable car. I have found that my car is reliable in both snow and rain. My Ford Escape gets about 31 miles per gallon which makes it more affordable compared to a truck. Only have to get my oil changed every 5,000 miles. All the seats are adjustable and back seats can be folded down for more space in the 'trunk'. The car is higher off the ground compared to a car making it easy to get in and out. The escape has both front and rear windshield wipers. The rear windshield wiper is helpful when other vehicles are kicking up a lot of moisture. The features include Bluetooth, USB connection, radio, CD player, and air conditioning. I think these features are appropriate and not over the top. The Bluetooth can be linked to your phone to make hands free calls. The calls come in pretty clear; however, I dislike that other people can hear the calls outside the car at a stop light or in a parking lot. I mostly use the USB connection to charge my phone. The only feature I wish my escape had was lights on the mirror for when other cars are in the blind spot. The blind spot on the escape is not very big it would just be nice to have a way to double check that there is not a car there.

- Jenna S

Ford escape. Reliable and fun drive for adults and teens alike.

2014 Ford Escape Titanium

So far, my escape has been an enjoyable vehicle. In the past 4 years of ownership, I have had no expensive repairs other than normal maintenance, (tires, battery, etc.) Having said that, I love my local ford service dept. They do not try to upsell too much. . The remote start is such a great feature in both summer and winter- primarily in winter when the windshield is icy. The engine is peppy enough for me. Good acceleration when I need it. The cargo space is awesome. I have plenty of room for 4 suitcases plus smaller bags. . We've taken this vehicle on several long trips of 300+ miles and we cannot complain. Of course, it is not a luxury vehicle with a luxury ride, but that is not why we bought it. We use the seat heaters a lot in winter. We seldom go past the '3' setting because that can get too hot. I would suggest to ford to add rear seat heaters. We've had a few requests for that from some of our passengers. I would also suggest to ford to add ac to the seats as in some other vehicles (e.G. Fusion). My son really likes the bluetooth and speakers. He likes to drive my escape when I am not using it and he's 17! I like the mykey option to limit speed or other features but I have never used them. The gas mileage is good too- around 26 mpg average. . The only problem we've experienced has been the interior trim panel on one the rear doors that has come loose. We haven't repaired that yet. Otherwise we are very happy with this purchase and will strongly consider a ford product for our next purchase.

- Wanda C

Perfect for a busy family and/or commuter but does have a few flaws.

2014 Ford Escape S

I bought this car when my oldest son was going to college and wanted a reliable vehicle to travel back and forth (280 miles roundtrip). I also needed the vehicle space to load up his stuff! This vehicle was perfect for both of those needs. Since then, he has finished school but I now have been promoted to a position within my company that I have to commute 70 miles per day. Again, this car has been good for that too! I average 30 mpg. This car has accommodated sports gear, groceries, moves from apt to apt... Overall, I am very satisfied with my ford escape. A couple of negatives are the sync feature. It is very inconsistent with how and when it will connect to my smartphone. At times it will automatically connect and start playing music/audio book just by starting the car. There are other times when there is nothing I can do to get it to connect. Needless to say, this drives me crazy. Another thing that I dislike about this car is that there are no cup holders in the back seat-this has always baffled me and is a running joke in our family. The third thing I find as a negative is the operation of the windshield wipers. I have had to replace the wipers a lot more for this vehicle than any other car I have owned. I am not sure why this is?? Overall, I am happy with my escape but will not purchase another one when I am ready for my next vehicle.

- Jennifer J

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