The Ford Escape Titanium Is Exactly What You Need, and Nothing More
Sometimes you need to just be responsible.
Choosing the right compact SUV amongst a market flooded with them can be a daunting task—especially considering many are plagued with bland looks and lackluster performance. But the 2017 Ford Escape Titanium has done a fantastic job blending visual appeal with practical usage. With plenty of new technologies, like lane departure warning, pedestrian warning, and blind spot detection, the new Escape has definitely come along way from the basic and top-heavy first-generation model.
After spending a weekend in the Escape, it was clear that this vehicle is targeted toward a new family—but in an alternate universe, it could as easily cater to teenage lacrosse bros. The crossover has a feature for every demographic—for the aforementioned bros, factor in the great curb appeal, 10-speaker Sony audio system, and interior accent lighting. The new family, meanwhile, will appreciate the minimal blindspots, robust safety features and warning systems, and the large trunk. But while the Escape is a very capable and practical vehicle, it's not a memorable one—for better and worse. It might not win any personality awards, but it also doesn't do anything to annoy you.
I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth and spunky 179-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Ecoboost engine, which had plenty of punch to bring the Escape up to speed. At no point did I find myself wishing for more power (though, to be fair, I didn't go into this review with the expectation of speed).
On to the creature comforts: the leather seats had plenty of cushion to keep me content as I slowly shuffled through New York traffic. Toss in the optional panoramic sunroof, Sync 3 navigation, blind spot- and lane-departure warnings, 10-speaker sound system, and dual-zone climate control, and you realize you're getting quite a bit for just around $30k.
Given the demo, safety is usually a pretty significant concern for someone in the market for a compact SUV. The Escape has side curtain airbags, knee airbags on the driver’s side, a stellar rearview camera, and automatic brights that track your wheel direction. You're pretty much constantly reminded that this car is working hard to keep you safe—which should be a pretty good selling point. Although I'm not usually a fan of lane-departure warnings and blind-spot detection, it was nice to see that customers had them as an option in Titanium edition. When comparing price to technology, the Escape is right up there with the Mazda CX-5.
Although safety features and performance are important points when choosing the right car, most prospective buyers default to looking at the curb appeal of the car. Fortunately, the Escape is stand-out handsome in the crossover segment. With 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a chrome grille, and dual exhaust, the Escape delivers aggressive styling for the average buyer. But does It have that “wow factor?” No, no it doesn’t. I wouldn’t ever find myself saying, “You know what’s a good looking car? That Ford Escape!” Instead, I'll say this: it's a sharp-looking crossover, and that's no faint praise.
If you are looking for a safe, reliable, and good-looking compact SUV, the Ford Escape is definitely a top contender. However, if you are looking for a sporty CUV with memorable personality to whip around on the weekends, feel free to let your gaze linger on the handsome Escape, but eventually, you'll have to look elsewhere.
2017 Ford Escape Titanium
PRICE AS TESTED: $36,625.00
POWERTRAIN: 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder.
MPG: 22 city/28 Highway
Cargo Space: 34 sq/ft
Demographic: “we just had a baby, now what?”