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2014 Ford Escape 2.0 Titanium Compact SUV Review

Introduction

The winds of change have an effect on even icons of the automotive business, however it’s truthful to say that one yr after its head-to-toe redesign, the 2014 Ford Escape has managed to take care of the momentum that made it the preferred compact SUV in America.  This accomplishment is made much more spectacular in mild of the truth that the Escape went from a standard body-on-frame design to a extra trendy unibody platform within the course of – a transition that may typically re-shape the attraction of a car for its unique viewers.

I spent every week with the 2014 Ford Escape in 2.Zero-liter Titanium trim and located it straightforward to see why this little hauler has remained close to and pricey to the hearts of so many households.  With fashion and know-how that is not as obvious in rivals just like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, coupled with the facility of the model’s top-shelf EcoBoost four-cylinder drivetrain, the Escape has established a transparent template for sticking close to the highest of its class.

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Fashions and Costs

The 2014 Ford Escape breaks down into three fashions: the S, the SE, and the Titanium.  The Ford Escape S begins at an MSRP of $22,610 and comes commonplace with the SYNC car interface, Bluetooth connectivity, a CD participant, a rearview digital camera, energy home windows and door locks, air con, 17-inch metal wheels, cruise management, and a USB enter.  Shifting as much as the Escape SE (MSRP $25,060) installs rims as an alternative of steelies (nonetheless 17 inches in diameter), tinted home windows, an influence driver’s seat, satellite tv for pc radio, fog lights and automated headlights, Ford’s quantity pad door entry system, and reclining rear seats, whereas the Escape Titanium (MSRP $28,610) pours on gear such because the MyFord Contact system, heated leather-based seats, an upgraded stereo, twin automated local weather management, parking help, 18-inch rims, distant begin with keyless entry and ignition, Ford’s ambient cabin lighting, and an influence tailgate.

My tester was a Ford Escape Titanium outfitted with four-wheel drive and a 2.Zero-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine.  It additionally got here with Gear Group 401A (HID headlights, blind spot monitoring system, lively parking help, rain-sensing wipers), a panoramic sunroof, and a navigation system.  The whole MSRP for the car I drove got here to $35,140.

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Design

What’s New:

  • The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium is unchanged for the present mannequin yr.

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium is the priciest, and subsequently the best-adorned member of the SUV’s household, and but it nonetheless manages to take care of a modesty that retains it successful with household buyers not fascinated by flash.  Except for slit vents carved into the entrance fenders and chrome above the license plate mount and underlining the aspect home windows, the Escape Titanium is a restrained affair that contains a stubby hood, broad sheet metallic, and a wholesome grouping of character strains carved into virtually each panel.  It is a easy design set off completely by the 19-inch rims of my tester, however it has a bit extra character than what one would get from the extra nameless RAV4.  Nonetheless, in the event you’re in search of a extra particular person strategy to the compact crossover idea, look to both Hyundai (the Santa Fe Sport) or Kia (the Sorento).

Contained in the Escape is straightforward, however nonetheless nice.  I might have accomplished with out the fake carbon fiber trim on the sprint and middle console, however the SUV’s touchscreen is properly framed by HVAC vents, and the dashboard’s general form engages the attention.  Practicality is the order of the day for the Ford’s cabin, though the Escape provides sufficient element for the Titanium mannequin’s inside to justify its premium pricing with out pushing too far into Lincoln territory.

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Consolation and Cargo

What’s New:

  • The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium doesn’t introduce any new options.

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium occurs to be some of the sensible choices within the compact SUV class.  Whereas its rear bench won’t seem notably spacious at first look, intelligent scalloping of the entrance two seatbacks creates a very good quantity of room for these driving within the third and fourth positions.  All the perches within the Escape really feel slightly excessive, with a close to theatre-like expertise for rear occupants, nevertheless it’s not sufficient to provide you vertigo.  The game-utility car’s small exterior footprint additionally conceals an enormous capability for hauling your gear round: there’s 68 cubic ft of complete area obtainable contained in the Ford with the rear seat folded ahead, and half that ought to you be carrying a full load of passengers.  This locations the Escape close to the entrance of the compact pack.

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Options and Controls

What’s New:

  • All variations of the 2014 Ford Escape now include a backup digital camera as commonplace gear.
  • SYNC can also be normal throughout the board.

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium bases a lot of its possession expertise across the MyFord Contact car interface, a touchscreen system that works along with the SYNC voice command and cellular gadget integration function to regulate an enormous array of the SUV’s options.  This consists of leisure, communications, local weather, and navigation, and whereas for probably the most half it really works nicely there are a couple of irritants to work by means of each day.  One is the dimensions and place of the tabs on the primary house display, which is split into 4 primary sections.  To entry, say, the stereo system, it’s a must to contact a slender strip of shade on the backside left of the display, a feat that is not straightforward even with small fingers and primarily unimaginable whereas sporting gloves.

One other bizarre factor that occurred throughout my week with the Ford Escape needed to do with the car’s textual content message system, which may learn out loud or show incoming texts as they arrive in your Bluetooth-paired telephone.  Each half hour or so whereas driving I might be notified by the Escape of a brand new incoming textual content, which might be learn to me and saved within the MyFord Contact system.  The one challenge was, none of those texts appeared on my telephone, and once I contacted the varied people they have been being ‘despatched’ from, it seems that they hadn’t texted me, interval.  What I lastly found out was that the Escape was dredging up texts from the previous from my telephone and randomly presenting them as new.  This continued all through my whole time with the car.

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Security and Scores

What’s New:

  • The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium doesn’t introduce any new security gear.

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium gives the identical complement of airbags as some other member of the Escape household, together with full-length aspect curtain models, seat-mounted aspect airbags up entrance, twin ahead airbags, and a knee airbag for the driving force.  You additionally get the MyKey function throughout the board, which permits house owners to set velocity limits for the SUV when lending it out, in addition to management the quantity of the stereo system.  The Escape that I drove got here outfitted with an non-compulsory blind spot monitoring system, which is just out there on the Titanium trim.

2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium Crash-Check Scores: The Ford Escape was rated 4 stars out 5 for general crash safety by the NHTSA, whereas the IIHS awarded the SUV its highest rating of ‘Good’ in every essential crash check class.

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Engines and Gasoline Financial system

What’s New:

  • The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium doesn’t introduce any new drivetrains in comparison with the earlier mannequin yr.

There are three engines out there with the 2014 Ford Escape, though solely two of them could be had when ordering the Titanium trim degree.  Base SUVs function a 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque, however commonplace on all different editions of the Escape is a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that delivers 178 horses and 184 lb-ft of twist.  Gasoline mileage for the 2 engines is remarkably shut, with the 1.6-liter eking out a slight lead with 23-mpg metropolis and 33-mpg freeway.

The car I drove featured a 2.Zero-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder good for 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.  As with all different variations of the car, a six-speed automated transmission handles the gear shifting duties, and gasoline mileage is listed at 22-mpg round city and 30-mpg on the freeway.  My car additionally featured optionally available all-wheel drive, which cuts down very barely on effectivity.

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Driving Impressions

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium is remarkably car-like in its every day driving demeanor.  The truth is, if it weren’t for the extra floor clearance of the SUV pushing its middle of gravity in the direction of the sky – a shift in stability additional accented by the load of its panoramic sunroof – then it will be troublesome to inform the distinction between the Escape and a compact hatchback out on the street.  The extra weight of the sport-utility car was greater than mitigated by the robust response of the EcoBoost engine’s turbocharged torque.  I by no means felt like I used to be sitting there ready for the design to spool up and supply me with usable energy, in contrast to with the 1.6-liter unit, and I heartily advocate spending extra on the two.Zero-liter choice (which additionally has the good thing about not having been concerned in almost as many security recollects because the smaller EcoBoost motor).

The Ford Escape’s dealing with prowess is matched by a cushty journey that absorbs bumps when it must however does not utterly isolate pilots and passengers.  It isn’t that the Escape is ultra-engaging in the best way one would anticipate from a performance-oriented SUV, however the stability it offers between coddling and speaking is laudable in such an affordably-priced car.

I didn’t have a lot name to check out the Escape’s elective four-wheel drive system, as circumstances remained dry and roads stayed clear all through our time collectively.  Nevertheless, in contrast to a standard SUV it is essential to remember that Ford has designed the Escape as a front-wheel drive car first, which signifies that the rear axles are solely ever referred to as into motion when a lack of traction is detected.  You possibly can’t actually take the Ford Escape by means of the mud and the muck like a Jeep, however I do not assume most potential consumers will care: they will be extra involved about how the car will behave throughout slippery circumstances on the morning commute.

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Last Ideas

The 2014 Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium is a robust selection for households who want more room than a compact hatchback together with the added safety of all-wheel drive.  It is also monumental inside for its class, providing practicality nicely past its measurement.  As interesting as any of its rivals – and perhaps a bit extra fascinating to drive – the Ford Escape 2.Zero Titanium is loaded to the brim with options designed to ease the ache of getting from level A to level B.  For these in search of extra primary transportation then the two.5-liter Escape S is a good choice as properly, as I do not really feel the efficiency advantages warrant paying extra for the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine (until you completely want all-wheel drive – it isn’t provided with the bottom SUV).

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Execs and Cons

Execs:

  • Properly priced when contemplating included options
  • 2.Zero-liter EcoBoost engine provides greater than sufficient energy
  • Obtainable all-wheel drive
  • Conservative but engaging styling
  • Spacious inside for hauling gear
  • Usable second row of seating

Cons:

  • MyFord Contact system nonetheless not 100 % user-friendly
  • Bizarre ghost texts from the previous by way of SYNC cell phone connection stored issues spooky
  • Automated parking system is hit and miss
  • 2.5-liter engine availability on SE trim can be a pleasant add.