Vehicle Reviews

2018 Ford Escape Review


In our 2018 Ford Escape review you’ll learn that the new model is:

  • Good on gas
  • Capable of handling Alberta’s worst winter conditions
  • Packing tons of cargo space
  • Full of advanced tech features
  • Fun to drive
  • Available at a great price

In short, this year’s Escape can handle anything you throw at it.

With a trio of satisfying engine options, an agility that inspires plenty of driver confidence, and a striking design carried over from the 2017 model, you’ll love this sporty compact SUV for city driving in Edmonton’s bitter winters or for hitting the open road just for plain, old fun.

We’ll be surprised if you can make it to the end of the article before booking a test drive.



After last year’s Escape added a new 4-cylinder engine, improved smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were introduced), expanded small item storage space, and a new front end to give it a more sculpted look, only a few tweaks were needed to polish this year’s model. But they’re all welcome additions.

A new, mid-level trim was added (the SEL). Slotted above the base S and SE trims, the SEL trim provides most of the luxury features of the top Titanium trim, but remains affordable at $30,199. This trim comes with fine leather upholstery, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and Sync 3 interface, which allows owners to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicles with their smartphones. By our judgement, the SEL trim represents excellent value for your dollar, providing more upscale features at a discounted price.

For the lineup as a whole, Ford revised the availability of a few other safety and convenience features, making them more accessible to lower trim levels. That means that consumers can still just get the base S trim and be satisfied by all it offers.


Seek out the 2018 Ford Escape if you’re in search of sharp handling. Its engines give the Escape the road manners of a sport sedan.

[Editor’s Note: Trust me, if you were blindfolded, you might get the impression you’re driving a smaller hatchback.]

[Author’s Note: DON’T do that. I see his point, but that was a terrible suggestion.] 

The 2018 Escape presents three solid options for engine choices, all mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. The base is a 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder engine, and it gets 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. This is the most affordable of the three engine options, but it doesn’t come with all-wheel drive. It delivers 11.2 L/100km in the city, 8.1 L/100km on the highway, for a combined 9.8 L/100km.


Available to the SE and SEL trims is the optional 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine. A bit noisier than the base engine, but boasting more power and improved fuel economy ratings, this engine pairs nicely with the agile driving dynamics of the Escape. According to Motor Trend testing, this engine hit 100 kph in 9.2 seconds.

In terms of fuel economy, SE/SEL trims manages an impressive 10.2 L/100km in the city, 7.8 L/100km on the highway, and 9.0 L/100km combined. If you opt for all-wheel drive, you’ll get 10.7 L/100km in the city, 8.4 L/100km on the highway, and 9.8 L/100km combined.


Exclusive to the top (Titanium) trim, and optional to the SEL trim, is the Escape’s most powerful engine, a 2.0-litre Twin-Scroll 4-cylinder EcoBoost. This engine is the ideal pairing to the 2018 Escape’s driving style, and it upstages rival SUVs when it comes to acceleration and passing power.

Capable of hitting 100 kph in seven seconds, this engine packs a mighty punch with 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive versions of the vehicle delivers 11.2 L/100km in the city, 8.4 L/100km on the highway, and 9.8 L/100km combined. Alternatively, the all-wheel drive versions get 11.8 L/100km in the city, 8/7 L/100km on the highway, for a combined 10/2 L/100km.


The 2018 Escape performed quite well in safety tests after Ford introduced additional safety and driver assist features (some optional and some standard). The new Escape was built with particular consideration given to parents with child seats, making it an SUV you can drive with peace of mind.

The NHTSA, which bases its safety scoring on how well a vehicle handles frontal impacts and resists rollovers, awarded the 2018 Escape a five-star safety rating. The IIHS gave the Escape its highest rating in front and side crashes, and the second highest rating for the driver-side small overlap front crash test.

Unlike previous models, a number of advanced active safety and driver assist features are available to lower trims. The available Ford Safe and Smart package contains:

  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with brake support
  • Automatic high beams
  • Blind sport monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert
  • Lane keep assist
  • Windshield wiper de-icer

No matter the trim, though, you’re guaranteed a driver knee airbag, a rear-view camera, and a system that allows owners to limit the Escape’s vehicle speed and volume.

A great choice for new families, Ford has outfitted the new Escape with a child safety seat friendly backseat. Latch anchors are at the seatback surface, eliminating the struggle to find the latching equipment that’s so prevalent in some of its competitors.


With durable, high-quality materials on all trims, an upgraded infotainment system, and ample cargo space, the 2018 Ford Escape presents us with a comfortable interior even at its base models. Spring for the top Titanium trim and you’ll impress even the biggest snobs in your life.

We’re looking at you, Sebastian.

The 2018 Escape ranks with the best of its class in terms of cargo space. It has 34 cubic feet behind the rear seat, and 68 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down. In simple terms, that’s plenty of space to fit your weekend gear, groceries, and just about anything else you can imagine. Plus, the gesture controlled tailgate will open at the swipe of a foot.

The front and backseats are comfortable and provide excellent lumbar support. They’re also economically shaped in order to afford passengers with all the head and leg space they’ll need. Long road trips will feel much shorter because of them, we promise. Oh, and the available panoramic sunroof is an appreciated touch.

Most importantly, though, are the important strides the 2018 Escape made in infotainment and other tech options. Standard technology consists of a Sync infotainment system displayed on a 4.2-inch centre screen with voice recognition. For an elevated driving experience, upgrade to the Sync 3 infotainment system displayed on an 8.0-inch centre screen. This last one comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.

For a lot of people, the quality of the interior depends largely on the quality of the sound system. If you’re one of them, rest easy knowing that both the standard six-speaker audio system and the optional 10-speaker Sony system will bless your ears with high-quality sound.

In short, the quality of build and abundance of features translates to exceptional value for your dollar. But for the most bang for your buck, get the SEL trim; it straddles luxury territory at the fraction of the price of a higher end vehicle.


An available Intelligent 4WD System will continuously monitor traction and road conditions every 16 milliseconds. This system will transfer torque from the front wheels to the rear wheels to give you a smooth, controlled drive. This ensures a terrific blend of handling and traction at all times.

The FordPass app permits drivers to find parking, look up vehicle information, schedule service, locate gas stations (with comparing prices), and can even let you lock and unlock your Escape remotely. Contacting your dealer and roadside assistance has never been easier. This is a useful feature for anyone with a tendency to forget where they parked their car.

Shooting for luxury status, the Escape also has an available heated steering wheel, and it heats up quite quickly. Ditch the big mitts and get one of these built into your Escape package – you won’t regret on those -20 degree mornings.

For outdoorsmen, the maximum towing capacity is 3,500 lbs (when equipped to the Class II Trailer Tow Package). The Package is also available on the SE and SEL trims, for a maximum 2,000 lbs towing capacity. The package includes trailer sway control technology, auxiliary transmission oil cooler and paddle shifters.

Finally, with available intelligent access with push-start, you can simply keep your key on your person, and unlock your door by touching your door handle. Starting your car becomes a simple matter of putting your foot on the brake pedal and pressing a button.


The 2018 Ford Escape is a fantastic SUV, a standout in a class filled with strong rivals. It will meet and exceed your expectations at almost every turn. It’s perfect for:

  • Starting a family
  • Heading to hockey practice
  • Handling Edmonton’s icy roads

Get in touch with your local Go Auto dealer to learn more and schedule your test drive. You won’t be disappointed by your experience!

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