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Key specs

Base trim shown

5 seats

174.7" length, 67.7" height Front-wheel drive

View all2011 Ford Escape specs .


(154 reviews)
The good:

Tough exterior styling Comfortable, if floaty, ride Large center console Good sight lines Low-speed steering ease

The bad:

Handling & braking Noisy four-cylinder Rudimentary interior Several steps lớn fold backseat No telescoping steering wheel

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our2011 Ford Escape trim comparison will help you decide.

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Notable features

Self-parking option Four-cylinder or V-6 Available manual transmission Front- or all-wheel drive Hybrid version available

2011 Ford Escape review: Our expert's take

By Kelsey Mays

Even in its aged state, the 2011 Ford Escape still hits a sweet spot in terms of ride comfort, but its drab interior & clumsy handling leave it behind the increasingly flashy competition.

oto shoppers expressed their love for small crossovers more than a decade ago, & the tự động industry responded. Today’s vehicle market offers a wide range of choices, from glorified hatchbacks lớn those just big enough to shoehorn in an impossibly small third row. Somewhere in the scrum is the Escape, a popular two-row model in its twilight years. Driving a midlevel Escape XLT back-to-back with eight competitors, one thing became apparent: The next Escape can’t come soon enough.

The XLT sits between the entry-level XLS và range-topping Ford Escape Limited, all three of which can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Our test car had Ford’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder; a V-6 is optional on the XLT và Limited. Click here to see Escape trims compared, và here khổng lồ see the 2011 & 2010 Escape compared. The Ford Escape Hybrid và its gas-electric drivetrain are covered separately on

Comfortable Ride, Crummy Reflexes In small crossover SUV vehicles, ride comfort is all over the board. There’s the tolerable Chevy Equinox, the choppy kia Sportage, và — with a ride refined over the years — the comfortable Escape. Ford’s entry is one of the few in this category that earns that label, and not just in a relative sense. The suspension handles larger bumps well enough, but it really shines over long stretches of highway. Pavement imperfections that filter up to lớn the cabin in other crossovers simply don’t in here. The Escape feels floaty at times — one editor bemoaned its ride for just that reason — but in terms of sheer comfort, Ford gets đứng đầu marks.

Simple cruising aside, the Ford Escape’s slow reflexes foil any chance of car-like maneuverability — a shame, given its steering is decent. The wheel has gobs of nguồn assist at low speeds, making parking lots a cinch, và at higher speeds it takes on winding roads with lively precision. If only the rest of the Escape followed suit. It feels as top-heavy as the Space Needle — listing hard into corners, squatting back or pitching forward when you tốc độ up or slow down. The brake pedal feels mushy & tentative, & the Escape’s standard antilock brakes kick in quite early. Where other crossovers stop hard on all fours, the Escape’s tail gets squirrely in the same exercise. Whether it’s the low-tech rear drum brakes or the lean-happy suspension that’s to lớn blame, the results aren’t inspiring.

Unrefined Engine The Ford Escape’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder gets you going briskly, albeit with a loud drone. A six-speed automatic is standard on all but the front-drive XLS, & it prefers khổng lồ choose a gear & stay there. Although the transmission rarely hunts for gears, its stubbornness becomes a fault when you drone up an on-ramp in 4th or 5th with the pedal halfway to the floor. The four-cylinder engine has enough torque khổng lồ make it, but more responsive transmission kickdown would help.

A 3.0-liter V-6 is optional, & its 240 horsepower considerably outpaces the four-cylinder’s 171 hp. We’ve driven the V-6 in years past, & it’s appreciably punchier, though still a bit raspy. It pairs with the standard six-speed automatic, và the combination makes the V-6 Escape a capable mover — not as quick as the V-6 Toyota RAV4, but sprightlier than the underwhelming V-6 Equinox. Lượt thích those two, the Ford also tows up khổng lồ 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Combined EPA gas mileage for a front-drive, automatic four-cylinder is 23 mpg. All-wheel drive drops the rating to 22 mpg. Neither figure is particularly impressive, but the V-6 Escape’s combined rating — đôi mươi or 21 mpg, depending on driveline — rates more evenly with the V-6 competition.

Outdated Interior Redesigned three mã sản phẩm years ago, the Escape’s interior feels rugged but low-rent. Our demo car’s optional piano-black trim & high-quality headliner were high points, but both are diminished by the surrounding sea of flimsy buttons và grainy dashboard plastics. What’s more, the Escape remains one of the only crossovers in this class to forgo a telescoping steering wheel.

The half-baked features go on. Get an XLT or Limited, & the “power” driver’s seat has a manual reclining adjustment. The optional heated front seats have only one heat level, và to lower the backseat you’ll first have khổng lồ yank out all three head restraints, flip the bottom cushions forward and stow the headrests. Your doctor might qualify this as exercise.

The front seats have decent headroom, và thanks lớn the Escape’s upright windows and high roofline, sight lines are quite good. Unfortunately, legroom in the rear ranks near the bottom of the class. Adults will find it modest, & it would be downright tight if it weren’t for that non-telescoping steering wheel, which generally makes drivers sit farther forward than they otherwise might.

Cargo room behind the rear passenger seats measures 31.4 cubic feet. However burdensome the seats are lớn fold, when you’re done you’ll have a flat cargo area with 67.2 cubic feet of volume. Given the Escape’s relatively small exterior size, those figures aren’t too shabby. In comparison, the Sportage & its Hyundai Tucson twin are about the same length but have well under 60 cubic feet of maximum volume.

Safety, Features và Pricing In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Escape earned the top rating, Good, in front, side & rear impacts. In the roof-strength test, however, the Escape achieved only a Marginal rating. The Escape has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration using its revamped 2011 standards. Standard safety features include six airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Click here to lớn see a full danh mục of its safety features.

Reliability for the current generation has been so-so, with all-wheel-drive models in particular faring below average. That’s disappointing in a segment that includes reliability all-stars lượt thích the Honda CR-V, the RAV4 & the non-turbo Subaru Forester.

Pricing starts at $21,215 for a front-drive Escape XLS. That’s rather high for a small crossover, seeing as most buyers will want to lớn fork over another $1,230 for the overpriced automatic. That transmission is standard on other trims và required for all-wheel drive. Standard features on the XLS include power nguồn windows and locks, remote entry, air conditioning, cruise control and alloy wheels. Check the options or move up trims, and you can get steering-wheel audio controls, heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, Ford’s USB/iPod-compatible Sync system, a moonroof, rear DVD entertainment & a navigation system. On any trim, all-wheel drive adds $1,750. On the XLT và Limited, the optional V-6 adds $1,195.

The Escape does pack some impressive công nghệ features. Ford’s self-parking option, which we checked out two years ago, is available on the Limited. The automaker’s MyKey system, which allows parents to impose speed và stereo-volume limits for their teenage drivers, is standard.

With its panoply of options, the Escape can get pricey. Load up an all-wheel-drive V-6 Limited, và the price can đứng top $36,000.

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Escape in the Market The Escape still boasts strong sales, but in recent years it’s grown more expensive & less reliable — troublesome developments in a body-type segment where value and dependability really count. Ride comfort remains the Escape’s main draw, but Ford needs lớn match that with a higher-quality interior and better handling. Here’s hoping the next Escape — portended by Ford’s well-received Vertrek concept — gets the job done.