Review - Ford Escape

By Alexi Falson on 02 Sep 2021
image for Review - Ford Escape It takes only one glance at the latest Ford Escape to see that it’s not your average family SUV. While styling is subjective, we think you’ll agree that the Escape isn’t afraid to make an impression with its bold styling.

There’s good reason for this, too, as the Ford Escape has the unenviable task of going head-to-head with family favourites like the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4, which have dominated sales charts for a number of years now. 

However, with the release of the latest generation Ford Escape, the company hopes to lure in new buyers with its sleek looks, feature-packed equipment lists and extremely powerful engines. Is it enough to take on the likes of its rivals and lure families into a Ford? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $35,990

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Ford Escape (FWD) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Series ZH MY21.25
Variant (FWD)
Transmission 8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1999
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5700 / 3100
Cylinders T4
Torque 387
KW 183
Fuel tank size 0.0
Fuel usage specs 8.6 / 0.0
CO2 199
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Ford Escape car page.

How Much Does the Ford Escape Cost?

The Ford Escape lineup kicks off in the form of the Escape FWD, which is priced from $35,990, with the lineup then moving to the front-wheel drive Escape ST-Line, which comes with a price tag of $37,990. The range then moves to the ST-Line with an all-wheel drive platform, which is priced from $40,990, with the step-up to the front-wheel drive Vignale variant bringing the price to $46,590. Opting for the Vignale with an all-wheel drive platform raises the price to $49,590, while Ford’s range-topping Escape ST-Line plug-in hybrid is priced from $52,490, before on-road costs. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto, Australia’s leading car broker service, you could save by letting one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Ford Escape Have?

Ford’s entry-level Escape comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and is packaged with features like a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, 8.0-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, DAB+ radio and wireless smartphone charging, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone climate control and roof rails. An optional technology pack ($1,000) adds adaptive LED headlights and a heads-up display for the driver. 

Opting for the Escape ST-Line adds a number of styling and sporty features, like Ford’s ST exterior body kit, wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a sports suspension system. Ford’s optional ST-Line Option Pack ($2,800) adds a powered boot lift, heated front seats, adaptive LED headlights and a heads-up display. 

Moving up to the Escape Vignale adds premium creature comforts like 10-way power adjustable seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, advanced parking system as well as proximity entry and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels. Finally, Ford’s range-topping ST-Line PHEV comes packaged with some leather upholstery, a premium 10-speaker sound system and 10-way adjustable electric seats. 

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloy wheels 

  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Sat Nav, DAB+, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay  

  • Wireless smartphone charging 

  • Reversing Camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Dual-zone climate control 

  • Sports suspension (ST-Line) 

  • Sports bodykit (ST-Line) 

  • 19-inch alloy wheels (Vignale)

  • Leather upholstery (Vignale)

  • Panoramic sunroof (Vignale)

  • Advanced parking assistance (Vignale)

Ford Escape Colours

Agate Black Solar Silver
Frozen White White Platinum
Magnetic Blue Metallic
Blazer Blue Rapid Red

Is the Ford Escape Comfortable to Drive?

The Ford Escape sets a high standard when it comes to overall driving dynamics, particularly in terms of the ease of acceleration and its smooth gear shifts. With the Escape lineup, even the entry-level model receives a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine that throws out significantly more power than its direct rivals, and a heap of torque. On the road, this means that the Escape picks up speed without hesitation, and makes quick maneuvers and acceleration and absolute pleasure. Power is thrown to the wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which offers significantly smoother shifts than its peers, but this transmission can misbehave. For example, at low speeds dual-clutch gearboxes can lurch between shifts, which can make parking a bit cumbersome. Overall, though, the gearbox misbehaves very rarely, but it is something to keep in mind. 

In terms of the ride quality and overall comfort of the Ford Escape, it has received a relatively sporty suspension setup from the factory, which means that on rough surfaces and country B-roads, the ride can be more firm than some of its competitors. If you plan on staying close to the city, though, the ride quality is fantastic on smooth surfaces, and the firm suspension helps to keep the Escape compliant through corners, if you’re carrying too much speed. When you leave town for a holiday road trip, the Escape is an absolute pleasure to drive thanks to that powerful engine and smooth transmission. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The cabin of the Ford Escape is a straight-forward affair, with the amount of luxury on offer changing as you move further through the variants into the highest-spec Vignale. As a package, the front of the cabin offers the driver and front passenger a huge amount of space to get comfortable, with a fully-adjustable steering wheel and a handful of storage spots, door bins and cup holders. The central console receives a wireless charging pad paired with two USB outlets, with a small storage area for loose items, flanked by a set of extremely comfortable seats for the driver and front passenger. 

In the rear of the cabin, the good news keeps coming, because there’s a heap of legroom for passengers in the rear of the Escape, even tall adults that might struggle with the tight rear cabin of some of its competitors. Those sitting in the back are treated to a set of air conditioning vents for the rear of the cabin, as well as a set of USB ports, which is sure to reduce the amount of complaints you’ll hear from the kids on long holiday road trips. To make things even better, the rear bench seat can slide back and forth, allowing the rear passengers to soak up some added leg room, or expanding the amount of cargo you can accommodate in the boot. In terms of boot space, there is between 412-526L of cargo storage in the Escape’s boot, which is larger than the boot of the Mazda CX-5 and right on par with the segment’s leader, the Toyota RAV4. 

For anyone with children, the ISOFIX mounting points are easy to access, but the process of installing bulkier seats can be a bit of a chore due to the fact that the Escape’s rear doors don’t quite open wide enough for straight-forward access. It’s still very much possible, but not as easy as in some of its competitors. Overall, the Ford Escape is a spacious and very practical offering for the medium-sized SUV segment, and would likely tick all the significant boxes for Australian families.  

Is the Ford Escape Safe? 

The Ford Escape has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 92% for adult occupant protection and 89% for child occupant protection. As standard, all Ford Escape models come packaged with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance, lane departure warnings and emergency lane-keep assist, as well as curtain airbags for chest and head protection. As a safety package, the Escape comes well equipped and very much on even-pegging with its rivals in terms of active safety kit as standard on even the entry-level Escape variant. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Buyers should be aware that all of the Ford Escape’s power we’ve just talked about does come at the cost of fuel economy. The Ford Escape range has an official combined cycle rated at 8.6L per 100km for both the front- and all-wheel drive variants. In the real world, you’ll likely see figures over 10L per 100km while driving around town, however this will drop if you spend any time at speed on a motorway, or away from stop-start traffic. The Escape plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant returns an economy figure of just 1.5L per 100km, making it one of the most economical offerings for the medium-sized SUV segment, as well as offering more than 50km of driving on electric-power alone. 

Our Verdict: Is the Ford Escape Worth it? 

As a complete package, the Ford Escape is a fabulous family car, and will leave very few drivers disappointed at how capable and enjoyable it is to drive. Passengers will be happy, too, with the spacious interior design, with the added bonus of real-world practicality that Ford has packaged with the Escape. It’s by far one of the most unique and stylish offerings on the market, so if you like how it looks, we’re sure you’re going to love how it drives. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. $299 capped-price servicing for the first four years

  1. 8.6L/100km economy; 1.5L/100km for plug-in hybrid variant

  2. 556L of boot space; 1,800kg braked towing capacity 

  3. Hybrid variant can drive 50km on electric-power alone 


  • Sleek, stylish SUV looks 

  • Extremely powerful engine 

  • Spacious rear cabin and large boot

  • Exceptional economy in plug-in hybrid variant 


  • Thirsty petrol engine 

  • Firm ride 

  • Entry-level is more expensive than key rivals 

OnlineAuto Rating: 7.5/10

Ford Escape Competition

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4
Hyundai Venue
Kia Seltos
Fiat 500X
Audi Q3


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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