With the 2021 Ford Escape, Ford is following through on its plan to move aggressively into the SUV and hybrid/electric motor markets. This is because the folks at Ford have looked at the data and identified that drivers are clamoring for sport utility vehicles, especially ones with exceptional fuel economy. These drivers want to have all the conveniences offered by an SUV, such as better traction, more interior space, and ease of entry and exit afforded by the higher clearance of an SUV without the pain of having to pay for it at the gas pump. This is why for the 2021 model year, Ford has increased the availability of the Escape's optional hybrid engine.
For the 2021 Ford Escape, you will still get the exceptional exterior design and roomy interior of this model with the added pleasure of being able to choose a hybrid engine as well. The Escape features many excellent standard active safety features as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 system, including a rearview camera, lane-keeping system, automatic high-beams, blindspot alerts, and automatic emergency braking. The Escape also continues to offer the exceptional Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system with an easy-to-use 8-inch color touchscreen. This will allow you to access all the features you love, like Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay connectivity. You also get FordPass Connect, which can turn your Escape into a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, so you and your passengers will be able to get onto the internet wherever you may find yourselves.
The 2021 Ford Escape expands the number of trims that offer a hybrid powertrain from two to four, giving you more options for fuel-efficiency. The base trim is the Escape S, which is the only trim that doesn't offer a hybrid engine. However, if you are looking for an affordable compact SUV, then the S trim is worth considering. The Escape SE comes with more features, such as a standard SYNC 3 infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio and a 10-way power driver seat. The SE comes in two hybrid variants - a traditional hybrid and a plug-in hybrid that can travel short distances on battery power alone. Altogether, the Escape SE is a great balance of features and price.
The Escape SEL brings even more features, including leather interior elements, driver memory settings, and a hands-free power liftgate. It is available as a plug-in hybrid but not as a traditional hybrid. The same is true of the top of the line Escape Titanium. This trim really has all the bells and whistles, adding luxuries such as a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, built-in GPS navigation with real-time traffic updates, and a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster. The Escape Titanium fully lives up to its promise of being the most comfortable and efficient compact SUV Ford sells.
The 2021 Ford Escape gives you plenty of engine options, which will truly put you in the driver's seat. The Escape S, SE, and SEL come equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-3 gas engine. It features Auto Stop-Start Technology to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions by shutting the engine off when you come to a full stop and then automatically restarting it when you take your foot off the brake. This engine produces 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. The other gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-4 that comes standard on the Escape Titanium and is available as an option on the Escape SEL. This engine also has Auto Stop-Start Technology but can produce up to 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
The Escape hybrid powertrains share a 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 combined with an 88 kW electric motor. However, the plug-in hybrid uses a larger 14.4 kWh battery pack that can be recharged from a power outlet or charging station. Together, the engine and electric motor produce 221 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, providing you with both power and efficiency. The 2021 Escape hybrids also use a modern compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that cuts down on weight and bulk, improving handling and cargo space over older Escape hybrid models.
Each of the 2021 Ford Escape gas engine models features an 8-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. This provides excellent control over the engine and improves engine efficiency by providing additional gear ratios. The hybrid and plug-in Ford Escape models are equipped with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT). Rather than having set gear speeds, the eCVT will constantly adjust the engine speed to the current driving conditions. This is an exceptional transmission to have for a hybrid powertrain since it further enhances the vehicle's efficiency.
No matter whether you choose a traditional gasoline powertrain or a more efficient hybrid model, the 2021 Ford Escape provides you with the choice between standard front-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. If you live in an area with inclement weather or backroads, then you are going to appreciate the extra traction afforded by an all-wheel drive system on your Escape.
One of the best things about the Ford Escape is this crossover's exceptional fuel economy. If you drive an Escape S, SE, or SEL with front-wheel drive and the 1.5-liter I-3 engine, you can expect to get up to 27 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. Switching to the optional all-wheel drivetrain will only reduce fuel economy slightly to 26 MPG in city driving and 31 MPG in highway driving. However, that is a relatively small price to pay for the added security of all-wheel drive.
The Escape Titanium and SEL with the larger 2.0-liter I-4 engine and all-wheel drive will provide around 23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Alternatively, the hybrid models will provide similar power and significantly better fuel economy. Front-wheel drive hybrid Escape models get an outstanding 44 MPG in city driving and 37 MPG on the highway, while upgrading to an all-wheel drive hybrid will only drop 1 MPG in city driving. Choosing a plug-in hybrid model will get the same combined fuel economy as a traditional hybrid model but will also allow you to travel around 37 miles on battery power alone for an overall rating of 102 MPGe.
There is plenty of room for cargo in the 2021 Ford Escape. The gas engine models have a very spacious 37.5 cubic feet of room in the back, which expands to an incredible 65.4 cubic feet of space when you fold down the rear seat. While most hybrid SUVs sacrifice a great deal of trunk space in order to fit the required batteries, this is not the case with the 2021 Ford Escape. Thanks to its compact modern battery pack, the hybrid has a full 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the back. Folding down the rear seats expands that to 60.8 cubic feet, which is only a 7.5% difference from the gasoline model.
The 2021 Ford Escape provides a roomy 104 cubic feet of space for up to 5 passengers, which is plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy a road trip. Front-row passengers will appreciate 40 inches of headroom, 42.4 inches of legroom, 55.2 inches of hip room, and 57.6 inches of shoulder room in the Escape. Fortunately, the designers at Ford didn't forget rear row passengers in the 2021 Escape. They will enjoy having 39.3 inches of headroom, 40.7 inches of legroom in gas, 53.3 inches of hip room, and 56 inches of shoulder room. The amount of rear-seat legroom in hybrid models drops slightly to 38.9 inches, but this is still more legroom than in many comparable hybrid crossovers.