The 2011 Ford Escape isn’t that different from the last model. It’s still the Ford crossover SUV with the smallest footprint, and it’s still meant to compete against such vehicles as Honda’s CR-V, Saturn’s Vue, and Toyota’s RAV4. In fact, the only thing new for 2011 is that there’s now an Escape Hybrid on the market, but we’ve reviewed that separately.
Missing retro-fit notwithstanding, the 2011 Ford Escape is still a great looking car, with a chrome grill (on some trim levels) more reminiscent of one of the smaller, kickier Volkswagen models than a traditional SUV. It’s also got a high belt line and a raised hood, as well as a blind-spot display function in the side-view mirrors, a capless “refueling nozzle” instead of a more conventional fuel cap, and the option to have 16- or 17-inch wheels.
Inside the 2011 Ford Escape, there’s comfortable seating for five people in two rows of the seat, with the back seat split in the now-traditional 60/40 division, and the ability to fold flat to provide additional storage space. In addition, interior features include an MP3 jack and cruise control, both standard, and Ford’s Sync multimedia interface, ambient lighting, and a rearview camera with the ability to display info either in the rearview mirror or via the navigation system.
Even with crossover SUVs, it’s all about engine power, and the 2011 Ford Escape is no exception. Look under the hood, and you’ll find either a 240-hp, 3.0 liter V-6 engine providing 223 pounds-feet of torque, or a 171 horsepower, 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that offers 171 pounds-feet of torque. Transmission options are a six-speed automatic or a five speed manual, and drive-by-wire throttle control is also a feature.
In addition, the Escape has a self-parking system – the driver has to shift and operate the gas and brake pedals, but the car does its own steering. Other safety features include an electronic stability stystem and roll stability control as well as a full complement of airbags (dual state in the front, front-mounted side-impact bags, and side curtain airbags) and antilock brakes.
One interesting innovation from Ford is the inclusion of their MyKey technology which allows owners to create settings for teen drivers, thus electronically limited the top engine speed and maximum stereo volume, as well as alerting parents if the car accelerates beyond 45 mph.
The 2011 Ford Escape has a starting MSRP between $21,060 and $27,380 depending on the trim level.