2022 Ford Escape

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
October 22, 2021

Buying tip

Take the Escape SE Hybrid for the smartest value in this crossover lineup.

features & specs

S AWD
S FWD
SE AWD
MPG
26 city / 31 hwy
MPG
28 city / 34 hwy
MPG
26 city / 31 hwy
MSRP
$27,055
MSRP
$25,555
MSRP
$28,535

The 2022 Ford Escape brings hybrid excellence and middling seat and interior quality to a hotly competitive class.

What kind of car is the 2022 Ford Escape? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Escape five-seat compact crossover SUV takes on bestsellers such as the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, and Honda CR-V, not to mention Ford’s own Bronco Sport.

Is the 2022 Ford Escape a good SUV?

Review continues below

The Escape posts stellar safety ratings and fuel economy, on its way to a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Ford Escape?

Not much; the Plug-In Hybrid that’s been delayed may finally reach showrooms yet this year.

Otherwise, it’s a carry-over year for the suave Escape, which emerged from a redesign in the 2020 model year. If you’re looking for angles now, head over to the Bronco Sport: this crossover’s all about looking smooth in city landscapes. The body’s toned and taut, but Ford trims the Escape interior where it’s most visible: hard plastic dresses the doors and dash, and comes across more thrifty than clever.

The Escape’s quartet of powertrains misses few beats. The base 181-hp turbo-3 may struggle to pass uphill with a full load of people, but it’s reasonably quick—a rational choice. Smarter yet is the hybrid, with net output of 200 hp, better off-the-line surge, and a soaring 41-mpg EPA combined rating. (With a bigger battery, it nets 37 miles of electric range in the plug-in edition.) The strongest 250-hp turbo-4 turns top Escapes into twisty-road champs, and we won’t try to dissuade you from its rorty (if clacky) power delivery. Every Escape has good road manners and a more absorbent ride than in previous versions, though the steering’s less crisp than the hot-hatch rack in the prior version. 

Interior space ranks among the Escape’s wins, but its front seats have short bottom cushions and narrow side bolsters; bigger passengers won’t feel at home unless they sit in back, where fold-down seats and a sliding bench seat can boost cargo space to mid-size SUV dimensions (37.5 cubic feet). 

Every Escape has automatic emergency braking and active lane control, and both the NHTSA and the IIHS give it their highest ratings.

How much does the 2022 Ford Escape cost?

Base Escape S crossovers cost roughly $26,000, but don’t have all the features we expect. Take an SE Hybrid for the best value and for super fuel economy—or wait for the imminent plug-in model and its 37-mile electric range (and expected $35,000 sticker price). 

Where is the 2022 Ford Escape made?

In Louisville, Kentucky.

7

2022 Ford Escape

Styling

The Escape knows curb appeal, but the interior concept could be more open.

Is the Ford Escape a good-looking car?

It’s sleek and urbane, in a way it was not in its first generation. (The boxy look? It’s been passed over to the related Bronco Sport.) It’s contemporary and handsome—but less expressive and more plain inside. We give it a 7, with two points for the exterior.

The clean new shape comes off more carlike and more gentle; it’s a right turn from crossovers like the Bronco Sport and RAV4, with their 8-bit bodies. The Escape has some Model 3 overtones at the front end, some Mazda CX-5 in its rear quarters; both make for a lovely shape that’s going to age well.

The interior could use a touch-up already. Dressed in black on black—it’s full-on Hell’s Kitchen barista in here—the somber cockpit wears a lot of low-rent plastic trim below its horizon line, and a teensy digital screen on the least expensive Escape S. Lighter interior trim and a bigger screen dress it up nicely, as does leather and woodgrain trim, but the cost-cutting is notable given the fancy interiors Ford fits to its full-size trucks.

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6

2022 Ford Escape

Performance

Pick a powertrain; they’re all good.

Ford sells four distinct versions of the Escape, and all of them pass muster. Some just pass it a little more quickly. It’s a 6, based on the ride quality of the most popular base setup. 

Is the Ford Escape AWD?

All-wheel drive can be configured with three of the four powertrains.

How fast is the Ford Escape?

Base cars come with a 181-hp 1.5-liter turbo-3, an 8-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive. It’s good for reasonable passing power and urban runabout duty, but it gets taxed in long uphill slogs and when it’s packed with people. It probably takes less than 10 seconds to reach 60 mph, but Ford hasn’t published any times. A basic all-wheel-drive system ships power to the rear wheels when the fronts slip, but adds weight to the package.

Quicker and faster, Ford’s 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-4 shows up in SEL and Titanium ready to play. It can reach 60 mph in about seven seconds, which makes it infinitely more engaging on any kind of road—with some grainy powertrain noises thrown in on SELs (they’re blotted out on Titanium versions by acoustic glass).

The prior version of the Escape had a very firm ride and super-quick steering; this one’s composed but more compliant, with middleweight steering and a confident tack, even when it’s shod with 19-inch wheels. It’s poised and comfortable on a range of road surfaces.

Ford Escape Hybrid performance

Ford sells two hybrid Escapes: one with a plug, one without. The hybrid drivetrain consists of a 2.5-liter inline-4 with lithium-ion batteries and a hybrid transmission; they combine for a net 200 hp, directed to either the front or all four wheels. 

The Hybrid could use better sound deadening for the strained noises that accompany serious speed, but we can forgive a lot for its 41-mpg EPA combined rating. It’s tuned to soak up the road nearly as well as the non-hybrids, with the added weight of the battery pack factored in. Steering loses some feel, but not much; it’s vague but not disappointingly so.

We’ve yet to drive the 3,889-lb Escape Plug-In Hybrid, which ups the hybrid battery to 14.4 kwh to generate up to 37 miles of electric driving range. Front-wheel-drive only, the plug-in can recharge on Level 2 outlets in about 3.5 hours. We’ll have more about its performance soon.

 

Review continues below
7

2022 Ford Escape

Comfort & Quality

The Escape needs better seats.

Ford found all the space it needed in the curvy Escape, but it skimped on front seat comfort. With points for the back seat and cargo space, it’s a 7 here.

At 180.5 inches long, with a 106.7-inch wheelbase, the Escape sits in the compact class, where its four-adult seating hits the mark. Taller passengers will find fault with the front buckets; their bottom cushions need more length and the side bolsters should be wider, but smaller passengers won’t have a problem. Knee and head room abound, as does small-item storage. Cooled seats have been skipped, but heated seats come with SE Escapes and above, and cloth gets swapped out for leather as you spend more.

Back-seat passengers have better accommodations, thanks to more than 37 inches of leg room (it’s 38.8 inches on non-hybrids since there’s no battery pack under the bench). The seat backs recline, and the cushions have been cut more comfortably. Three across works for very short trips and size-medium or smaller bodies.

The second-row bench can slide on a track to expand leg or cargo space, which checks in at 37.5 cubic feet (or about 33 cubic feet on hybrids). 

The Escape’s interior pleases the eye, but grainy plastic covers its lower door panels and console. Wood and leather dress up pricey models some, but the similar Lincoln Corsair does a much better job of imparting a sense of luxury.

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10

2022 Ford Escape

Safety

The Escape earns a top score here, by a slim margin.

How safe is the Ford Escape?

With great crash-test results and excellent safety technology, as well as good safety options and outward vision, the Escape’s a 10 for safety.

The NHTSA rates it at five stars overall, with just a single four-star rating for rollover resistance. The IIHS says it’s a Top Safety Pick; all crash test results are “Good,” but only the Titanium has headlights rated at “Acceptable”; all others get “Marginal” headlights and wouldn’t earn the award if they stood alone.

The Escape has standard active lane control and automatic emergency braking. More expensive models get a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, and automatic parking assist.

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7

2022 Ford Escape

Features

Skip the base trim and every Escape gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen and good gear.

Prices aren’t set for 2022 yet, but the Escape promises good value in near-base spec. We give it a 7 for features for its value and options; the entry-level version lacks a couple of features, and the 3-year/36,000-mile warranty is just average.

The Escape comes in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium editions. For about $26,000, the Escape S has 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, and a small 4.2-inch infotainment display.

Which Ford Escape should I buy?

The Escape SEL and SE Hybrid offer the best value, for about $30,000. Both get keyless start, heated front seats, a power driver seat, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; the Hybrid adds a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Options range from a panoramic sunroof to a power tailgate, navigation, and adaptive cruise control. The Escape SE comes in plug-in form, too.

How much is a fully loaded Ford Escape?

The Escape Titanium loads up with bigger wheels, leather upholstery, B&O sound, and acoustic glass. The plug-in and turbo-4 drivetrains are options, and can drive the Titanium to $40,000 or more.

Review continues below
5

2022 Ford Escape

Fuel Economy

Pick the hybrid or plug-in for superior gas mileage.

Is the Ford Escape good on gas?

It’s exceptionally frugal in plug-in mode, great as a hybrid, and good in lower-output turbo form. Based on the most popular version—the turbo-3 edition with front-wheel drive—it’s a 5 here, nearly a 6.

The EPA chalks up that version at 28 mpg city, 34 highway, 30 combined. All-wheel drive drops those ratings to 26/31/28 mpg. With the turbo-4, the all-wheel-drive Escape checks in at 23/31/26 mpg.

Efficiency soars with batteries on board. The plug-in Escape Hybrid can drive 37 miles on a charge, and gets 40 mpg combined beyond that. Hybrids without a plug net 44/37/41 mpg with front-wheel drive, or 43/37/40 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Review continues below
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$25,555
MSRP based on S FWD
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7.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 10
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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2022 Ford Escape Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Escape in stock; 2022s can be ordered
  • Lease: From $319/mo
  • Rebates: Up to $1,000 off for all buyers
  • Finance: From 0% APR
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