The compact and versatile Ford Escape continues to be a best-seller in its segment in North America. A new Escape is expected for 2020 but the 2019 still has the goods.
Of the American compact SUVs, the Ford Escape comes out on top as one of the better bets in the segment. Last revised for the 2017 model year, it still looks contemporary and as whole, it suffers very few setbacks.
While not one we would recommend as a first choice in the category, Ford’s desire to move inventory partly because of the imminent coming of the 2020, can make it a very attractive and affordable alternative to many of its Japanese counterparts.
Even so, we generally enjoy our time when reviewing the Ford Escape. Here’s how we’d order our little ute.
Ford’s put much emphasis on its EcoBoost family of turbocharged engines. With the sole exception of the base “S” trim and its 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, the other three variations are all boosted.
The 1.5-litre turbo has only one advantage over the engine we’d select and that’s the fact that the turbocharged 2.0-litre EcoBoost is a $1,600 option over the 1.5-litre, but includes AWD. Otherwise, the 1.5T is no better on fuel in the real world and when mated to the must-have AWD system, is scarcely adequate power-wise when put to use.
The 2.0T’s 245-horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque are loads of fun and more than enough to tow up to 3,750 lbs (1,707 kg).
The other slight downside to the 2.0T is that it only becomes available from the SEL trim and on. This sets the base price at just shy of $31,000 before the 2.0T option. With it, the price rises to $33,949. Thankfully, as is, it is well equipped.
You’ll get a power hatch, AWD, reverse sensing system, intelligent access with pushbutton start, SYNC 3, satellite radio, heated front seats and more. The top-line Titanium is nice but the near $4,000 premium is ultimately overkill unless you need 19-inch wheels and a heated steering wheel.
Quite honestly, if we were leasing, we’d load up a Titanium with the Titanium Sport Appearance Package and let Ford deal with it after four years.
In an unusual move in 2019, Ford’s had the brilliant vision to include fun and cool colours. Sure, the 2019 CR-V can be red or blue but the Escape can also be orange or green! We’d opt for one of the latter two shades, probably Sedona orange.
Lease or Finance?
At the time of writing this piece, Ford offered a $1,500 delivery allowance, a credit, whether you lease or finance your new Escape. This pre-negotiation rebate helps in both scenarios.
The Escape’s resale value is no better than average even with below average mileage on the clock after a few years of driving. For this reason, among a few others, we’d end up leasing the compact ute for a period of 48 months with a 20,000km allowance per year.
Here, we’d go for the Titanium with Sport package. Monthly retail costs would come out to about $555 at 2.49% with $0 down and no trade-in. At this price point, we’d hand over the Escape at the end of the lease, making sure not to think about buying out the vehicle at the end. Alternatively, our preferred SEL with 2.0T is nicely affordable at $475/month with the same conditions.
The financing option for the SEL with 2.0T works out to $595 per month over 60 months with a 1.49% rate. The total price before taxes with fees is of $35,839.
In the end however, we would purchase a new 2019 Toyota RAV4.