Ford knows how to build recreational vehicles better than any brand, and the fresh design of the 2021 Ford Escape shows off the versatility and capability of an SUV that can also be eco-friendly. Last year saw a complete redesign of the model with the introduction of some new features. These included driver-assistance technologies such as road sign recognition and adaptive cruise control, a new trailer tow package is available for towing small trailers, and an expansion of the hybrid powertrain options. When you need an SUV that can run around town with the kids in the back and then handle the mud on a back road in the woods, the 2021 Ford Escape is the vehicle you want.
With the wide range of options Ford offers for the 2021 Escape, everyone can have what they want in a small SUV crossover. Ford's SYNC infotainment system is intuitive to use for smartphone connectivity, yet there are still buttons and knobs for operating systems like the climate control for those who prefer not to use a touchscreen interface. The seating for five is roomy even in the rear, and cargo space is generous to ensure you have room for everything you need on those family trips. The CoPilot 360 safety features gained some new additions, and it provides a suite of features for every trim to keep you safe while you're on the road.
All-wheel drive is available for added traction, providing you with true SUV handling in bad weather or off-road conditions. Inside, the second-row sliding seat feature is exceptionally innovative to maximize space. Because the seats can slide forward and back, it allows the adjustment for either legroom or cargo space as desired. The Escape also enjoys the use of FordPass Connect through a downloadable app, which allows you to access remote features on your Escape. Start your car, check fuel levels, or lock your vehicle from anywhere using your phone. Other conveniences like selectable drive modes, available powered hands-free liftgate, available driver's seat memory, and plenty of places to plug-in devices will make life easy while you're in your Escape.
The 2021 Escape is welcoming and comfortable on the inside and carries a sporty appeal on the outside. While some brands go for the bold, aggressive stance, Ford has no need to impress that way. Everyone knows Ford can deliver capability in its vehicles, so the brand can go for a dialed-down stance that has shapely curves to go with the underbody skid plates and black cladding. Just because your SUV can tackle any weather or terrain doesn't mean it has to show its teeth. Instead, you can enjoy a sleek and aerodynamic exterior made to reduce fuel consumption and wind resistance, available LED fog lights to cut through the night, and the ability to tow a trailer with an available tow package.
On the inside, you will be able to relax whether you have the standard textured cloth seats, the faux leather, or the real leather of the Titanium trim. The space and layout of the 2021 Escape lend themselves to long drives. The new rotary shift dial means less space is taken up in the front row and makes space for more storage in the center console. The convenience of remotely starting your 2021 Escape makes it easy to stay warm in cold weather or remain cool in hot weather. Cruise and audio controls are located on the tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and power locks and windows are standard. Upper trims will gain a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, wireless charging, and inspiring ambient lighting.
Ford offers the Escape both as a traditional hybrid and as a more advanced plug-in hybrid. This gives you options to save money on gas while still having a vehicle that fits your lifestyle. Traditional hybrid options are available for the SE, SEL, and Titanium trims, while you can purchase a plug-in hybrid Escape in the SEL and Titanium trims. While the different trims share the same performance characteristics, the higher trims naturally bring an elevated level of luxury with features from dual-zone automatic climate control to Bang and Olufsen premium audio system.
Starting with the SE trim, Ford makes the 2021 Escape with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain. Combined, the gasoline engine and electric motors produce 200 horsepower, which gives the Escape hybrid a noticeable performance edge over the standard gasoline engine and its 181 horsepower. The 2021 Escape hybrid is rated for an impressive 41 MPG combined and up to 44 MPG in city driving, making a perfect commuter vehicle or daily driver. Because it takes practice to learn how to utilize the gas-saving features like the regenerative brakes, Ford provides a game-like interface in the Escape hybrid to assist in teaching drivers when they're driving well.
Unlike a traditional hybrid, which still burns gasoline whenever you drive it, a plug-in hybrid can operate as a pure electric vehicle over short distances. In the case of the 2021 Ford Escape, the plug-in version uses a much larger 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows it to travel up to 37 miles on battery power alone. However, the remainder of the powertrain consists of the same 2.5-liter gasoline engine as the traditional hybrid version.
While you can use the gasoline engine to charge the battery pack just like any other hybrid, the plug-in hybrid (as the name implies) can also be plugged-in to recharge. Charging at home with a level two charger (easily installed by a licensed electrician) should only take about three hours for a full charge, though charging through a standard three-prong wall outlet is possible if you plug in overnight.
When it comes to innovative territory, Ford is moving in a whole new direction. Several systems onboard the 2021 Escape will make life more convenient than ever, like the safety features in the CoPilot 360 system, the remote features from FordPass Connect, and the SYNC infotainment interface. Another bold feature Ford offers in newer vehicles is Waze compatibility for incredible access to traffic information that helps you "outsmart" traffic in real-time to avoid slow traffic from accidents, road closures, and traffic jams.
The systems onboard the 2021 Escape begin with FordPass Connect, allowing users to find their vehicle, schedule a time for it to start remotely, and manage the Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to ten devices at once. The SYNC infotainment system incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for hands-free, voice-activated controls and access to media and apps on your smartphone. The intuitive controls on the touchscreen make it simple to choose your music, programs, and settings, and you can also access navigation, satellite radio, and other systems for your vehicle through the SYNC interface.
Finally, the 2021 Ford Escape offers Ford's CoPilot 360 safety suite, which includes conveniences like automatic high beams so that you never have to worry about forgetting to turn them down in oncoming traffic. More importantly, it includes critical safety features such as pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking, which will detect objects or people in your path to avoid impact, and adaptive cruise control to reduce speeds when vehicles are in your path on the highway. Extras like active park assist will not only find you a space to park; it will even park your Escape for you with the simple press of a button.