Can this minivan family make it for a week in a pretty, but smaller, crossover?
My family is not a stranger to road trips but when we were asked if we wanted to conduct a 2017 Ford Escape Titanium review on a ten day road trip, I was just a little nervous. We’re normally a minivan family. We love our space, even more so on the road. At home, I love being able to slide anything I find at Costco, from a kitchen sink to groceries, in the back of minivan without a challenge. During the week we drove it, all of my concerns were put to rest. The 2017 Ford Escape has plenty of room a family road trip and could even handle my Costco runs with complete ease!
After driving it, I see the 2017 Ford Escape is one car that I truly believe would fit families at different life stages. It fit the needs of my busy family and I could see my empty nest mother driving it just as easily as my stepdaughter.
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Who This Car Is For:
- Small families
- Families with children in booster seats
- Weekend adventurers
- Empty nesters
- Drivers looking for maximum space
- Drivers looking for extra safety features
What It Costs:
- S Trim 2017 Escape starts at $23,750
- SE trim starts at $25,250
- Titanium starts at $29,250
- The fully loaded Titanium model we test drove was priced at $39,010
The Stylish Family Around Town in the 2017 Ford Escape
Going from a minivan almost anything is a style upgrade, but the Ford Escape skyrocketed my son’s cool factor at preschool. I test drove a Ruby Red Metallic version with the Panoramic Vista roof. The best way to describe it is: FUN! It feels carefree and light but also drives likes a substantial car. For all the fun when I encountered high wind and rain, it didn’t sway or shake my confidence.
The driver’s seat is our test of how family friendly a car really can stretch because I’m just over 5 feet and my husband is just over 6 feet. We don’t usually feel the same way about a car but surprisingly we both found driving the Ford Escape comfortable with few adjustments. The telescoping steering wheel and easy to adjust driver’s seat made me feel totally in control. It’s a vehicle that we’d purchase because it fits us well enough that if it was my primary car, he could switch with no problems as needed.
My sons felt just as control in the backseat because they were able to adjust their rear seats for a slight recline as well. They are both in booster seats and the Escape can seat five, including booster seats. For families with multiple children in five point harness car seats, you’d only be able to seat four people. I personally sat in every space of the car and felt just as comfortable. In fact, I took four adult friends for a drive and no one was uncomfortable or unable to buckle their seat belts, so it’s a clear winner for carpooling friends.
Driver Feedback Keeps You In Control When Hitting the Open Road
Driving around town before our road trip gave me plenty of time to learn all the controls, however a learning curve wasn’t really needed. All the controls and driver dashboard displays were easy to reach. One design feature that stood out to me for having easy access to driver feedback. We spent most of our time on a road trip, so I was monitoring our fuel level and trip mileage. The Ford Escape makes it convenient to cycle through the display from the speed to the trip mileage, fuel tank level and fuel economy with just a simple touch on the steering wheel.
Over the course of our time with the Ford Escape, we averaged 21 mph combined (city/highway), a little less than the manufacturers average fuel economy of combined 23 mph. My highway mileage averaged 24 mph (versus manufacturers 27 mph) but we did drive with a fully loaded vehicle. The vehicle uses regular fuel, so it’s perfect for a budget-aware family.
Stress-free Tech Lets the Whole Family Plug In
My sons and I were both in love with how stress-free this car is for a connected family. First, pairing the Bluetooth took just seconds. The searching was a snap and so much faster than in my well-loved older car. Both my son and I connected so we could share our music. It’s an equal opportunity car with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the SYNC 3 voice control system. Connecting to our apps like Pandora, Spotify and even Audible to access your personal playlists made for a fun drive. SYNC 3 pretty much turned the car into an extension of my phone so I was able to see who a text was from or real time traffic on the touchscreen.
Music is a huge part of the road trip experience and the SONY entertainment package in the Ford Escape didn’t disappoint. The test model we drove arrived with SiriusXM radio and a 10 speaker audio system, perfect for a night out with friends or just picking up the car pool. With the SYNC 3 voice recognition, the novelty of being able to tell our Ford Escape “Play Kidz Bop” and change the station distracted from the lack of an in-car entertainment video system, which is not an option in the Escape.
Keeping us charged wasn’t a problem either with two USB plugs and a 12v power port in the front and a household plug in the back. My husband and I used the USB plugs in the front. My son was pretty happy to have a full plug in the back to keep his gaming systems charged.
Safety Features That are Also Convenient and Luxurious
While I loved the styling and the way the Escape drove, the safety features would make purchase this car. Even the convenience features that make life easier are safety features and also, a luxury. These reassure me as a parent giving this car to a new or young driver like my stepdaughter. And as daughter to older parents, I’m thinking about my parents safety as well. My mother may not want to admit that her vision and reflexes have slowed. This car would let her keep her independence and stay safe.
- The intelligent access key and push button start means that I don’t have to dig through my bag to find keys when my hands are full. For her it means that late at night, she doesn’t have to worry about taking an extra second to get into her car.
- A clear backup camera – incredibly clear quality in both night and day light.
- Blind spot monitors – an indicator light on your mirror helps remind you of something located in your blind spot. This would be helpful with not only driving but if there’s a pole when you’re in a tight parking space.
- Forward Sensing System – if you’re too close to an object, you receive a visual warning. The closer you come to an object the more it lights up.
- Lane Keep Assistance – an indicator on the driver’s console gives you a visual reminder if you’re drifting over the lanes when driving more than 40 mph.
- Active Park Assist – the car will monitor the space as you drive to find a suitable space and back the car into a space for you.
- Adaptive Cruise Control – this is a lifesaver for road trips! The car adjusts your speed to the flow of the vehicle in front you while cruise control is enable based on the specific spacing you define. With periods of hitting slower traffic, this was amazing to see in action.
Storage and Stuff in the 2017 Ford Escape
This car is made for stuff! I had plenty of options to store my purse but most often, I just rested the small bag I carry daily in the storage area of the driver’s door. The center console was actually my family’s favorite secret space. Not only is it the perfect place to charge your phone because of the USB port inside but it was large enough to hold a Kindle Fire or a makeup case.
Carrying a full 10 days’ worth of luggage, I was surprised of how much could fit in the cargo area and the ease of loading it. This car is designed for people who need to use the cargo area on a regular basis. Notice there’s not a ‘lip’ in the cargo area that you have to lift things over; you can slide bags right in. And folding the seats into the 60/40 configuration with one hand was easy. Keeping a stroller in the back, you would still have space for other items. The motion activated lift gate only adds to the simplicity of loading the Ford Escape.
What We Loved
- Push button start and intelligent smart key
- Adaptive cruise control
- Panoramic sunroof
- SYNC3 system
- Lots of USB ports and a household plug
- Easy to load cargo area
- Hands free lift gate
- A stylish looking crossover
What You Need to Know
- Fuel economy: 20 MPG city/27 MPG highway; we averaged about 21MPG
- Seating for 5 adults, but only 4 with car seats
- Comes in three trim levels: S, SE & Titanium
- Warranty: 3 year/36,000 mile Basic & 5 year/60,000 miles Powertrain
- Regular gas recommended
Every road trip needs a playlist!
We had fun playing DJ in the Escape. Here are some great songs that might help your road trip be a fun one, too.
Win a Britax ClickTight Child Car Seat
Contest rules: Entries must be completed by 11:59PM CT, June 5, 2017. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents; winners will be notified by email by June 6, 2017. Prize value approximately $275 each; a total of two (2) car seats will be awarded to two (2) separate winners.
Disclosure: I was provided the Ford Escape for this review. Opinions expressed here are all my own.