The 2022 Ford Escape is a small SUV that sits in a sweet spot between the automaker’s smaller Ford EcoSport and larger Ford Edge and three-row Explorer. It competes in one of the most hotly contested segments around, with rivals including the Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, and Toyota RAV4. The Escape was fully redesigned just a couple of years ago, which explains the lack of changes or upgrades for the 2022 model.
The 2022 Ford Escape does a lot of other things right. Its cabin is comfortable and spacious, and it’s available with lots of technology and advanced driver aids. And although its cargo area isn’t class-leading, what is here is right on the mark for what we expect from small SUVs.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Escape offers a wide range of powertrains, starting with a 181-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. The turbo three, while somewhat grumbly and unrefined, provides adequate acceleration and managed to motivate an all-wheel-drive Escape SE to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds at our test track.
Upgrading to the 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the compelling choice and was powerful enough to score a 5.7-second result in the same zero-to-60-mph test. Both gasoline engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. To tackle new competition in the form of the Honda CR-V hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Prime, Ford also offers two Escape hybrids—one of which is a plug-in—and those powertrains consist of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors which combine to make 221-hp.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The plug-in hybrid model will carry a 14.4-kWh battery pack, which is good enough for an EPA-estimated 37 miles of electric-only driving. When we have a chance to test the plug-in model and learn more about the plug-in hybrid’s capabilities we will update this story with more details.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
According to the EPA, the turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder model with front-wheel drive will offer the highest fuel economy estimates among non-hybrid Escape models. It’s rated for 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined; adding all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 26 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined. We tested an all-wheel-drive model with the turbo three-cylinder and managed an impressive 35 mpg during our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route.
Although the larger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with all-wheel drive is rated for 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined, we ended up with a 32-mpg highway result in our testing. For those seeking the most efficient Escape, look no further than the plug-in hybrid model, which earns fuel economy ratings as high as 44 mpg city. For more information about Escape’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Escape’s cabin, while handsomely styled and spacious for both front- and rear-seat occupants, suffers from several low-rent plastic panels, including those on the doors and lower center console. Highly textured cloth seat upholstery is standard, while higher trim levels receive either convincing faux-leather seating surfaces or genuine leather in the top-spec Titanium.
Behind the Escape’s rear seat is a capacious cargo hold that provides space for up to eight carry-on suitcases, which ties its crosstown rival, the Chevrolet Equinox. We fit 21 cases with the Escape’s rear seats folded, but the Equinox held two more.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While base S models come with a 4.2-inch radio display and an AM/FM radio as the only entertainment, SE trim levels and higher get a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment interface and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability. A smartphone app provides remote access to vehicle telematics and remote start on all Escape models, but the most connected and high-tech Escape is the Titanium model, which comes standard with a 10-speaker B&O Play audio system, in-dash navigation, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display. A pop-up head-up display is optional.