Road Trip: 2014 Ford Escape

2014 Ford Escape

Carolina Dreaming

From North Carolina to South Carolina, the 2014 Escape served us well

By Steve Turner

Yes, we do love performance here at SVTP. However, we do have a softer, more practical side too. We can’t do everything in our mega-powered machines. Besides, it’s always great to have perspective on all that Ford has to offer.

Our 2014 Ford Escape tester looked handsome in Sunset Metallic. It’s no surprise the color really pops in the sun.
Our 2014 Ford Escape tester looked handsome in Sunset Metallic. It’s no surprise the color really pops in the sun.

As such, when we hit the road, we relish the opportunity to check out rides from the press fleet that we wouldn’t normally get to drive. Since many of you are heading off on a road trip for the Memorial Day weekend, it seemed appropriate to share my latest drive report.

Though it did feature an optional power liftgate, this Escape did not have the optional hands-free liftgate, which we would have loved to try this out while loading gear in and out of the hatch. It was, however, nice to have the power option, especially on rainy days.
Though it did feature an optional power liftgate, this Escape did not have the optional hands-free liftgate, which we would have loved to try this out while loading gear in and out of the hatch. It was, however, nice to have the power option, especially on rainy days.

With a trip to the Carolinas on the horizon, I set up some wheels to get from the most amazing Ford press event I have ever attended on to check out Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s drift machines at Autosport Dynamics, and then off to SVTPerformance headquarters for a bit of orientation, and back to the Charlotte airport to head home. It was a lot to cram into a week, and the Escape was a loyal companion.

Having a Gas Turbo Direct Injection 1.6-liter engine underhood made having an Escape a bit more exciting. Sure the Ecoboost 1.6 is hidden under enough plastic to keep the regular folks from having to actually see an engine. We’d prefer to see some metal, but in an Escape it is understandable. In our experience, the 1.6 was serviceable, but not too exciting. I’d definitely step up to the optional 2.0-liter.
Having a Gas Turbo Direct Injection 1.6-liter engine underhood made having an Escape a bit more exciting. Sure the Ecoboost 1.6 is hidden under enough plastic to keep the regular folks from having to actually see an engine. We’d prefer to see some metal, but in an Escape it is understandable. In our experience, the 1.6 was serviceable, but not too exciting. I’d definitely step up to the optional 2.0-liter.

Now, let’s be honest, the Escape is not a thrill machine, but it isn’t meant to be. Acting as reliable, fuel-efficient people-hauler is its claim to fame. The Ecoboost 1.6-liter engine provides enough performance to pass and get around, and clocks in solid mileage—around 27 mpg in mixed driving for us. That said, I’d much prefer the big step in power offered by the EB 2.0, despite giving up a little mileage in that bargain.

Surprisingly, the Escape actually handles pretty well for a small SUV, exuding the more performance oriented DNA that Ford mandates these days. It won’t hang with its cousin, the Focus ST, but it is fun to drive.

On the inside, it featured nice mix of options. While the seats wore the base cloth covering, this Escape was up-fit with MyFord Touch, Reverse Sensing, and Sync. Additionally, I learned that I wish my Focus offered the same info center display as this Escape. My Focus ST will only display one value, while this Escape showed off the trip odometer, trip time, miles per gallon, and miles in the main quadrant.
On the inside, it featured nice mix of options. While the seats wore the base cloth covering, this Escape was up-fit with MyFord Touch, Reverse Sensing, and Sync. Additionally, I learned that I wish my Focus offered the same info center display as this Escape. My Focus ST will only display one value, while this Escape showed off the trip odometer, trip time, miles per gallon, and miles in the main quadrant.

In daily use, it was comfortable and easy to drive. The navigation served me well through two states and many miles, and the SiriusXM onboard kept me linked to my favorite talk and music programming to fill those four hours between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Manually shifting the six-speed SelectShift automatic in Sport mode, made pedaling the Escape a bit more entertaining. The fun was only limited by the 178-horsepower/184 lb-ft of torque output of the 1.6-liter engine.
Manually shifting the six-speed SelectShift automatic in Sport mode, made pedaling the Escape a bit more entertaining. The fun was only limited by the 178-horsepower/184 lb-ft of torque output of the 1.6-liter engine.
Work travel for a week means that we have to haul a lot of gear around. In addition to enough clothes to suit any business need, there are cameras, laptops, tripods and more to consider. The Escape hatch swallowed it all up without complaint. And, thanks to the power liftgate, it was open by the time I started loading up for the next stop.
Work travel for a week means that we have to haul a lot of gear around. In addition to enough clothes to suit any business need, there are cameras, laptops, tripods and more to consider. The Escape hatch swallowed it all up without complaint. And, thanks to the power liftgate, it was open by the time I started loading up for the next stop.

So, if you are looking for a small SUV to haul the family around town and on vacation, the 2014 Escape is a good option. If fuel mileage is your primary concern, stick with the 1.6, but if you like to have a little fun after you drop the kids off, then opt for the Ecoboost 2.0-liter. It is a big step up in performance.

This example was nicely appointed, but not fully loaded, so it represented a real-world vehicle that might be in your family’s driveway. The sticker price was $29,075 with destination and delivery charges.
This example was nicely appointed, but not fully loaded, so it represented a real-world vehicle that might be in your family’s driveway. The sticker price was $29,075 with destination and delivery charges.
My road trip really started before Ford’s racing-themed media program concluded. I hopped in the Escape to make stops at Roush-Yates racing, where engines are built for numerous Ford race teams including many NASCAR, road racing, and even Vaughn Gittin Jr’s drift machine—are built and maintained. From there I stopped at Ford Racing’s amazing new Technical Support Center, but we’ll have more on that later.
My road trip really started before Ford’s racing-themed media program concluded. I hopped in the Escape to make stops at Roush-Yates racing, where engines are built for numerous Ford race teams including many NASCAR, road racing, and even Vaughn Gittin Jr’s drift machine—are built and maintained. From there I stopped at Ford Racing’s amazing new Technical Support Center, but we’ll have more on that later.
At the conclusion of the Ford program, the Escape’s onboard navigation led me to Autosport Dynamics, the shop behind Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s drift machines. I’ll have more on Vaughn’s ride in the future, but here you see a street going RTR, and in the background is Vaughn’s China car, which walks the performance line between his US demo and competition cars.
At the conclusion of the Ford program, the Escape’s onboard navigation led me to Autosport Dynamics, the shop behind Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s drift machines. I’ll have more on Vaughn’s ride in the future, but here you see a street going RTR, and in the background is Vaughn’s China car, which walks the performance line between his US demo and competition cars.
There is nothing I love more than combining my two loves, Mustangs and music. So, it just so happened to work out that I could ride out to SVTP headquarters in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a visit to learn the ins and outs of the new front page. It also gave SVTP mainman, Travis Hill, and I the opportunity to check out the House of Blues to plan for our Party Like A Rock Star event during Mustang Week. It sure didn’t hurt my feelings that the debaucherous Steel Panther were glam-rocking the HOB during our visit.
There is nothing I love more than combining my two loves, cars and music. So, it just so happened to work out that I could ride out to SVTP headquarters in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a visit to learn the ins and outs of the new front page. It also gave SVTP mainman, Travis Hill, and I the opportunity to check out the House of Blues to plan for our Party Like A Rock Star event during Mustang Week. It sure didn’t hurt my feelings that the debaucherous Steel Panther were glam-rocking the HOB during our visit.

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