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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.