The 2001 Ford Escape is a late entry into the crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) market but a strong one. Rather than modifying an originally performance-oriented SUV to fit the needs of a family vehicle, the Ford Escape is designed as a family vehicle from the start. It does not have the same rough and rugged performance SUVs are usually known for, but it also does not have the same flaws either. The Ford Escape manages to handle quite similarly to a car, while providing the huge interior space of an SUV in the process.
The 2001 Ford Escape is a family vehicle for drivers that want more passenger seats or cargo space than a sedan could provide. It is a solid minivan alternative as a family vehicle. However, even with the three-liter six-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive options, the Escape is never going to be much of an off-road vehicle. It does have some limited off-road capabilities, but not much more than a car with a similar sized engine. The Escape is unapologetically made for suburban drivers rather than the woodsmen and trailblazers that SUVs were originally marketed towards.
Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Ford Escape XLS, Ford Escape XLT
The Ford Escape is a new model introduced in 2001.
The 2001 Ford Escape is built off a platform that was jointly developed by Ford and Mazda, which is why the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute are so similar. The Escape is a four-door SUV with graceful, curving lines, despite the slightly blocky profile. Compared with most SUVs, the Escape is slightly smaller and closer to the ground, which is partially why it handles more like a smaller car than an actual SUV.
Inside the 2001 Ford Escape, the interior is closer to a typical passenger car as opposed to more utilitarian SUV designs. It seats five people in total, which gives each passenger ample room, especially in comparison to a sedan or station wagon. Even with the seating, the Escape still manages to get a substantial amount of cargo space behind the rear seats. The seats can also be folded down to further increase the available cargo space.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Ford Escape's performance and handling is one of the main draws; it handles like a car or minivan does on roads or highways. The smaller design allows it to avoid the ungainly maneuvering found in many SUVs. The only noticeable performance issue is that the four-cylinder engine is fairly weak for a vehicle this size and provides poor acceleration. The six-cylinder option, however, is strong enough to provide good acceleration and performance.
The 2001 Ford Escape's off-road performance is less impressive, mainly because it was designed for SUV owners that did not use its vehicles off road. The Escape, especially the four-cylinder model, handles more like a car going off road than an SUV much of the time. It can handle fairly well on established trails and unpaved roads but can get bogged down in mud or poorly maintained areas. The six-cylinder model has enough power to get through slightly worse conditions, but the Ford Escape is not the optimal choice for off-road drivers. It does outperform most cars, especially with four-wheel drive option, but not by as much as most drivers expect an SUV should.
Both 2001 Ford Escape models have dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard features. Side curtain airbags and rollover protection are optional features that can further improve passenger safety. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Ford Escape a five star rating for the driver in a front collision and a four star rating for the passenger.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Escape two-wheel drive 2.0-liter four-cylinder: 20/24 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape four-wheel drive 2.0-liter four-cylinder: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape two-wheel drive 3.0-liter six-cylinder: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape four-wheel drive 3.0-liter six-cylinder: 16/22 mpg city/highway
- Large interior for passengers and cargo
- Great handling
- High driver visibility
- Four-wheel drive option
You Won't Like
- Weak four-cylinder engine
- Almost no off-road ability, despite being an SUV
Quick, agile, and sporty.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda CR-V
- Jeep Liberty
- Kia Sportage
- Mazda Tribute
- Subaru Forester