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2011 Ford Escape

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2011 Ford Escape Review

A good option for individuals who want the convenience and off-road handling of an SUV without sacrificing fuel economy.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 Ford Escape builds on the success Ford has enjoyed with its popular SUV. First introduced in 2000, and receiving a significant second-generation update in 2008, the 2011 model year continues to offer a balanced mix of performance, options, safety features, and refinements. While all Escape models offer reasonable fuel efficiency, the hybrid model is touted as the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly SUV on the market.

Like all model years since 2004, the 2011 Ford Escape comes in two main variations: a standard gasoline engine and a hybrid alternative. The standard gasoline 2011 Escape is available in three trim models: XLS, XLT, and Limited. The 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid comes in two trim options: base and Limited.

The Hybrid model is expected to remain virtually unchallenged as the most fuel-efficient SUV on the road. The Hybrid also boasts eco-friendly seats, made from 100% post-industrial recycled materials.

The Range

Body Styles: crossover SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Ford Escape XLS, Ford Escape XLT, Ford Escape Limited, Ford Escape Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid Limited

What's New

There are no significant changes for the 2011 Ford Escape.


The XLS comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels and a driver blind-spot mirror. The Moon and Tune package, offering a sunroof and upgraded stereo system, is an optional upgrade, as is a navigation system, rear-seat entertainment, and parallel-parking assist.

The XLT adds fog lamps and automatic headlights. Ford also offers the Sun & Sync upgrade, adding the Sync electronics package and a sunroof. The optional Sports Package adds 17-inch wheels and a variety of other minor trim upgrades.

The Limited features 16-inch wheels and exterior chrome highlights. The Limited includes rear parking assist, a rearview camera, and a standard sunroof.


The interior of the 2011 Escape offers seating for five in two rows of seats. Cargo space can be increased by folding down the 60/40-split rear seats. Standard interior features include cruise control, ambient lighting, and a stereo with MP3 input.

The XLS features a power driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Ford's Sync electronics package as an optional upgrade, adding Bluetooth and an iPod interface, as is steering-wheel audio controls. Other standard features include power accessories, cruise control, a stereo system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack, and keyless entry.

The XLT includes a power driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, and standard steering-wheel audio controls. Leather is an optional upgrade.


he Limited features leather upholstery, piano-black interior treatments, and heated front seats. The Limited also offers a dual-zone automatic climate control system.

Optional upgrades for all models include a premium stereo system and a voice-operated navigation, while the Limited also offers an optional automatic parallel-parking system.

The entire 2011 Ford Escape lineup, regardless of trim or variation, includes MyKey parental controls, enabling a parent to program certain limits into the vehicle. Top speed, traction control, stereo volume, and speed alerts can all be set.

Performance & Handling

All gasoline models come with a 171-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine standard. The XLT and Limited can also be purchased with a 240-hp, 3.0-liter V-6. All three trim options can be purchased with either front or all-wheel drive.


In government crash tests, the 2011 Ford Escape scores five out of five stars for all passengers in front and side crashes. It performs equally well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, scoring the highest rating of ""Good"" for frontal-offset and side crashes. Both types of Escape, standard and hybrid, come fully equipped with anti-lock brakes and AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control). The Escape is also equipped with the Safety Canopy System, side air curtain technology that protects passengers in the first and second rows. The Personal Safety System adds a suite of seven safety technologies, including dual-stage front airbags for front-seat occupants, as well as side airbags and a front-passenger sensor.

Electronic power-assisted steering is available in the Hybrid, as is built-in pull-drift compensation. The pull-drift compensation detects road conditions, such as crosswinds or a sloping road, and automatically adjusts the steering system to help the driver compensate.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Escape, four-cylinder: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape, V-6: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape Hybrid, front drive: 31/34 mpg city/highway
Ford Escape Hybrid, all-wheel drive: 30/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good crashworthiness
  • Array of innovative high-tech features
  • Delivers good performance

You Won't Like

  • Design seems somewhat dated
  • Poor braking performance
  • Rear seat doesn’t recline and is difficult to fold

Sum Up

A good option for individuals who want the convenience and off-road handling of an SUV without sacrificing fuel economy.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Kia Sportage
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Honda CR-V

See the New 2015 Escape.

Front & Driver Side View

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