2021 Ford Escape: A Trim Comparison

2021 Ford Escape

The 2021 Ford Escape is a fantastic choice for small families or even weekend warriors who would rather spend their weekends by a lake with no cell reception.

Choosing a 2021 Ford Escape

Regardless of why you’re considering the Ford Escape, you’ll be happy to know that it has a five-star crash test rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With four main trim levels to choose from, this breakdown will help you figure out which one is right for your needs and price point.

S

The 2021 Ford Escape S is the least expensive model, but it packs plenty into its starting MSRP of $25,555. This SUV is perfect for most buyers, and one reason is the gas mileage. Drivers can get up to 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the 181-horsepower, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine. Those are solid ratings for the compact crossover segment.

On the inside, the Escape S comes with a SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display, a USB port, and six-speaker audio. Families will be happy to know that it has Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite that includes pre-collision warning and braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist.

SE

The 2021 Ford Escape SE starts at $27,035 and has just enough to stand above the S model. The biggest upgrade is the SYNC 3 infotainment system that features an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as satellite radio. The inside also offers some upgrade options, including features like 10-way power driver seating and automatic climate controls.

Ford has also brought back the Ford Escape Hybrid that hasn’t been seen since 2012 (when the third generation Escape was introduced). Now, this fourth-generation redesign, which began sales last year, also has a hybrid companion for every trim model except the base Escape S trim. The Ford Escape SE Hybrid starts at $28,030 and has the same standard features as the gasoline model. The only true major difference is that this hybrid version is rated by the EPA at 41 mpg combined for the FWD version and 40mpg combined for the AWD version. With estimated savings of around $2,000 in gasoline costs over the non-hybrid model, it’s easy to recoup that higher starting MSRP.

The newest Escape from Ford, however, is something they’ve never done before: a plug-in hybrid! PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) have a larger battery than their traditional hybrid counterparts. You will need to plug them in (hence their name) to charge and take advantage of their full capability. Traditional hybrids are never plugged into a power source. The benefit of a PHEV is that it can travel on electric power alone for a short while before using gasoline. Traditional hybrids always use gasoline. The Ford Escape SE Plug-In Hybrid has one of the longest electric-only ranges of any PHEV on the market! The EPA rates it at 37 miles before the gas engine kicks on. Like the other Escape SE models, it shares the same standard features but with a price tag starting at $33,075. Because it has a larger battery, it does sacrifice a little cargo room, but the difference isn’t hugely drastic.

SEL

The 2021 Ford Escape SEL offers a bridge between the Escape SE and top-tier Escape Titanium. It starts at $29,505 and uses the same 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine as the previous trim levels. The biggest upgrade differences can be found in the interior. The Optional features of the SE are standard with this trim. Plus, for a more luxurious feel, it comes with synthetic leather-trimmed front bucket seats, rear parking sensors, a heated steering wheel, and a foot-activated liftgate.

For an extra $3,300, you can opt for a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. However, this will lower fuel economy ratings to 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

An Escape SEL Hybrid is also available starting at $30,500, and an Escape SEL Plug-In Hybrid is available for $35,815. Both have the same standard features as the gas model.

Titanium

Lastly, the 2021 Ford Escape Titanium is an amazing SUV starting at $36,055. This trim comes standard with the 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine, and it also makes driving easier with the addition of a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with optional Cross Traffic Alert. This feature can help to alert you that a vehicle is in your blind spot before you attempt to change lanes. For those who have trouble with parking, there’s also a park assist system for your convenience.

The interior now includes driver seat memory and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The infotainment system uses the same Sync 3 variety found in the Escape SEL and adds a 10-speaker audio system from Sony. The Escape Titanium is definitely worth the investment for anyone wanting to ride in style on a budget.

The  Titanium Elite package 2.0 will cost you an extra $2,850, but it adds a head-up display and a panoramic moonroof.

The Escape Titanium Hybrid version starts at $33,600, while the Escape Titanium Plug-In Hybrid starts at $38,885.

(Featured image via Ford)