The Escape was developed by Ford [with Mazda] and released in 2001.
At the time, Americans were gravitating towards compact crossover SUVs as they offered more cargo space, interior room, and performance.
The Escape was Ford’s attempt at taking advantage of the demand and increasing sales. Early rivals included the Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V, both of which had dominated the compact crossover market for years.
Although the Ford Escape didn’t capture the crossover market, it has become one of Ford’s bestselling models in the United States.
We’d recommend the Ford Escape if you want a family vehicle that offers utility and performance in a compact package. However, read our statistics guide for this model before you buy it.
We review sales figures, fuel economy, depreciation rates, recall action, safety ratings, theft rates, and many more.
How Many Ford Escape Have Been Sold Per Year in The U.S.?
The introduction of the Escape coincided with the rise in demand for compact crossovers.
Hence, many predicted it would be a bestseller. First-year sales for the Escape model totaled 164,184 units. Afterward, yearly sales would continue to average over 100,000 models.
In 2011, demand for the Escape spiked, and Ford sold 254,293 models that year. This marked the first time annual sales of the Escape had topped 200,000 units. Sales figures for the Escape continued their ascent, and annual sales increased to 261,008 units the following year.
Annual Ford Escape sales crossed the 300,000-unit mark in 2014, with 306,492 models sold. Ford would sell over 300,000 models on average in the next three years that followed. Ford recorded its highest number of Escape models sold in a year in 2017, with 308,296 models leaving dealerships.
Since that record-breaking year, Ford Escape sales have seen a steady decline. Total units sold per year fell by 12% to 272,228 in 2018. The next year saw an even bigger decline with total units sold, reducing by 11% to 241,388.
The Escape remains one of Ford’s most important nameplates. Even with reduced sales, the Escape emerged Ford’s highest-selling passenger vehicle. Only the popular F-Series truck beat the Escape’s number of total units sold in 2019.
Here’s a breakdown of annual sales figures for the Ford Escape since it started selling in 2001:
|Year||No. Of Units Sold|
What Year Did Ford Start the Escape Models?
Ford developed the Escape in association with Mazda and based it on the Ford CD2 platform.
The model debuted on the American market in 2001, competing against stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The new model came in just two trims, XLT and XLS, with the XLT as the premium trim.
Engine options included a 2.0-liter V4 that churned out 130 horsepower and a 135 lbs.-ft. of torque. A more powerful 3.0-liter V6 was available, offering 200 horsepower and 200 lbs.-ft. of torque. Four-wheel drive as standard, although the two trims could be paired with Ford’s optional Control Trac 4WD system.
The Escape received a refresh for the 2008 model year, featuring a tougher body design and improved build quality. Engines also received a makeover with a new 2.5-liter V4 replacing the older 2.3-liter V4.
Output on the V6 engines bumped up, receiving an additional 40 horsepower for increased performance. Escape Hybrids received a bigger 2.5-liter engine, improving their EPA-estimated fuel economy.
An even bigger redesign effort for the Escape occurred in 2013. A newer, sleeker sheet metal design replaced the older boxy construction.
Other changes include the introduction of the MyFord infotainment system and premium features such as remote engine start, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, panoramic sunroof, and a navigation and parking assist. The Escape Hybrid was also discontinued.
The latest redesign effort was for the 2020 model year. Asides featuring newer drivetrains, the Escape shed 200 lbs. of weight, thanks to the use of high-strength steel.
Moreover, the new Escape has greater aerodynamics than previous models and is sportier and more athletic. Hybrid Escapes are also making a comeback, and Ford offers both gas-electric and plug-in variants.
To date, the Escape has been in production for 19 years, undergoing four separate iterations:
- 2001–2007 (First Generation)
- 2008–2012 (Second Generation)
- 2013–2019 (Third Generation)
- 2020-? (Fourth Generation)
How Is the Fuel Economy on a Ford Escape?
The Ford Escape is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the compact crossover SUV segment.
An addition of gas-electric and plug-in hybrid variants for the 2020 model year further increases the Escape’s fuel economy.
The base FWD model with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine earns 27 MPG (city) and 33 MPG (highway) for a combined 30 MPG. This is on par with what rivals, including the RAV4 (30 MPG) and CR-V (30 MPG), offer.
Moreover, the Escape’s fuel economy beats the Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox.
Hybrid Escape models offer the highest fuel savings and go 40 miles on a full tank of gas.
Here’s a breakdown of gas mileage of the 2020 Escape models:
|Model||City MPG||Highway MPG||Combined MPG|
|Escape FWD Hybrid||44||37||41|
|Escape AWD Hybrid||43||37||40|
|Escape FWD 1.5-liter (3-cyl.)||27||33||30|
|Escape AWD 1.5-liter (3-cyl.)||26||31||30|
|Escape AWD 2.0-liter (3-cyl.)||23||31||26|
How Quickly Do Ford Escape Depreciate?
The Escape offers good cargo-holding capacity, interior room, and fuel efficiency in a compact vehicle perfect for tight urban spaces.
As such, it is the go-to choice for many families. This has led to strong demand for the model, ensuring better-than-average depreciation rates on existing models.
Per industry data, the Escape has an average five-year depreciation rate of 69.8%.
This means you can expect your Escape to retain 30.2% of its value after the first five years of use.
Did Ford Recall Any of the Ford Escape Models?
Ford has recalled the Escape 49 times in the model’s 19-year history.
You may want to avoid the 2001, 2013, and 2014 model years–this trio has the highest number of recall involvements.
We’ve ranked the model years according to the number of times they’ve been affected by recalls:
|Model Year||No. Of Recalls|
How Much Do the Escape Models Pollute?
Because of their exceptional fuel economy, the Escape Models don’t do badly in terms of pollution.
As expected, gas-powered models have higher emissions and emit, on average, 319 grams of C02 per mile.
The hybrid variants are more environmental-friendly and have an average C02 emissions rate of 222 grams per mile.
How Much Can the Escape Models Tow?
Towing capacity on the Escape SUVs varies based on engine size.
The Escape Titanium (with 2.0-liter V4) can tow up to 3,500 lbs when equipped with the Class II Trailer Tow Package. Base models (with 1.5-liter engines) can tow up to 2,000 lbs if properly equipped.
Even the hybrids are not left out; both variants can pull up to 1,500 lbs.
How Reliable Is a Ford Escape?
Reliability on the Ford Escape is average, to say the least.
Compared to rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4, the Escape is less dependable. This is not saying it is a problematic car. It’s not good, and it’s not bad, either.
RepairPal gives the Escape a 4/5 Reliability Rating, ranking it 16th most reliable vehicle in the compact SUV segment. J.D. Power also gives the Escape a positive 4.5/5 Predicted Reliability Score.
Consumer Reports is more critical of the Escape’s dependability and gives the model a 2/5 score for reliability.
How Safe Is a Ford Escape?
Only the best vehicles in the compact SUV segment can match the Ford Escape’s safety credentials.
Models come standard with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 safety system. Features include blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and pedestrian detection.
Other safety features include pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control. The 2020 Ford Escape received a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, earning high scores on all crash tests.
It also received a ‘Top Safety Pick’ designation from the IIHS.
What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic for This Model?
With its sleek, compact design, it’s no surprise that the Escape’s buyer demographic is composed mainly of urban city dwellers.
Most of these buyers are members of Generation Y (those born between 1946 and 1964), also known as “Baby Boomers.”
From what we gathered, the median age of the Escape buyers appears to be 51-52 years.
Ford Escape Theft Numbers
Because of their popularity, Ford Escapes are an appetizing temptation for car thieves.
Below, we’ve listed the theft figures of the model from 2001 to 2014: