The 2014 Ford Escape is many things – comfortable, sporty looking, and it delivers respectable gas mileage. While we can write in depth about the engine and handling of this cross-over vehicle, which has been covered over and over again by many others, we prefer to dwell on the interior, the part of the Ford Escape that really speaks to all of us. To that effect, the first impression when you step inside the vehicle – with its overwhelming amount of buttons and technology, is that the Escape could satiate even the geekiest of drivers.
That said, when you turn your head from right to left in the 2014 Escape, you may get a bit sweaty at the realization of how many buttons are before your eyes – all just begging to be pushed! We are talking touch screen buttons for the Infotainment system (Sync with MyFord Touch and Navigation), buttons for the AC and Heating, cabin light buttons, a multitude of buttons on the steering wheel, the ceiling (for the sunroof and garage door controls), and even inside the center armrest. So no matter where you look, there are buttons on almost every corner of this CUV. Lets also not forget the buttons for lumbar control and additional driver seat adjustments.
Prompted by the eloquent system voice, we easily paired our smartphone within minutes while parked on the street. The Sync made the process extremely painless. But while syncing the Smartphone was simple, navigating the rest of the system was far from it. We like the split screens that give you a peek at the station you are listening too, directions, in-car temperature, and the ability to connect your phone. But navigating through each one of these different sections is far from easy, and it’s downright clumsy. If you are with a passenger and can rely on them to enter in everything, then it will be a little less painful. However, if you are alone, just pushing the buttons on the touch screen is difficult and cannot be operated on the fly. You will definitely need to pull-over to change routes or simply change the channel. It requires that much thought and pressure from your fingertips.
Aside from the Infotainment system, the climate control buttons are just below and easily controlled. The center arm rest houses the input jacks for an external media device, that will transform your car into a movie theater on wheels. The heated seats go as high as 5 and operate by rolling another button up or down near the shift.
Overall, aside from the technology overload in the car, the seats are extremely comfortable and versatile. They allow for up to 5 people to sit somewhat comfortably. If you are addicted to IKEA, the rear bench of seats fold down so smoothly and low to the ground, making it a killer CUV for hauling your junk around. Lets also not forget about that kick action under the Escape, that happens when your hands are full with packages.
Handling of the Ford Escape on the open road is tight and smooth. Our vehicle came with blind spot monitors that are not overly sensitive like many other vehicles we have tested. So when the system warned us of someone being in a blind-spot…. it was right. On the other hand, gas mileage could be a bit better, but with a mix of street and highway driving we managed to move the needle to a half tank over 4 days worth of driving and 180 miles of road covered.
The 2014 Ford Escape is a whole lot of car for a reasonable price point. It has all the bells and whistles any gear-head AND tech-head could want. This CUV is ideal for swinging singles on the go or for young families – there isn’t anything this car can’t do. That said, suspension wise, we would have liked a little better footing when hitting the hard pothole here or there. But highway travel is smooth and sublime and street driving was fair. The 2014 Ford Escape comes in three different models: S, SE, and Titanium ranging from $22,700 to $29,100 respectively – if you add on some of the additional packages it will peak at $34k or so. Luckily, a lot of the stuff you want, probably already comes standard… minus a few extra buttons here or there.
The Good: Good looking and Solid CUV, loaded with tech goodies enough to overwhelm even the most tech savvy, solid handling, easy flip down bench always for substantial cargo space, priced reasonably.
The Bad: Sync with MyFord Touch and Navigation has a cumbersome user interface and its touch sensitivity is poor