We are ready to check on how Ford’s redesigned mid-range plug-in hybrid SUV lives up to competition in the PHEV SUV market. Let’s have a look at what it brings to the table.
You Won’t Get The Escape For Aesthetics
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Most Ford Escape PHEV buyers won’t really care about the aesthetics of the SUV. This is not to say that the Escape PHEV is ugly. However, it is not striking either. The design budget was better spent in terms of efficiency and comfort, and it shows when driving the car.
The face of the 2021 Escape is quite rounded, with the front grille giving out a bit of a metal look to an otherwise innocent smile. It doesn’t get anymore angry or streamlined on the sides or towards the rear end. However, the Rapid Red color seems to pop out nicely on a sunny day.
On the inside, the material quality doesn’t blow anyone out of the water. There is plenty of hard plastic with some metal trim that could used a bit more blending in plus the fit and finish compared to the competition is below average. On the other hand, you will feel no lack of space. There are large storage areas beneath the door handles, below the climate control menu and under the armrest. Furthermore, there are 34 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk. Need more? Just fold down the rear seats and you’re welcomed with 61 cubic feet of volume ready to take on luggage.
It’s Quite Techy
In regards to tech, the 2021 Ford Escape PHEV brings on a pleasant surprise. All trims come standard with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which boasts an 8-inch touchscreen integrating almost all media services: Android Audio, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM sat radio. Choosing to upgrade to the range topping Titanium Trim will bring along embedded navigation.
The SE and SEL trims will provide a 6-inch LCD to illustrate the gauge cluster. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster available on the Titanium trim makes it even more worth it to upgrade. Regardless of the trim, there is wireless charging available as well as USB (A and C) ports for all passengers.
Escape PHEV Offers Great Standard Safety Features
Some automakers do tend to leave out some safety features on the lower trims of their models. It’s not the case with the 2021 Ford Escape PHEV. The SE and SEL trims will come equipped with emergency braking, lane-keep assistant, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The speed-sign recognition system alongside the well performing Ford parking assistant can be acquired for $895 or be given as standard on the Titanium trim.
It Moves You Around
The 14.4-KWh battery is well placed into the floor of the 2021 Ford Escape PHEV without cutting on interior space. The 2.5-liter inline-4 pairs with the electric motor for a total of 221hp. Power figures don’t look extremely appealing, yet the Escape PHEV has no issue zipping through city traffic.
The EPA estimates a 37 mile autonomy in full electric mode with a full battery, but you might have to use all the car’s gimmicks to reach it: ECO mode and aggressive energy recovery. Once the battery capacity diminishes, the Escape PHEV jumps into internal combustion mode and will only push short bursts of electric power when needed much like a standard hybrid vehicle.
Conclusion: Gets The Job Done
Ford seems to have checked most of the boxes with the 2021 Escape PHEV, making its strong points shine bright while intelligently shadowing its downsides. While it doesn’t get many stars for interior quality, the Escape PHEV brings functionality, efficiency and safety to the table.