2018 Ford Escape ST-LINE (AWD) owner review

Comments
Review written by:
Travis J
PROS
  • That EcoBoost engine is a hoot
  • Easy daily driver or weekend getaway vehicle
  • Ford Sync3 is one of the best on market
CONS
  • Thirsty, especially if you are throttle happy
  • Suspension may be too firm for some tastes
  • Some low-rent cabin plastics

About the Ford Escape

Travis J purchased this Ford Escape used for $30,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2021. Travis J would buy this car again because: “I’ve owned many different vehicles over the years, but my Escape ST-Line has by far been the most fun to drive (no offence to my first ever car, a 1999 Subaru Impreza RX Manual, named Puz).

Although smaller in size compared to those of the general mid-size SUV crop, it’s nimble, zippy and dare I say it ‘powerful’. The dynamics leaves a smile on my face every time. Not to mention the practicality that comes with an SUV wagon!”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

During my ownership there has been absolutely no faults that I can recall. Sure, the parking sensors can be a little overbearing, but I’ve experienced similar in other vehicles. Servicing has been reasonable, and after clocking nearly 60,000km, to me, it still feels like a brand new car.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I previously owned a 2015 Subaru Liberty 2.5i Premium and thought I hit the jackpot, however after 2 months of ownership the touchscreen went (had to be replaced in full after many a heated conversation with Subaru Docklands), the Eyesight cameras leaked, and within 2 years of ownership, you could clearly see defects in the paintwork.

I guess I was just unlucky but in comparison to the Escape, everything just works as it says on the label! Touch screen kicks into gear every time without lag/freezing (Sync3 is one of the best out there), the paint is still sparkling, and there’s nothing I think I even need to flag with Ford at my next service.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

For the money, I have just about everything I could need. Sure, a sunroof or heated/powered seats would’ve been nice, but the driving experience soon distracts me from those omissions.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The second I took her out in a test drive, I was surprised how smooth yet powerful the 2.0L EcoBoost engine was. I’d read many reviews of various other Ford products that used this engine, but it wasn’t till I was behind the wheel I could finally see what the fuss is about.

There’s very minimal turbo lag, the power delivery from the engine is linear yet on-demand when required for overtaking and the like, and it’s just an all round fun experience every time. Just don’t look at the fuel gauge if you’re a bit of a lead foot…it will use fuel just as much as you use the throttle.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

By today’s standards, new cars now have full suites of fancy driver aids and multimedia screens as large as the continent of Europe. For me, I like that there are physical gauges and switchgear. Not only can you adjust the volume with a physical knob (a novelty really in comparison to say, a Renault or a Haval), but everything is accessible and easy to read.

The small, yet functional, screen in front of the driver provides heaps of useful information I use on the daily, and the added convenience of a digital Speedo is nice. The touchscreen, although inset a little too far away from the driver, is crystal clear, easy to navigate (took me all of five minutes to pair my phone and input all of the settings to my taste), and operates perfectly.

The satellite navigation works a treat and I love the Apple CarPlay integration (not once has it glitched). I was lucky enough to have the safety pack included, so I have everything I could possible need (lane keeping assistant, adaptive cruise control, rear-cross traffic alert…the list goes on). The only thing I missed out on was a powered tailgate, although as my partner pointed out, I shouldn’t be lazy and am more than capable of popping the boot myself.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Upon reading reviews before going for a test drive, most did say the suspension was on the former side, and after spending a bit of time behind the wheel, I’d have to agree (especially over tram tracks which are abundant throughout Melbourne).

I thought it may affect me more than it had however I’ve come to like the firmer set up. I think it compliments the sporty nature of the ST-Line and works great with the all-wheel drive system. Handling around tight bends feels tight and sure-footed. It’s certainly not back breaking and short commutes to the supermarket are done with ease and relative smoothness.

The overall comfort from the cabin is great, from the plush yet supportive seats to the small leather wrapped steering wheel. A little more feedback from the steering wouldn’t have gone astray, but for day to day use, I have zero complaints.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

For me, the Escape ST-Line is the perfect all-rounder. Great performance, fun to drive and easy to live with on the daily. She still makes me smile every time I get behind the wheel or look at her parked in the driveway, and in my books, that’s a definite winner.

Share
Link copied!
Ratings
Overall8.5
Show Breakdown
Technology 8.5
Reliability 8.8
Ride & Handling 8.7
Price & Features 7.5
Performance & Economy 7.8
Ownership Experience 9.5
Top Line Specs
8.6L
178kW
197g
5 ★
View all specifications