OK, I’ve got a question for all of you that is going to be a really good test of exactly who is and who is not a true driveandreview.com fan. Not that I think that I have a lot of fans out there, but I’m hoping at least there’s one (maybe two) of you that have read more than one of my posts over the years.
Here’s the question: Who can remember the quick review of a 2015 Ford Escape that I wrote several years ago? Anybody? Anybody at all? Actually, don’t feel bad if you can’t remember that post, because the truth is that I don’t remember it very clearly either and I actually had to go back and read it again before sitting down and writing this review of a 2018 Ford Escape that I rented from Avis in Florida several months ago.
Yeah, I travel a lot and I feel like I’m getting pretty good at it now that I’m using cheapair.com for all my flight and rental car reservations (such as this one). Thinking back on it, I’m not even sure why I went with something as lowly as a Ford Escape when I saved enough money to have rented something a lot more interesting instead.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the worlds best writer, but in this case I’m confident enough to say that the fact that you don’t remember has nothing to do with me or my writing style. I’m putting all the blame directly on Ford, because it was them who produced such a generic vehicle which is nearly impossible to remember – even after driving it several hundred miles like I did way back in late 2015.
I’m not saying that the Ford Escape is a bad vehicle. Hardly! I’m just saying that it doesn’t necessarily peg the needle into the red zone on the “holy crap that’s a cool car!” meter. If that’s what you’re looking for, consider a Mustang Mach E instead. There are pros and cons to a Mustang Mach E though, so do your research.
Case in point: can you tell me (with any bit of accuracy) when the last time it was that you saw a late model Ford Escape? I’ll bet you can’t, but I’m also willing to bet that if you go outside right now, you won’t have to wait more than 30 seconds before one goes zipping by.
The Ford Escape is an extremely popular midsize SUV here in America, and a darn good one at that. They couldn’t have sold 308,269 of them in all of 2017 if it wasn’t! The problem is that they are just too darn generic and most of our brains just don’t have the extra space to hold data that boring and uninteresting. Mine sure doesn’t.
2018 Ford Escape first impressions
I’m not going to lie when I say that I honestly couldn’t notice a difference between this 2018 version and the 2015 version as soon as I saw it parked there in the rental car parking facility at Orlando International airport. As far as I was concerned, it was a near identical version of the Escape that I rented in Minnesota way back in 2015, which bummed me out because I was hoping to write a very detailed review of a totally redesigned and all new vehicle for you here on the blog.
It wasn’t until I returned home and compared the pics of the 2018 version to the 2015 version when I noticed some subtle differences.
The main difference is the redesign of the front end. The tail lights are different too, but it’s the front end which is different enough that when comparing the two side-by-side, it almost looks like a completely different vehicle.
Never mind the fact that it looked completely identical to me when I stood there in the parking garage looking at for the first time. Seeing the pictures side-by-side makes it clear that the 2018 version is a much more subdued and mild design compared to the 2015.
If you want my opinion, I actually preferred the front end of the 2015 better than the smoother and more rounded version of the 2018. I know that looks are subjective though, so I’m not going to persuade you one way or the other. It’s up to you to decide which one you like best!
My only other first impression of the 2018 Ford Escape was feeling bummed about the fact that I was going to have to spend the next week and nearly 400 miles of driving with a very generic vehicle.
I mean, SUVs don’t have to be boring. Be sure to read my 2020 Porsche Macan review if you’re looking for a practical daily driver with an attitude.
2018 Ford Escape driving impressions
I’m gonna start out this section by saying that people in Florida drive really fast. I mean, really fast. At home in San Diego, there’s usually so much traffic there’s no chance of ever going above 75 miles an hour – but here in Florida, people cruise along at 90mph like it’s nothing.
You’ll be happy to know that this 2018 Ford Escape with the 1.5L EcoBoost engine kept up with traffic nicely and there was more than one occasion when I was totally surprised when I looked down at the speedometer and saw how fast I was actually going.
Compared to my Honda Fit (which feels like I’m going 300 miles an hour when I’m actually going 40), this Escape was butter smooth and was a really nice highway cruiser with plenty of power to spare.
I also think it’s worth mentioning that even though this is classified as a SUV, it felt very car-like and at no point did I feel like it was top-heavy and clumsy around the corners. If you blindfold me forced me to drive down the road at 90 miles an hour (ha!), I’m pretty sure that I’d be convinced that it was a car and not a truck.
My thoughts on the interior of the 2018 Ford Escape
OK, it’s time to be honest again. I liked the interior in the 2015 Ford Escape better. Not that there is a whole lot different with this 2018 model, but it is a lot less aggressively designed and a lot more sterile.
In Ford’s defense, I guess I can kind of understand why they chose to tone down the edginess of the styling on this 2018 Ford Escape. After all, I assume that the target buyer for one of these things is a mature adult who doesn’t really want something edgy and cool (not everybody is into flashy and cutting edge, and that’s ok). A simpler design with better ergonomics and usability has a heck of a lot more value to a mature audience than razor-sharp shapes and graphics designed for a younger generation.
As I noted earlier, I spent exactly 5 days with this 2018 Ford Escape, driving a total of 412 miles. That was several months ago, and sitting here writing this review has proven to be difficult without going back and looking at my notes and all of the pictures that I took. Without looking at all of those things that I scribbled down in my notebook (things like “god this thing is so bland”), would’ve been really hard for me to put this review together based on memory alone.
However, despite what you might be expecting, I’m not going to end of this review on a negative tone. Nope. As much as I’ve complained about how bland the 2018 Ford Escape is inside and out, it’s actually what I consider to be the perfect vehicle for a young family in need of safe, solid, dependable, and comfortable transportation.
In my mind it’s more like a tool that it is a car, and that’s a really good thing if you’re in the market for a vehicle which is going to make your life easier.
Only a Ford F-150 might be more practical if you need to pull a trailer or haul around heavy cargo on a somewhat regular basis. Beware though: the life expectancy of the Ford F-150 hasn’t been all that great over the years.
If you’re committed to buying a 2018 Ford Escape, you’ve made a good decision! My only recommendation is that you go for a color other than white or beige. Otherwise, you’re going to spend your entire life it wandering around parking lots not being able to remember where you parked and – having to Uber home instead.
Also, do your research! For example, problems with the 2015 Escape aren’t that bad compared to problems with the 2018 model. How’s that for a cliffhanger ending?