Escape Velocity: The 2016 Ford Escape Titanium AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Ford Escape Titanium
The 2016 Ford Escape Titanium
The small crossover SUV market is crowded and includes two of our favorites, the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5. Of the two, we've always thought the Mazda was the fun-mobile...a factor of Mazda's attention to the details of handling and dynamics, since both cars have relatively the same power (184 for the Mazda, 185 for the Honda).

And then we drove the 2016 Ford Escape Titanium with the optional 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine.

Side view of 2016 Ford Escape Titanium
2016 Ford Escape Titanium.
The "boost" in "Ecoboost" involves a turbocharger and with it, those 2 liters make much more power than the Mazda's 2.5 or Honda's 2.4.  240 horsepower, to be precise.  The Escape becomes a rocket.

The one we drove for a week was the Titanium four-wheel drive.  Base price $31,255.  And, as the top of the Escape line, it comes loaded.  Click here for the list.  While $31K and change isn't cheap in this segment, it's not outrageous. And considering what you get for the money, it's impressive.

What you don't get for that price is the 2-liter Ecoboost.  That's an $1,195 option, and well worth it.  The EPA fuel economy estimate drops below that of the Honda (25 city/31 highway) or the Mazda (26/33) to 21 city/28 highway, but that's the price for big fun when you put your right foot down.  And the Escape with the 2-liter Ecoboost delivers that, big time.  Also an extra-cost option, the dazzling Ruby Red Metallic Clear Coat paint at $395. And the 19-inch alloy luster nickel wheels were a $695 option.

Interior view of 2016 Ford Escape Titanium
2016 Ford Escape Titanium interior.
The Escape's interior is imaginatively styled, carefully assembled and uses quality materials.  There's more entertainment value in your surroundings than in any other vehicle in this class.  Our tester also had the Titanium Technology Package, with HID automatic headamps, blind spot detection and active park assist ($1,735) and navigation was an extra $795.

All told, with delivery charges, the bottom line on our tester was $34,975.  $800 more than the CR-V we reviewed two weeks ago...and you get way more than $800 in added style and performance.  The Escape, especially equipped this way, is a winner.