Some people may beg to differ, but it can be possible to have too much choice at times. When confronted with what can sometimes be a staggering range of trims, engines, drivetrains, option packages, transmissions and available features and equipment offered by some manufacturers, it's easy to yearn for more simplicity. Then again, not too many of us would be happy to be offered too little choice either. Thankfully, the updated 2017 Ford Escape seems to have got the perfect middle ground between bewilderment and restriction, with an easy-to-understand lineup with all the choice you need.
The 2017 Ford Escape is part of the third-generation of this popular compact crossover, which has now been in production since 2012 as a 2013 model year. For 2017, the Escape gets a mild, mid-cycle refresh, which doesn't do anything to detract in any way from what is without doubt a winning formula. The front gets a degree of aesthetic enhancement, where the corporate face first seen on the 2013 Fusion is now clearly in evidence. There have also been some technology updates for the new model year, but the biggest enhancement to the Escape is the introduction of a pair of new four-cylinder EcoBoost engines.
The first of the two new units is a 1.5-liter that replaces the outgoing a 1.6-liter engine, while the other is an updated version of Ford's 2.0-liter inline-4. The standard powerplant remains the 2.5-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder that develops 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. The newly introduced 1.5-liter EcoBoost delivers a little more power than the standard engine with 179 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, but the biggest plus-point is the improved fuel economy it offers. However, if you want to get the most power the 2017 Ford Escape can offer you, there's no less than 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque available from the 2.0-liter twin-scroll EcoBoost engine. Zero to 60 mph times might not be the biggest factor when choosing a compact crossover, but it's hard to fail to be impressed by the sub-seven second time the Escape can deliver, courtesy of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost.
Three four-cylinder engines might be more choice than most compact crossovers offer, but true simplicity kicks-in when it comes to trims. The 2017 Ford Escape comes in just three impressive trim levels, which are the S, SE and the Titanium. The S model is equipped with the 2.5-liter engine, it's only available in front-wheel drive format, and it's mated to the same six-speed automatic transmission that's standard in all versions of the Escape. Next up is the SE, which comes with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost as its standard powerplant, but this variant can either be specified in front or all-wheel drive form. Last but in no way least is the top-of-the-range Platinum, and this is where you get to grips with that stunning 2.0-liter EcoBoost, which can also be had in two or all-wheel drive form.
*All vehicle mileage based on 2017 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.