Ford Escape Boasts Luxury Features Despite Cheap Cabin Materials

The 2021 Ford Escape is a member of the current crop of compact SUVs. With a price that ranges from $24,885 to $38,585, many families will likely take a long look at this five-passenger while looking for their next family vehicle. While the Ford Escape looks and handles nicely, the fact that Ford chose to fill the cabin with what seems like cheap plastic has left many people scratching their heads.

Ford Escape decked out with luxury features

Just because the 2021 Ford Escape doesn’t represent the start of a new generation of Escape models, it doesn’t mean that the vehicle is a replica of the 2020 Escape; Ford did tinker with the package. Two of the most notable changes are that additional features have been added to both the Ford Escape technology package and the Co-Pilot 360 suite.

One of the things that will attract drivers to the 2021 Ford Escape is that even though it has a budget price tag, Ford has loaded the vehicle with some surprisingly luxurious features. While the exact features vary from one trim option to the next, some cool things you’ll notice include the panoramic sunroof, a SYNC 3 infotainment system, wireless device charging, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel, a hands-free power liftgate, parking sensors, and more.

U.S. News felt that the special features and attached price tag made the Ford Escape SE a good choice but also pointed out that both Ford Escape SEL and the Titanium had a more powerful engine.

Does the cabin material cancel out the luxury perks?

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One of the curious things Ford did was decide to wrap up all the nice luxury features they installed in the 2021 Ford Escape in really cheap materials. The result feels . . . odd. It’s kind of like buying a really expensive present for a loved one and then using a cheap paper bag as wrapping paper. Car and Driver referred to the plastic used for both the door side panels and the vehicle’s center console as “low-rent.”

The odd combination of high-class and economy is just one of the reasons some people will think twice before they commit to purchasing the Ford Escape. Second and more serious, the concern is how well the interior will hold up to the wear and tear the vehicle is bound to sustain. If the plastic easily fades, chips, or cracks, it will seriously hurt both the vehicle’s resale value and the driver’s overall satisfaction.

Another concern some reviewers have mentioned is that there are times when the Escape’s transmission seemed to be hunting for the correct gear.

Purchasing a 2021 Ford Escape

RELATED: Does the 2020 Ford Escape Look Too Much Like a Car?

Although the 2021 Ford Escape scored a 73 out of 100 on the road test, the scores Consumer Reports gave the Escape are concerning. 

The Escape only managed to pull off a three out of five for customer satisfaction. It’s not a great score but it’s also not horrible. What is bad is the predicted reliability score that is a painfully low one out of five. While the low reliability score is concerning, it’s worth noting that as of this date, Consumer Reports states that no known problems about the 2021 Escape have been reported yet. The low score is simply predicted reliability which is based on problems drivers have had with previous models.

Have you taken a look at the 2021 Ford Escape? What was your impression?