CARS.COM — The 2017 Ford Escape has 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat and 67.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the backseat folded, but what does that really look like? Specifications like cargo volume can be misleading, so for Cars.com's 2017 Compact SUV Challenge, we placed a standard set of cargo items in each cargo area to visualize the differences between the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, 2017 Escape, 2017 Honda CR-V, 2017 Jeep Compass, 2017 Mazda CX-5, 2017.5 Nissan Rogue and 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.
Cargo included a 23-inch adult bicycle and an adjustable cardboard box tested in two sizes: 37 inches long, 6 inches wide and 41 inches tall, which we fit behind the backseat, and an expanded 70-by 6-by-41 inches, which we fit with the backseat folded. And to top it off, a pair of golf bags. Though we laid the cardboard box flat for visualization of the cargo area, general practice for transporting a cardboard box like ours with a flat-screen TV inside is to keep the TV upright.
The Escape's cargo opening is extremely tall and the load-in height is low, so it looks like there's a ton of space on the inside. It's big, but the opening is narrow and the bumper protrudes a fair amount outward from the cargo area, so loading the bicycle meant brushing the bike on the bumper to get it up and over into the cargo area. The area where the cargo drags over is plastic, so there's a risk it could get scratched over time. The expanded box fit, but we had to cram it down between the narrow wheel wells. The small box didn't fit, though only one cargo area in this test could: the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.