• (4.3) 37 reviews
  • MSRP: $994–$6,286
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 24-25
  • Engine: 127-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 5
2001 Ford Escape

Our Take on the Latest Model 2001 Ford Escape

2001 Ford Escape Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Ford already has the best-selling and largest sport utility vehicles, the Explorer and the Excursion, and for 2001 it adds another SUV, the Escape, to its lineup. The Escape is Ford’s first car-based SUV, derived from the Mazda 626 platform. Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, and the Japanese brand gets its own version of this vehicle, the Tribute.

Escape will compete with other car-based SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and the new Hyundai Santa Fe. All are smaller than traditional truck-based SUVs and offer the security of four-wheel drive with carlike ride and handling.

For now, Escape comes with gasoline engines. By 2003, Ford will introduce a hybrid version powered by a small gas engine and an electric motor.

Escape comes only as a four-door wagon, and the rear liftgate has a flip-up window that opens separately, as it does on Ford’s larger SUVs. The 103-inch wheelbase matches that of the Honda CR-V, and its overall length of 173 is 4 inches shorter than the CR-V and 17 inches shorter than the Explorer.

With unibody construction and four-wheel-independent suspension, the Escape has carlike qualities, but it comes wrapped in traditional SUV styling that resembles some of Ford’s trucks.

Escape seats five in the usual fashion — two front buckets and a three-place folding rear bench (split on the XLT model). Cargo volume is 35 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 68 with the rear seat folded forward, creating a flat load floor. Ford says there is room for two mountain bikes with the liftgate closed, and mounting points are standard. Air conditioning; a CD player; power windows, locks and mirrors; a tilt-steering column; and remote keyless entry also are standard.

Under the Hood
Most Escapes will come with an optional 3.0-liter V-6 engine that generates 200 horsepower (the same engine used in the Taurus) and teams with a four-speed automatic transmission mounted on the steering-wheel column. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 130 hp is the base engine and comes only with a five-speed manual.

Both engines are available with front-wheel drive or Control Trac II four-wheel drive, which engages automatically as needed to maintain traction. An optional towing package for V-6 models allows towing trailers up to 3,500 pounds. Antilock brakes are standard on the XLT and optional on the XLS, and side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional on both.

Driving Impressions
Escape has ample cargo space, room for five people and enough offroad capability to qualify as a bona fide SUV. Smaller engines and less weight than midsize SUVs like the Explorer will mean better fuel economy, and its trimmer size makes it easier to handle in traffic. Better still, a fully loaded 4WD XLT model with the V-6 will cost around $25,000, thousands less than an Explorer.


Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 37 reviews

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Would consider another

by Skiser from Taneytown on November 11, 2017

Trans went out at 145,000 miles. Understand that it's a known problem. After transmission it was good suv. Great small Suv, would purchase another if I didn't need a larger SUV finally let go for par... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2001 Ford Escape trim comparison will help you decide.

Ford Escape Articles

2001 Ford Escape Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 17 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years