For the year 2014, Ford allows people purchasing an Escape the option to have either a 1.6L EcoBoost turbo engine or a 2.0L EcoBoost turbo. The 0.4L of displacement equates to a more powerful engine. The 2.0L makes 240hp and 270lbs/ft of torque. The 1.6L delivers 178hp and 184lbs/ft of torque. The nearly 70 horsepower and 85lbs/ft of torque seems like a big difference. However, the engine comes with an additional $1,195 attached to the window sticker. Is it worth the upgrade? What do you gain by having the bigger engine, and what do you lose? We show you the pros and cons to make a better decision.
For those interested in horsepower, the 2.0L engine is really the way to go. When we reviewed the 2014 Escape with the 2.0L we were impressed with how powerful the engine really is. 270lbs/ft of torque makes off-the-line acceleration easy and fast. The feeling in the seat of your pants is that the engine is more powerful than the numbers indicate. In popular all-wheel drive trim, the 2.0L Titanium recorded a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds. They note, like we do, that the car feels faster than that.
The 1.6L is no slouch. With 178hp on tap, it has the power to move around the Escape quickly. We briefly sampled the 1.6L EcoBoost and considered it peppy for a lower-end motor. Keep in mind as well, 178hp was considered a lot of power not that long ago. Our friends at Motor Trend recorded an 8.9 second 0-60 time on the 1.6L version. Sufficient power is on tap for driving around the town or on the expressway. Torque is pretty linear on turbo vehicles, meaning power is distributed evenly. At highway speeds, overtaking shouldn’t be difficult, but not brisk.
The next big consideration is fuel economy. The 2.0L has a manufacturer claimed rating of 21mpg in the city, and 28mpg on the highway. The 1.6L is better with 22mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway. From our experience in real-world testing, the highway numbers on EcoBoost engines are achievable, but the vehicles must be driven conservatively. Turbo engines start to eat fuel when they are running boost. For those who spend most of their time driving around town, we do not expect to see a big difference in fuel economy between both vehicles.
Lastly, for those looking to tow a jet ski or trailer, the 2.0L is the only way to go. The extra power and torque will pay dividends when hauling.
We like seeing Ford offering an engine choice on their premium Escape. For 2013, if someone wanted the Titanium the only option was the 2.0L engine. For us, the difference in fuel economy is not a good enough reason to not get the more powerful engine, and we expect many people will go that way. However, for someone looking at the absolute best in fuel economy. the 1.6L will be the right choice and save a few extra dollars at purchase.