Home > Lists > 2014 >

2014 Best Cheap SUVs

Ford Escape

Ford taps its global design portfolio to bring Americans a compact crossover with genuine European road manners. The styling is fashion-forward inside and out and is a matter of taste. Subpar rear-seat legroom might be a deal-breaker if that’s a priority for you. But there’s no arguing Escape’s top-notch cabin-materials and its world-class blend of handling, ride composure, and sense of control. Our Cheap choice is the midline SE model with AWD. Priced from $28,195, it comes with a willing 178-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder furnishing decent punch and a respectable 25-mpg combined rating. Alloy wheels, fog lamps, satellite radio, backup camera, and a power driver’s seat are standard. We’d consider adding the $1,395 Equipment Group 201A. It boots the sticker to $29,590, but adds the SE Convenience Package with dual zone automatic climate control, roof rails, a perimeter anti-theft alarm, and a reverse-obstacle warning system, plus Sync with MyFord Touch. This infotainment system features hands-free and touchscreen control over a range of audio and smartphone-linked services. It can provide turn-by-turn directions, though an actual mapping navigation system costs an additional $795, messing with our $30,000 target.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]