The Escape SEL Trim 2018
By the English Car Guy Dave Hazell

The SEL is the higher of the mid-level trim having more features than the SE and a few less than the Titanium. Available in Front wheel and Automatic four wheel drive the SEL provides many options for Ford Escape clients and it's a few thousand less than the Titanium. Starting at $28,100 for the front wheel drive and $29,450 for the four wheel drive this vehicle should be considered if you're looking at the pricier Titanium. 
As always I will break my review into 4 categories Performance, Cosmetics, Safety and Technology. So grab a cup of tea as we take a look at the SEL Trim Escape. 

The SEL is the only trim to allow the consumer the choice of engines. Both the 1.5L EcoBoost I-4 and the 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 are available with the 1.5L as the standard engine. Both engines are great but I would personally go with the 2.0L here in Utah if I had the option. (It suits the mountain passes better) So let's look at the stats.

The 1.5L Ecoboost I-4 

179 hp @6,000 rpm and 177 lb.-ft of torque @2,500 rpm
The gas mileage is better than the 2.5 and 2.0 due to the Auto start stop feature which is an option you can choose to turn on or off. You should expect to get the following miles per gallon. 

WD 23 city/30 highway/26 combined
4WD 22 city/28 highway/24 combined 
You'll notice that the 4-wheel drive Escape even gets the same gas mileage as the front wheel drive S trim with 2.5i VCT I-4 engine. The cost of ownership is also low and you can expect to pay $1,151 for gas per year based on 12,000 miles a year. If equipped with a Class 2 Trailer Tow Prep Package can pull 1500 lbs.

The 2.0L Ecoboost I-4 

245 hp @5,000 rpm and 275 lb.-ft of torque @3,000 rpm 
You can see the jump in power over the 1.5L and why I would recommend the 2.0L here in Utah. Its noticeable as well, especially driving up and over Parleys Canyon which is close to here. The gas mileage drops a little over the 1.5L as to be expected but not by a huge amount.  

FWD 21 city/28 highway/26 combined 
4WD 20 city/27 highway/23 combined 
The crazy part is this engine get the same gas mileage as the base model S 2.5i VCT i-4 engine no wonder Ford are switching to this Ecoboost technology. The cost of ownership is also low and you can expect to pay $1,251 for gas per year based on 12,000 miles a year. If equipped with the Class 2 Trailer Tow Prep Package can pull up to 3500 lbs.

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Ford Escape SEL Trim in Salt Lake City
Escape SEL Trim Side View
Escape SEL Trim Front View
Escape SEL Trim Interior
Escape SEL Trim Backup Camera
The SEL doesn't really have many cosmetic differences between itself and the SE. The changes it does have though are fairly major. The most noticeable is the interior upgrade from cloth to leather with two color choices Charcoal Black and Medium Light Stone. The steering wheel and center shifter also get the leather treatment.  As for wheels the standard wheel is the same found on the SE a 17" Sparkle Silver-Painted Aluminum wheel. For $595 you can upgrade to the 18" Ultra Bright Machined Aluminum wheel. The SEL is available in 9 of the 10 color options the only one not to be found is the Oxford White. Those color choices are White Platinum, Ingot Silver, White Gold, Cinnamon Glaze, Ruby Red, Blue, Lightning Blue, Magnetic and Shadow Black.

The Escape received a 5 out of 5 star overall crash test rating from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) which you can view at This gives you the peace of mind to know your family and friends are safe in a Ford Escape. The SEL comes standard with BLIS but also has the option of adding the Safe and Smart package. Included in that package is adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, BLIS with Cross Traffic alert, Lane Keep System and much more. (Click on the Safe and Smart package for more info) 

As with any higher trim you'll get the options found on the S and SE some of those features are Personal Safety System, Front side, Knee and Canopy airbags, LATCH System, MyKey, SOS Post-Crash Alert System, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and AdvancTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control). 

The SEL has some great tech that comes standard with the vehicle. The tailgate becomes powered but to be clear it's not the kick release one. That is only found on the Titanium which I'll happily talk about in my Titanium review. Like the SE the front seats are heated and you also get the dual climate control. The big Tech add over the SE is the inclusion of Sync 3 with the ability to use Android Auto and Apple Car Play  which you really need to come and check out because that alone may sell you on buying a Ford. Also optional is Navigation but with Sync 3 and a smart phone you may decide to pass. 

Again standard options of the S will migrate over which include Sync with 911 assist which enables you to have a paired Bluetooth device to your vehicle and unlike Chevys OnStar its completely free. Other features like the available USB port allows you to play music, charge a phone or even use Apps on your phone like iHeart radio or Pandora.

At first I never really saw a need for the SEL as I though consumers would just step up from the SE to the Titanium but for the price jump I understand why Ford brought the SEL to the table. This is a perfect fit for a small family or a downsizing larger family who's kids no longer need to mom or dad to haul them around. I hope this article helps if you have a question please feel free to write a comment in the comment section or email me directly at