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2022 Ford Escape Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Ford Escape Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SE vs SEL and Titanium

Compare the 2022 Ford Escape Trims - S vs SE vs SEL and Titanium. What is the difference between them?

Nowadays, it is not enough to be practical and comfortable. Buyers are also looking for an efficient option that will not be too painful to drive. This is especially true of the SUV world, where vehicles are expected to double as a daily commuter and a family car.

Ford has a full lineup when it comes to SUVs. One of the smaller and better-known options on the list is the Escape. Classified as compact, this vehicle still offers up a decently spacious cabin. It also has some easy-to-use tech and a smooth ride. Perhaps most importantly, the 2022 Ford Escape is offered with a variety of powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid.

There are four main trim levels available for the Escape. Most of them are available with multiple powertrain options, which can make choosing one even harder. The entry-level S is no slouch when it comes to standard features, although it does leave out some important items. At the same time, the top-of-the-line Titanium is equipped to the point that it can rival some luxury SUVs.

How is a buyer to decide which 2022 Ford Escape is right for their needs? Using the following guide will make it easier to see what each of the options has to offer.


Compare the 2022 Ford Escape S vs SE Trims. What is the difference?

The first option on the list, known as the S, has a starting price of just over $26,000. It is powered by a 1.5L EcoBoost three-cylinder engine that comes standard with auto stop/start technology and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Choosing this powertrain will mean creating up to 181-horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. This engine has the Escape getting an estimated 28mpg in the city and 34mpg on the highway. These are very respectable numbers.

Front-wheel drive is standard for the S, and all-wheel drive is available. This trim level sits on 17-inch wheels with a "Sparkle Silver" finish. There are dual exhaust tips located on the back, along with a manual tailgate. The Escape S is also home to a rear spoiler and skid plates.

Manual single-zone climate control is standard for this base model. The front bucket seats have cloth upholstery and both lack power adjustment. All trim levels of the 2022 Escape use a rotary gear shift dial rather than a traditional knob to save space. There are a total of six cupholders. One fun feature is the Ice Blue lights found on the dash.

A 4.2-inch instrument cluster sits on the dashboard with important information for the driver. Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the entry-level 2022 Escape is its lack of an infotainment system. Buyers do get a Wi-Fi hotspot and a six-speaker sound system, but the SUV is completely lacking smartphone integration and a touchscreen.

It is not all bad news when it comes to the base Escape, however. This SUV comes with Ford Co-Pilot 360. It includes a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane-keeping system. Also found on the Escape S is a pre-collision assist feature that has automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and what Ford refers to as "dynamic brake support." Automatic high beams are also standard for all 2022 Escape models.

The SE has a starting price that is roughly $1,500 higher than the S if buyers stick with the 1.5L powertrain. This is the first trim that can be had with a hybrid 2.5L powertrain as well. It creates 201-horsepower and pairs with a continuously variable transmission. This engine is estimated to get drivers 44mpg in the city and 37mpg on the highway. There is also a plug-in hybrid version of this powertrain, which can go up to 37 miles on electric-only power. The total range with a full charge and full tank of gas is 520 miles.

Models with the standard or hybrid powertrain keep 17-inch wheels, although they get a "Shadow Aluminum" finish. These models are also eligible to upgrade to 19-inch wheels. Models with the plug-in hybrid powertrain get 18-inch wheels.

Regardless of the powertrain, the SE swaps out some of the black exterior features found on the S for chrome details instead. While a manual tailgate remains standard, the SE can also be upgraded to a power-operated one. Heated side mirrors and roof rails are also optional for this trim. It gains privacy glass for the second row and liftgate as a standard feature.

Push-button start is one of the convenient upgrades found inside the cabin of the Escape SE. While manual climate control remains the standard, dual-zone automatic is an available option. The same thing goes for the standard seats, but the SE is available with heat for the front row and an eight-way power adjustment for the driver. This is the first trim level that is available with a panoramic sunroof that will remain optional on higher trims.

The main reason buyers will choose the SE over the S involves the tech. This trim level is home to the Sync 3 system, which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also gains an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, and two extra USB ports for the backseat.

Going with the SE will also open up a variety of packages that bundle desirable features for the Escape. For example, a convenience package will bundle the power liftgate, dual-zone automatic control, and the power-adjustable driver's seat. There is also an appearance package that will give the Escape SE blacked-out exterior styling details for a bolder look.

Compare the 2022 Ford Escape SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

When it comes to powertrain options, the SEL has the most. It starts out at about $2,500 more than the SE, but it does add quite a bit. While the 1.5L three-cylinder engine remains standard, both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid are available. The SEL is also the first that can come equipped with a 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder that will generate 250-horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Choosing this powertrain will mean automatically upgrading to an all-wheel drive. It will also mean getting 22mpg city and 31mpg highway, making this the least-efficient version of the 2022 EScape.

There are 18-inch wheels underneath this trim level. Buyers have the option of going up to 19-inch black-painted ones as well. The power liftgate becomes standard with the SEL, and a hands-free upgrade is available. While all models come with configurable daytime running lights, this is the first trim level to get halogen fog lamps as well. Heated side mirrors are also standard. Roof racks remain an available option, although the SEL also gives buyers the option of adding crossbars.

Remote start becomes standard rather than available when choosing the SEL or higher. The 4.2-inch instrument cluster is still included, but this trim level also gives buyers the option of going up to a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster. It is configurable to help drives access the information they need more quickly.

The interior of the SEL has two extra cupholders, bringing the total up to eight. It is the first trim level to have a wireless charging pad available. The steering wheel is wrapped in synthetic leather and heated for added luxury, and the upholstery is a synthetic leather as well. Heated seats are standard and the driver now gets eight-way power adjustment, although the front passenger is still stuck with four-way manual. Dual-zone automatic climate control is included starting with this trim level.

There are no standard tech upgrades to be found here. That said, this is the first trim level that can have the B&O 10-speaker sound system upgrade that includes a subwoofer. For added safety and convenience, the SEL is equipped with both front and rear parking sensors.

Compare the 2022 Ford Escape SEL vs Titanium Trims. What is the difference?

The 2022 Escape Titanium starts out about $6,000 higher than the SEL. That is because the Titanium trim level cannot have the 1.5L engine that has been standard up until now. Instead, it comes with the 2.0L engine, and it can also be had with either the hybrid or plug-in hybrid setup. If sticking with the gas engine, the Titanium comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Underneath the top Titanium trim level are 19-inch wheels. The hands-free, foot-activated power liftgate is standard, and this is the only trim level that benefits from rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers. Black roof rails become standard, but the crossbars remain optional. This is also the only trim to get LED headlights.

In the cabin, the Titanium shows off the 12.3 digital instrument cluster as a standard feature. It also gains a universal garage door opener. Interestingly, the wireless charging pad remains available rather than standard. The Titanium model of the 2022 Escape is the only one to get ambient interior lighting. It also is the only way to get an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Titanium trim can swap out the synthetic leather on the steering wheel and seats for the genuine produce instead. An upgrade to a 10-way power adjustment happens for the driver's seat, and the front passenger gets to have an eight-way power adjustment finally.

A navigation system with the popular "pinch-to-zoom" feature is standard for the Titanium. This feature was available for the SE and SEL for an added price. Unfortunately, this top trim does not gain the premium stereo system on its standard feature list.

The Titanium is available with Park Assist 2.0. First, this feature will help the driver find an appropriate parking spot. They then simply need to come to a complete stop and put the vehicle in neutral. The Escape can then handle the steering, braking, and shifting. It works for both parallel and perpendicular parking. This feature is part of a Titanium Elite package, which has most of the available features mentioned above, plus a head-up display.


Final Thoughts

The Escape is a relatively affordable and well-equipped SUV that will work nicely for many drivers and their families. Even the standard gas engine is quite efficient, and the lists of technology and safety features are extensive for even the entry-level S model. Still, buyers will want to go up to the SE if they want to be truly happy with the 2022 Escape.

Choosing the SE will mean getting smartphone integration and a touchscreen. It also adds nice touches such as push-button start. Additionally, the SE has a variety of packages available so that buyers can customize their Escape without having to pay too much.

The SEL has a few luxurious upgrades that are tempting, such as the heated front seats. It does not have anything truly desirable that cannot be added to the SE, however. As for the Titanium, this pricey model does not have enough on its standard equipment list to justify the price tag.

For most buyers, the 2022 Ford Escape SE is the right choice, especially if they stick with the standard engine and add the available convenience package.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Ford Escape Trime Levels