The Ford Escape was introduced into Ford’s lineup as a compact crossover SUV in 2001 and remains available through the 2023 model year. The Escape is known for its performance and for having the features consumers expect from today’s SUVs, including towing. But what is the towing capacity of a Ford Escape?
The Ford Escape has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds depending on the year, engine type, and if it has a tow package installed.
There’s a bit more to know about Ford Escape towing capabilities which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
Ford Escape Towing Capacity By Year
As we covered earlier, the current Ford Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The Escape has been in production from 2001 through the present, so we’ve listed out the maximum tow capacity by year below for reference.
Note that for each model year, there are many variables that affect the total towing capability of each vehicle year, so we recommend checking your specific Escape model year, engine size, and trim level in the links below for an in-depth guide and to get the most accurate information for that year.
Here’s the maximum Ford Escape towing capacity by year:
2023 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2022 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2021 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2020 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2019 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2018 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2017 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2016 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2015 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2014 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2013 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2012 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2011 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2010 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2009 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2008 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2007 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2006 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2005 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2004 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2003 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2002 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2001 Ford Escape Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into it.
Here’s a video showing the Ford Escape’s being put to a real-world towing test:
Ford Escape Hybrid Towing Capacity
The Ford Escape hybrid and Ford Escape plug-in hybrid each have a towing capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.
Recent model year Ford Escape Hybrids are rated to tow 1,500 pounds.
|Ford Escape Hybrid Type||Towing Capacity|
|Ford Escape Hybrid||1,500 lbs / 680 kg|
|Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid||1,500 lbs / 680 kg|
Earlier model years (2005 – 2012) of the Ford Escape Hybrid are rated to tow up to 1,000 pounds.
Ford Escape Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
Ford Escape Braked Tow Capacity: Up to 3,500 lbs.
Ford Escape Unbraked Tow Capacity: 1,500 lbs.
Ford Escape Towing Capacity Factors
There are a few factors that affect the Ford Escape tow capacity.
The Escape’s tow capability varied a bit by year and generation.
The early model years had a starting towing capability of 1,000 pounds, which increased to 1,500 pounds in later years.
Also, for many years the tow rating for a higher-spec engine without a tow package was 2,000 pounds, but for some years this wasn’t an option at all.
Some trim levels have access to the higher engine specs, while others do not.
If your engine spec is lower due to trim level, your Ford Escape will not be able to tow as much weight.
For the majority of Ford Escape model years, you could only achieve the max towing of 3,500 pounds if you had the Class II Trailer Towing package installed on the higher-spec engine for that model year.
If you don’t have that trailer towing package installed, don’t worry: for all the research we did, we only found that the towing package included simply a hitch and wiring harness which can both easily be installed after the fact.
Number of Passengers
A big factor in calculating your vehicle’s towing capacity is how many passengers you’re carrying, which directly calculates into the vehicle’s GCWR.
This is true of all vehicles, not just the Ford Escape, so always take into consideration the total load of your passengers and gear in addition to what you’re towing.
Ford Escape Engine Specs
There are two engine options for the most recent generation Ford Escape.
Ford Escape 1.5 Liter EcoBoost Engine
The base model Ford Escape engine is a 1.5 Liter three-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This engine produces 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft of torque.
Ford Escape 2.0 Liter EcoBoost Engine
The base model Ford Escape engine is a 2.0 Liter four-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
This engine produces 250 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft of torque.
Ford Escape Tow Package Info
Does The Ford Escape Have A Tow Package?
Ford offers a Class II Trailer Tow package on the SEL, SEL Hybrid, Titanium, and Titanium Hybrid trim levels of the Ford Escape
The Ford Escape Class II Trailer Tow Package includes the following:
- Class II Receiver Hitch
- 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a Ford Escape?
If you plan on towing anything with your Ford Escape, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
Make sure to get the right trailer ball size that matches your hitch and trailer.
Ford Escape Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The Ford Escape uses a Class 4 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a Ford Escape trailer hitch:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. This trailer hitch is rated for 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 350 lbs. tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
- VERSATILE DESIGN. This class 3 hitch equips your vehicle with a standard 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receiver, allowing for a wide variety of towing options. It can accept a ball mount, cargo carrier, bike rack, tow hook and much more
- FULLY TESTED. Every CURT class 3 trailer hitch design is tested in real-world, on-vehicle conditions at our Detroit engineering facility. Aftermarket hitches are tested according to SAE J684 standards for the utmost safety while hauling
- RUST, CHIP, UV-RESISTANT. This tow hitch is protected with a unique dual-coat finish of rust-resistant liquid Bonderite and highly durable black powder coat. The two finishes are co-cured together for exceptional resistance to rust, chipping and UV rays
- EASY TO INSTALL. This hitch offers a custom, factory fit on select model years of the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage. Material-Carbon Steel
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your Escape:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
Ford Escape Trailer Hitch Installation
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Ford Escape trailer hitch installation:
Ford Escape Trailer Hitch Installation Cost
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your Escape, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With a Ford Escape?
The Ford Escape is not rated for bumper towing, so you’ll need to install a frame-mounted hitch like the one we listed earlier in this guide.
How Do I Know If My Ford Escape Has A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your Escape to see if you notice a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your Escape.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your vehicle has any towing packages or features installed on it.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official Ford Escape Owner’s Manuals on Ford’s site and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with your Ford Escape.