2005 Ford Escape Towing Capacities (With Charts)

The 2005 Ford Escape is the smallest SUV that Ford made for this model year and it doesn't have quite the towing capacity that some of the larger SUVs are capable of, but they still have some pulling power, depending on what engine you have equipped.

If you had the larger engine option equipped, with the optional trailer package that was available, then you could pull up to 3,500 pounds, but some models only had a 1,000 pound capacity attached to them, so you need to look at the charts and the other data to figure out how capable your Escape is.

Your owner's manual is your most valuable resource when it comes to your vehicle and there are tons of information about your vehicle in these. I highly recommend that you read through it to familiarize yourself with your SUV.

2005 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2005 Ford Escape ranged from 1,000-3,500 lbs. and included all trim levels and all engine options and even included the Hybrid models. The 3,500 pound capacity was only achievable with the 3.0L engine and the optional tow package installed.

Capacity By Trim Level: The five different trim levels that were offered for these 2005 SUVs had standard engine options for nearly all trim levels, except for the XLT model that had the 2.3L engine as a standard option but also had the option of having the 3.0L engine equipped as well.

I just used this information and matched up the trim levels with their available engine options and listed their respective capacities below.

  • XLS Manual: 1,500 lbs.
  • XLS: 1,500 lbs.
  • XLT: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • XLT Sport: 3,500 lbs.
  • Limited: 3,500 lbs.
2005 Escape Trim Levels and Engine Options

⚫ Standard ⚪ Optional — Not Available

By Engine Options: There were two different engine options available for these vehicles, a 2.3L (four cylinder) engine and a 3.0L (six cylinder) engine. The 2.3L engine had a significantly lower trailer weight rating of 1,500 pounds, compared to the 3.0L engine that was able to achieve a 3,500 pound maximum rating. The Hybrid models used the 2.3L engine as well, but their capacity was listed at 1,000 pounds.

  • 2.3L: 1,500 lbs.
  • 3.0L: 3,500 lbs.
2005 Escape Engines

The Tow Chart:

The chart for the 2005 Ford Escape is pretty simple and if we look at the data we can see that there were only two engine options that were listed, but there were four different rows of data, that were dependent upon the engine you had equipped in your vehicle.

If we take a look at the chart, we can see that the engine options were listed on the left-hand side and then we have the axle ratios and gross combined weight ratings to the right of that and in the last column we can see that the maximum trailer weight ratings were listed, which were divided up into automatic transmission models and then one row that had manual transmission models specs listed.

2005 Ford Escape Towing Chart
Ford MTW Definition

2005 Escape Trailer Tow Packages and Hitch Capacities:

I have a few different screenshots posted below that talk about the trailer tow package is that were available for these vehicles and if you look at the first screenshot I have posted below, you can see that just the basics we're provided for these SUVs which included a trailer wiring harness and a hitch receiver.

We can also see that that package was only available for three out of the five different trim levels as an optional accessory that you could add on to the vehicle.

The third screenshot that I took talks about the maximum hitch weight capacities but doesn't really apply to these vehicles because their maximum trailer weight rating the set at 3,500 lbs. and typically using a weight distributing hitch is not needed for such a small amount of weight.

2005 Ford Escape Trailer Tow Package Options
2005 Escape Trailer Tow Package Availability

⚫ Standard ⚪ Optional — Not Available

2005 Escape Hitch Capacities

Trailer Brakes...

I was actually looking for information on trailer brakes and while I was browsing through the owner's manual, I was able to find this little note that talks a little bit about them.

If we look at the note below, we can see that the maximum trailer weight ratings that were listed in the charts are accurate for these vehicles, but the electrical system on these vehicles is not equipped to accommodate electric trailer brakes, which some states may require if your trailer and all of the cargo on your trailer weigh over a certain amount of weight.

Usually you will see trailer weights of between 1,000 and 1,500 lbs. and up that will need to have trailer brakes installed as a requirement, so this is where the conflict comes into play for these vehicles. You might be able to install an aftermarket set up or have someone do it for you, in order to comply with your local vehicle codes, but that is something you will have to check out for yourself.

2005 Escape Trailer Brake Warning

The Certification Label Comes In Handy...

Ford Certification Label

GVWR & GAWRs: The gross vehicle weight rating specifications, along with the gross axle weight ratings were not found in the chart like the gross combined weight ratings were and were in fact found somewhere entirely different but not in any of the literature online. These two metrics are actually found on the vehicle itself on a label that is more commonly known as the certification label and it looks like the label shown in the image above.

This label can be found on your driver side door or the door pillar of your vehicle and the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings will be listed towards the top of the label. I outlined where you can find this information in the image above and keep in mind that the image is just used as an example and you will need a plug in your own numbers that you find on your label.

GCWR: The gross combined weight ratings were actually listed in the charts, like a lot of the other Ford vehicles and if we look at the data in the chart, we can see that the 2005 Escape had a gross combined weight rating that ranged from 4,800-7,240 lbs.

Axle Code: There is also an axle code that is printed at the bottom of this label, which I have also outlined in the image above and this code will contain a two digit figure that you will have to decipher in order to figure out what axle ratio is used on your rear axle.

This information is not really needed for these 2005 SUVs though because you did not need to know what your axle ratio was in order to figure out your maximum trailer weight rating.

Some Helpful Links I Used:

For these vehicles, I only used three different resources when gathering the information I needed for this article and I went ahead and listed these three resources below. Each one of these resources had their strengths and I was able to find different amounts of data from each resource.

For instance, the 2005 tow guide had the majority of the information you see on this page and was a great resource that was chocked-full of pictures and charts. The brochure came in handy when it came to comparing the different trim levels and seeing what options came with those trim levels. The owner's manual filled in the rest of the gaps when it came to the other bits of information I needed.

Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 07:02 pm

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