2016 Ford Escape Towing Capacity

The 2016 Ford Escape still had the same maximum towing capacity that a lot of the other models years had, which was a maximum of up to 3,500 lbs if you had the 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine equipped, along with the optional trailer package that was available.

Most of the trailer weight ratings that were specified in the chart were dependent upon which engine your vehicle was equipped with, and that gave us three different variations. Let's take a look at some of the data to see what those variations were.

Your owners manual is a very valuable resource that you have at your disposal and I recommend that you read through it to get familiar with your vehicle. Remember to follow all of Ford's recommendations and requirements as well.

2016 Escape Overview

Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2016 Ford Escape ranged from 1,500-3,500 lbs, depending on whether you had the 2.5 liter engine, the 1.6 liter engine or the 2.0 liter engine equipped. Having the optional trailer package installed on your vehicle was also another factor that really affected the trailer weight ratings for these vehicles.

Capacity By Trim Levels: There were only three different trim levels available for the 2016 Escape, and I wanted to compare these three trim levels side by side to get a better overall view of how they fared when it came to their trailer weight ratings.

The S trim level had the lowest rating out of the three options, having just a 1,500 lb rating. The SE trim level was able to achieve a 1,500- 3,500 pound rating, which was substantially more than the S trim level models, but the Titanium models we're able to achieve the highest capacity range of between 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.

  • S:1,500 lbs.
  • SE: 1,500-3,500 lbs.
  • Titanium: 2,000-3,500 lbs.

By Engine Options: Like I stated earlier, the engine that was equipped in your vehicle had the biggest impact on the weight ratings and by comparing the three different engine options for these 2016 models, we can see just how much of a difference each engine made.

The 2.5 liter engine had the least amount of pulling power and if we look at the data below, we can see that it had a maximum capacity of up to 1500 pounds. 

The 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter engine had these same specifications listed as far as maximum trailer weight ratings go, but when we pair the 2.0 liter engine with the optional trailer package that is available, we get a much higher 3,500 pound rating.

  • 2.5L (4 cylinder): 1,500 lbs.
  • 1.6L (4 cylinder) EcoBoost: 2,000 lbs.
  • 2.0L (4 cylinder) EcoBoost: 2,000-3,500 lbs. (2,000 lb. limit without trailer package 536)

I also wanted to mention that 2016 was the last year that these three engine options were available together for these SUVs. They were used for several model years (2013-2016) and is why the data for vehicles made during this time period are similar when it comes to their ratings.

If you were to look at the towing capacity for the 2015 Escape, you would see the same ratings provided that we saw for the 2016 models and the same would be true for the 2014 models and 2013 models as well.

The Tow Chart:

The tow chart for the 2016 models shared data with the Lincoln MKC vehicles, but I highlighted the information that we are interested in in the red box, to make the chart a little bit easier to read.

The layout is the same for this chart as they are for the other later model year charts, with the engine options posted on the left side of the chart in blue text and the maximum trailer weight ratings are specified on the right side of the chart.

The axle ratios and the gross combined weight rating specifications are also listed in between these two metrics, but they are not as important as the engine option when it comes to figuring out our trailer weight rating capacities.

2016 Ford Escape Towing Chart 2
Ford MTW Definition

What You Need To Know About Your SUV To Get Your Maximum Trailer Rating:

Really the only thing you needed to know about your vehicle in order to get your maximum trailer weight rating from the chart was the engine that your vehicle came equipped with from the factory. With only three different engine choices, this was pretty easy to figure out and will give you a basic idea of how much you can pull as long as your vehicle is not overloaded.

Escape Chart Explained 3
  • The engine you had equipped - You need to figure out whether your vehicle has the 2.5 liter, the 1.6 liter or the 2.0 liter engine equipped.

I understand that some people out there may have a hard time trying to identify what engine is under their hood and if you are one of these people, I would recommend that you grab your VIN and plug it into an online VIN decoder, like this one because it will give you not only the engine option that came with your vehicle but also a ton of other useful information that you can use for whatever reasons.

2016 Escape Trailer Tow Packages...

I talked a little bit about the available to package for some of these models earlier and I was able to find a chart that lists what options came with the trailer package that was referred to as package 536 for these model year vehicles.

If we look at the table below, we can see that the trailer package came equipped with a hitch receiver, of course, a 4 pin trailer wiring harness and a trailer sway control which is pretty general and would require further research in order to understand what they actually mean by that.

2016 Escape Trailer Tow Package Options

(1) Available with 2.0L/2.3L EcoBoost® I4 only. Available as dealer accessory with 2.5L I4 engine and 1.6L EcoBoost® I4 engine

Hitch Receiver Weight Limits: The below image outlines the different hitch capacities for these vehicles, but the maximum trailer weight rating was set at 3,500 pounds so the use of a weight distributing hitch was not needed because that weight rating was so low to begin with.

Some other Ford vehicles have a much higher trailer weight rating and in order to achieve the higher ratings that are listed in their charts, they will need to use a weight distributing hitch, but that is not the case for these vehicles.

Ford Escape Receiver Hitch Capacity

Trailer Brakes: If your 2016 Escape was equipped to handle a trailer weighing more than 1,500 pounds, then you need to make sure that your trailer has brakes installed that are independent of your vehicle's brakes. Ford requires that these be installed on the trailer if the trailer and all of the cargo in the trailer weigh more than 1,500 pounds.

Different states will have different requirements when it comes to trailer brakes and trailer weights, so you will need to check to see your local requirements to see if that 1,500 pound rating that Ford suggests is compliant with your local laws as well.

Keep in mind that these vehicle's electrical system was not actually designed to work with trailer brakes from the factory, so you will have to do a bit of wiring work in order to install the trailer brake controller and a 7 pin wiring harness instead of a four pin wiring harness, if you are planning on using electric trailer brakes.

2011 Escape Trailer Brake Notes
Escape Trailer Brake Notes

Now The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GVWR & GAWRs: The gross vehicle weight rating specifications, along with the gross axle weight rating specifications are actually not listed anywhere in any of the online literature for these vehicles but instead are found on the vehicle itself.

If you look at the image I have posted below it is an image of the safety certification label that can be found on your driver side door jamb of your vehicle when your door is open and this is the label that will contain the information for the gross vehicle weight ratings and the gross axle weight ratings. These specifications will be listed towards the top of the label.

GCWR: The gross combined weight rating specifications were actually provided in the chart itself so we don't have to go hunt those down because they are conveniently located in an easy to find place.

Axle Code: If you ever needed to know the axle ratio that your vehicle uses for whatever reasons, then I recommend you look on the bottom of the certification label for a 2 digit code. This two digit code will have to be deciphered in order to figure out what the axle ratio for your rear axle is but you can also find that information online as well. If you are only needing to figure out your trailer weight rating, then the axle ratio is not needed to figure this out.

Helpful Resources I Used For My Research:

Every bit of information in this article came from three different resources that I was able to find online and to be honest, most of the information I grab from only one single resource. The 2016 guide was the most valuable resource I had at my disposal and is where I gathered most of the information and images you see in this post.

The owners manual was also a very good resource and had all of the information I needed but wasn't laid out quite as nice as the guide had their information laid out. The brochure came in handy when I was looking up the different trim level options that were available for the 2016 models and it even showed some of the key differences and options that were available for each trim level.

Last updated on May 12th, 2022 at 09:53 pm

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