The 2018 Ford Escape had a pretty impressive towing capacity, considering the smaller size of these vehicles compared to the larger Expeditions, but still were able to achieve a 3,500 pound maximum rating, if you had the right options equipped.
By options, you would probably be surprised to hear that the main determining factor was the type of engine that you had equipped! While the trailer weight rating sounds impressive, some models were only able to achieve a 1,500 pound rating, so you really need to look at the data in the chart and understand the differences between the different submodels. That's what this article is all about!
Your owner's manual is packed full of information regarding your vehicle, including tow related information, and I recommend that you take a look add a few select sections to get familiar with your vehicle and its capabilities. I also recommend that you follow all of Ford's guidelines.
2018 Escape Overview
Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2018 Ford Escape range from 1,500- 3,500 pounds and like I mentioned earlier, came down to what engine option you had equipped in your vehicle. There were three different engine options available, so there were three different maximum trailer weight ratings, as well.
Capacity By Trim Levels: I wanted to break down the data according to the available trim levels and if you look below you can see that I outlined the four main trim levels that were available for these vehicles in 2018.
The S trim level had a maximum trailer weight rating of around 1,500 pounds, while the other three trim levels had the exact same capacity range. The SE, the SEL and the Titanium trim levels all had a capacity range of between 2,000- 3,500 pounds, which was due to the engine options that were available for the three different trim levels.
- S:1,500 lbs.
- SE: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
- SEL: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
- Titanium: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
By Engine Options: If you look at the data below, you can see that the three different engine options that were available for these vehicles, have a maximum trailer weight rating that differs according to each engine.
The 2.5 liter engine was definitely the most under powered engine compared to the other two engine choices, and is why it had the lowest maximum rating. The 1.5 liter and 2.0 liter engines had similar ratings when compared side-by-side, but the 2.0 liter engine had a massive advantage if it was paired with the optional trailer package that was available.
- 2.5L (4 cylinder): 1,500 lbs.
- 1.5L (4 cylinder) EcoBoost: 2,000 lbs.
- 2.0L (4 cylinder) EcoBoost: 2,000-3,500 lbs. (2,000 lb. limit without trailer package 536)
On To The Tow Chart:
If we take a look at the tow chart below, we can see it is fairly simple when it comes to the overall layout and if you look on the right side of the table portion, you can see the maximum trailer weight rating specifications in pounds.
On the opposite side of the table, we can see the three different engine options with their corresponding axle ratios and gross combined weight rating specifications listed just to the right of them.
The chart was very similar to the chart for the 2019 models, as well as the 2017 model's chart and is because these model years shared the same three engine options, so it would make sense that the data would be similar.
What You Need To Know About Your SUV...
It's actually quite easy to figure out what your maximum trailer weight rating is by looking at the chart because the only determining factor that affected the amount of weight that you could pull with your vehicle was the engine that you had equipped.
So the only thing you need to know about your vehicle is what engine you have installed and then that will give you enough well information, and most instances to get your maximum trailer weight rating.
- The engine you had equipped - You will need to know whether you had the 2.5 liter engine equipped, the 1.5 liter engine equipped or the 2.0 liter engine equipped.
Sometimes it is hard to identify the engine that's actually in your engine bay of your vehicle and if you find yourself in a position where you can't identify the engine, then you can always look up your vehicle's VIN and plug that into a VIN decoder online.
By doing this, you will extract a bunch of information about your vehicle, including what engine you have equipped, and once you do this you should either bookmark the page or print it out to have it for future reference. On a side note, I've used this website in the past as a VIN decoder and have gotten really great results using it.
The 2018 Escape Trailer Tow Packages
I did mention earlier that there was an optional trailer tow package that came equipped with these vehicles and I was able to find a table that lays out two of these available packages, according to what engine your vehicle was equipped with.
Note that these two packages were only available for the 2.0 liter engine and the 1.5 liter engine. If you had the 2.5 liter engine this was not available as a package but more of a dealer accessory instead, which I'm not sure what that means and would require further research in order to clarify what that means.
(1) Available with 2.0L/2.3L EcoBoost® I4 only. Available as dealer accessory with 2.5L I4 engine. (5) MKC only.
(13) Available with 1.5L EcoBoost I4 only. (14) Escape 2.0L I4 only.
Hitch Receiver Weight Limits: On a side note, I was also able to find a table that lists the hitch receiver weight limits, but this is mainly for vehicles that have higher capacity ratings and did not really apply to the 2018 escape vehicles.
Trailer Brakes: Ford requires that trailers that weigh in excess of 1,500 pounds have their own trailer brakes installed in order to prevent overloading the vehicle's breaking system, as the vehicle's breaking system is only designed to comply with the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating not the gross combined weight rating.
In order to install electric trailer brakes properly, you will need to install a brake controller under your dash and then a 7 pin wiring harness instead of a four pin wiring harness in order to utilize the extra connectors that are needed for the electric brakes signal.
These vehicles are not equipped to accommodate a brake controller or a 7 pin wiring harness, so you will have to have these two items installed by a third party source, or you will have to do it yourself, if you're comfortable with that.
Don't Forget The Safety Certification Label!
GVWR & GAWRs: Some people like to look at some of the other weight ratings of the vehicle like the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings but these were actually not listed in any of their resources I used when researching the information for these vehicles.
These two metrics are actually found on the vehicle itself on the certification label, which can be found on the driver side door pillar, when the door is open.
The label will look similar to the sticker that I have posted above enlisted towards the top will be the gross vehicle weight rating specifications and the gross axle weight rating specifications for both the front and rear axles.
GCWR: The gross combined weight ratings were specified in the chart, in between the axle ratios and the maximum trailer weight ratings. These specifications were listed for both the front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models.
Axle Code: I also wanted to mention that you can find the axle code listed at the bottom of your safety certification label, if you needed this information. In order to get your maximum trailer weight rating from the chart, you did not have to know your axle ratio like you would for other Ford vehicles.
The Three Resources I Used
I didn't need a whole lot of resources when conducting the research for this article because the three main resources that I used and have listed below were sufficient enough to provide me with all of the information I needed.
The guide is where I gathered most of my information and most of the images that I have posted in this article but the other two resources were also helpful to fill in the other gaps in the information that I needed.
Last updated on May 12th, 2022 at 05:32 pm