What Is the Difference Between the Escape XLS & XLT?

by Brian Vaughan

The Ford Escape is an SUV that first appeared for the 2001 model year and remains active in 2011. The 2011 Escape is available in front and four-wheel drive models of the XLS and XLT trim levels. The XLT trim level has a higher price because of additional features, though all XLS and XLT models contain the same engine.


The front-wheel drive XLS weighs 3,299 lb. and its four-wheel drive counterpart weighs 3,504 lb. The front-wheel drive XLT weighs 3,355 lb., while the four-wheel drive XLT weighs 3,504 lb. The four-wheel drive versions are 67.8 inches tall, while the front-wheel drive versions are 67.9 inches tall. Ground clearance is 8.1 inches for the four-wheel drive models and 8.4 inches for the front-wheel drive models.

Wheels and Exterior Features

All Escape models come standard with steel wheels, though other options are available for the XLT trim levels. Both XLT models give you the option of choosing chrome wheels and getting the SUV with a full-size spare tire included. Privacy glass is standard on the XLT models and unavailable for the XLS models. Automatic headlights and fog lights are also only available with the XLT trim levels. Mirrors that adjust depending on light are standard with the XLT models and optional for the XLS models.

Interior Features

A leather steering wheel is only available for the XLT trim level. The XLT trim levels also have an optional DVD player and optional audio controls in the second row of seating. The driver's seat has power adjustment in the front seat of XLT models and manual adjustment in the XLS models. Leather and heated seats are optional only for the XLT models. The XLT models are available with a roof rack and cargo cover, while the XLS models are not.

Price and Fuel

The front-wheel drive XLS gets 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while both the XLS and XLT four-wheel drive models get 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The front-wheel drive XLT gets 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The XLS retails for $21,215 with front-wheel drive and $22,965 with four-wheel drive. The XLT retails for $24,335 with front-wheel drive and $26,085 with four-wheel drive.

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