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Types Of Gas A Ford Escape Uses (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Ford Escape Uses (All Generations)

On this blog, we’ve written extensively about the features of the Ford Escape.

Even though many Escape variations have been built throughout the years (each with their own common issues), Ford has been able to keep the fuel requirements relatively simple. Today we’re going to answer the question of what kind of fuel this truck should take. Let’s start with a quick answer:

All Ford Escapes manufactured between 2000 – Present-day use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. This includes the hybrid models and the models with an EcoBoost engine. Only for the Escapes manufactured since 2019 does Ford recommend premium fuel with an octane rating of 91 when high performance is needed, such as in extremely hot weather or when towing heavy loads.

However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll let you know more about what kinds of fuel Ford does and doesn’t recommend for the Ford Escape. Furthermore, we’ll talk about the use of E-85, what to do when you hear a knocking noise after refilling, fuel economy, and tank size of the Escape. Read on!

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Infographic explaining the different fuel types for a ford escape.

Reformulated Gasoline

Before we look at the specific requirements of gasoline and diesel for the Escape, we feel it’s important to mention that Ford, at all times and for all Escapes, recommends the use of reformulated gasoline or diesel when it’s available. These reformulated fuels help the engine burn more cleanly and reduce emissions. Furthermore, they reduce deposits in the engine which increases the lifespan of the fuel system.

Gasoline With Additives

Like most carmakers, Ford recommends you use gasoline that has a high percentage of cleaning agents mixed into it. This way, you can be sure that your engine is being cleaned of deposits that will reduce performance and fuel efficiency. For this reason, it’s recommended you buy your gasoline at TOP TIER retailers. These are retailers that use a higher than average amount of cleaning agents in their gasoline. You can visit to find such a retailer.

However, there may be instances in which TOP TIER gas is not available in your region. In this case, you likely fill up at BP, Amoco, Walmart, or 7-Eleven. All these brands aren’t TOP TIER retailers and you need to add a detergent to your gasoline to keep your engine clean or deposits will build-up, reducing MPG and the lifespan of your fuel system.

In this case, we recommend you go with a product like Hot Shot’s Gasoline Extreme and Stiction Eliminator. Gasoline Extreme cleans the complete fuel system whereas Stiction Eliminator focuses on the sticky, gummy residue of burnt oil in the engine.

Furthermore, these products don’t contain metallics or silicon and are guaranteed to not void any warranty. It’s the best option if you can’t fill up with TOP TIER gas in the first place.

Using Ethanol / E-85

The use of ethanol in Ford Escapes is possible, although rules for every generation differ. In general, a Ford Escape can use fuel with a maximum of 10% ethanol if it was manufactured between 2000 – 2011. Ford Escapes that were manufactured after 2012 can use fuel with a maximum of 15% ethanol.

In general, the use of E-85 fuel is forbidden in Ford Escapes. This is fuel that has 15% regular gasoline and 85% ethanol.

Do Some Escapes Use Flex Fuel?

Only some Escapes that were manufactured between 2008 – 2011 are considered Flex Fuel Vehicles. This means that they are capable of handling regular unleaded gasoline as well as E-85%.

You can recognize a Flex Fuel Vehicle by the yellow fuel cap, the yellow bezel around the fuel intake, or any signage of ‘E-85’ around the fuel intake.

That’s compared to the standard fuel cap which you can see in the video below. If that’s what you’re seeing, then you don’t have a Flex Fuel year:

It’s not recommended to switch between E-85 and gasoline repeatedly. If you switch from one fuel to another, it’s recommended that you add as much fuel as possible, at least 5 gallons (18.9 liters). After that, you should drive your vehicle immediately for a minimum of 5 miles (8 kilometers) to allow it to adapt to the change in ethanol. If you only run on E-85, it’s recommended that you fill the fuel tank with regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87 or higher every 3.000 miles (4.800 kilometers).

Does The Ford Escape Require Premium Gas?

The vast majority of Ford Escape vehicles (including hybrid models and the EcoBoost engine line) only require unleaded gas with an octane rating of 87. The big exception are Ford Escapes manufactured in 2019 and later which comes with a recommendation for an octane rating of 91.

But as with most other Ford SUVs (including the Expedition which has no year in which Ford recommends premium), premium fuel can be helpful when it comes to heavy-duty work like hauling or towing.

Do Any Years Of The Ford Escape Require Diesel?

The Ford Escape, at least in the United States, does not have a diesel engine line and that’s been a pain point when it comes to sales. The regular consumer can get all kinds of other extras including Flex Fuel and some hybrid options but diesel has been missing.

However, Ford did sell a European version of the Escape called the Ford Kuga which does have a diesel option.

Other Rules And Regulations

  • Diesel fuel (if the car does not specifically have a diesel engine)
  • Fuels containing kerosene or paraffin.
  • Fuels containing more than 10 – 15% of ehtanol if the vehicle is not a flexible fuel vehicle.
  • Fuels containing more than 85% ethanol or E100 fuel if it’s a flexbile fuel vehicle.
  • Fuels containing methanol.
  • Fuels containing metallic-based additives, including manganese-based compounds.
  • Fuels containing the octane booster additive, methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT).
  • Leaded fuel, using leaded fuel is prohibited by law

Also read: Ford Escape Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise After Refilling?

A slight engine knock is no reason for concern. However, a loud engine knock can occur after refilling, and this is a reason for concern. This is because it’s very likely you’ve used fuel with an octane rating that’s lower than recommended. Using fuel with a lower than recommended octane rating (in the case of the Escape, lower than 87 or in some cases 91) will cause engine knock. If this happens, it’s advised to stop the car immediately and contact your dealership.

Fuel Mileage

It will be no surprise that each generation of the Escape, and each engine within that generation, has a different fuel economy. Below we’ve done our best to outline the combined city and highway MPG per generation and engine type. Furthermore, we’ve also included the hybrid versions of the Escape to give you a helpful overview.

YearEngineCombined MPGCity MPGHighway MPG
2000 – 20082232126
2.3 Hybrid293028
2008 – 20112.5232128
2.5 Hybrid323431
3.0 E-85161419
2012 – 20161.6262331
2016 – 20191.5262330
2.5 E-85181522
2019 – Present-day1.5302834
2.5 HEV414437
2.5 PHEV105 (elec+gas) / 40 (reg. gas)

Fuel Tank Size

Ford Escapes manufactured between 2000 – 2008 have a fuel tank capacity of 16.5 gallons (62.5 liters). Escapes manufactured between 2008 – 2011 have a fuel tank capacity of 17.5 gallons (66.2 liters). Ford Escapes manufactured between 2012 – 2016 have a fuel tank size of 15.5 gallons (58.5 liters), and the 2016 – 2019 Escapes have a capacity of 15.7 gallons (59.7 liters).

Ford Escapes manufactured from 2019 – Present-day have a fuel tank capacity of 15.7 gallons (59.5 liters) for the 1.5 AWD, 2.0 AWD, and 2.0 FWD. The 1.5 FWD has a fuel tank capacity of 14.8 gallons (56.2 liters). The hybrid Escape has a fuel tank capacity of 14.3 gallons (54.2 liters), whereas the plug-in hybrid has a capacity of 11.1 gallons (42 liters).


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