Best Tires for the Ford Escape

The best tires for your Ford Escape depend on how you drive, where you live and your budget. The factory tires that were on the Escape when you bought it strike a balance between cost, treadwear, fuel economy, and performance. Ford aimed to give you a good all-around tire, not one designed to excel in any one situation. Depending on how and where you plan to drive your Escape, you might want something different. Maybe you plan on lots of highway miles. Maybe you live somewhere with snow for most of the year. No matter what your priorities, this overview of the best tire options for the Ford Escape will help you decide which tires work best for you.

Have an older Ford Escape? See tire sizes for previous years.

Best Tires for the Ford Escape w/ 17-in Wheels:

Best Tires for the Ford Escape w/ 18-in Wheels:

Best Tires for the Ford Escape w/ 19-in Wheels:

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Ford Escape Original Equipment (OEM) Tires

What tires are on your Ford Escape? The current generation Ford Escape is sold with three tire sizes depending on the trim you choose:

  • The S, SE, and SE Sport come with 17-inch wheels and 225/65R17 tires. OEM tires are either Michelin Primacy A/S or Continental Procontact TX.
  • The SEL comes with 18-inch wheels and 225/60R18 tires. The OEM tire is a Michelin Primacy A/S.
  • The SE Sport with the Premium Package and the Titanium come with 19-inch 225/55R19 tires. This OEM tire is a Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus.

Top Replacement Tire Brands for Ford Escape

We’ve recommended three replacement tires in 17-, 18-, and 19-inch sizes, in budget, moderately priced and cost-no-object varieties. There’s something here for your Ford Escape whether the sky’s the limit or you’re looking to get by on the cheap. All these tires have ratings of four-stars or higher based on consumer surveys:

17-inch Tires for Ford Escape

  • Budget: Kumho Crugen HP71 - This all-season SUV tire is designed to provide a quiet ride combined with a tread pattern that promotes handling and stability.
  • Moderately Priced: Bridgestone Turanza Quiettrack - This all-season tire gets high ratings with a tread that minimizes noise and vibration.
  • Cost-No-Object: Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 - This all-terrain tire is a great choice for those who plan on some dirt-based adventuring.

18-inch Tires for Ford Escape

  • Budget: Riken Raptor HR - This all-season tire gets top marks for its smooth ride and minimal noise as well as a good tread life.
  • Moderately Priced: BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT - An all-season tire that offers a good balance between comfort and the traction you need for winter driving.
  • Cost-No-Object: Michelin CrossClimate2 - This all-weather tire offers all the benefits of a top-tier all-season tire, with the added benefit of server snow duty rating.

19-inch Tires for Ford Escape

  • Budget: General Tire Altimax RT43 - This all-season tire offers a good value with even treadwear and a long treadlife.
  • Moderately Priced: Continental Crosscontact LX25 - This all-season gets top marks from consumers in all weather conditions along with excellent treadwear
  • Cost-No-Object: Michelin CrossClimate2 - This all-weather tire offers all the benefits of a top-tier all-season tire, with the added benefit of server snow duty rating.

When Should You Replace Tires?

The two biggest considerations when replacing your tires are how old they are and how many miles they’ve accrued over the years. The average driver puts between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year in their vehicle. That means most Escape owners will be past the mileage their original equipment tires were intended to cover before they’ll go past the tire’s usable age.

The life of your tire can be somewhat predicted by its UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) rating. Tire manufacturers apply their own grades to tires for treadwear, traction and temperature. When you’re researching tires online, a UTQG will come up next to the tire name in three digits and a number (ex. 500 A A).

You can glean a bit of info from the tires by reading this rating:

  • 500 - The durability rating of a tire, compared to a control tire with a treadlife of 100. To obtain a grade, tires run on a 640-kilometer course for 11,520 km. Every 1,280 km, the tread depth is measured, to provide a projected tread life. The higher the number, the longer the predicted treadlife.
  • A - This is the Traction rating of a tire, which indicates how well a tire stops in wet conditions. The highest letter grade is AA, followed by A, B and C.
  • A - The second letter in the UTQG is the Temperature rating, which indicates how well a tire holds up to extreme heat. A is the highest, followed by B and C.

The original equipment Continental Procontact TX tires on the Escape earn a 500 AA UTQG rating. Unless they are damaged, these tires could last up to 50,000 miles before you need to replace them.

other consideration is time. Each tire has a raised date code on the sidewall. The number begins with the letters “DOT” followed by 12 digits in three four-digit groups. The date code is the third group of four digits. To decipher the date of your tires, the first two digits represent the WEEK the tire was produced, and the second two digits represent the YEAR.

For example, if your tire’s date code is 3217, that indicates the tire was manufactured in the 37th week of 2017, or sometime between September 11 and 17th that year.

Once tires go beyond five years old, it’s time to consider replacing them regardless of how many miles they’ve travelled. Tires are made up not just of rubber and steel or Kevlar belts, but chemicals that help the tires resist UV rays, temperature changes, and a lot of other environmental hazards. Those chemicals start to break down after five years or so, and the tires aren’t doing the job that they need to do.

Why Not Replace with Original Equipment (OEM) Tires?

There’s no harm in replacing your tires with the shoes it came with from the factory. However, depending on what kind of driver you are, there are significant reasons to purchase something different. You only need to purchase ONE set of tires for your car every four years or so, depending on how much you drive. When an auto manufacturer purchases tires, they buy them by the hundreds of thousands. For the manufacturer, the decision to choose a supplier one brand or another comes down to a price point.

For you, your consideration may be completely different. If you could get a tire that stopped 20 feet shorter for an additional $10 per tire over the original equipment, you’d probably do it. Similarly, if there was a tire that made less road noise for a minimal investment over stock, you’d probably decide on the slightly more expensive tire (that is, unless you’re trying to drown out the conversation of your back-seat-driving spouse.)

Changing Ford Escape Tire Sizes

Depending on the year and model, you may be shopping tires to fit anything between 15-inch for older models to 19-inch wheels for more current versions of the Ford Escape. It is possible to change the wheel and tire sizes, but a general rule of thumb is to keep the total diameter of wheel and tire the same. So, that means that downsizing an 18-inch wheel to a 17-inch wheel would include a proportionate upsizing of the tire sidewall to compensate.

Downsizing wheels has its advantages. Benefits include:

  • Better ride quality – More rubber means more cushion for poor road conditions.
  • Cost reduction – Big tires are expensive, so moving to a smaller wheel size will mean less costly tire purchases.
  • Seasonal changes – Winter and snow tires are available for a larger selection of smaller wheel sizes and the narrower footprint will provide better traction.
  • Off-road – Many people choose to downsize wheels for off-road use to increase the vehicle’s shock absorption capabilities and bump traction on loose surfaces.

On the other side of the coin, going up in wheel size has its benefits:

  • Better handling – Slimmer profile tires makes for less rubber to move around.
  • Better looks – This one’s subjective, but many people feel that larger wheels look better than smaller wheels with more rubber.
  • Better braking – Larger, wider wheels provide a bigger patch of rubber on the ground to slow the vehicle, reducing braking distance.

How to Read Tire Sizes

When reading tire sizes, it’s important to understand what the numbers mean. The Ford Escape’s 18-inch wheels come with 225/60R18 100H all-season tires:

  • 225 - indicates the width of the tire from one sidewall to the other in millimeters. This tire is 225 millimeters wide
  • 60 - indicates the aspect ratio, or sidewall height, as a percentage of the tire’s width. In this case, it’s 60 percent or of the tire’s width.
  • R - means radial tires. Radials are the most common type of automotive tire and have fabric woven in at various angles with tread that is strengthened with additional layers of rubber
  • 18 - indicates the wheel diameter
  • 100 - is the tire’s load rating
  • H - is the tire’s speed rating. H-rated tires have a maximum top speed of 130 mph

You may have noticed that the Ford Escape’s three tire sizes have different diameters and different aspect ratios. Generally, automakers choose tires that have the same outer diameter. This allows them to have only one speedometer setting.

Now that you know what comes on the Escape and how to read the size numbers, let’s look at the different types of tires available to you. Depending on the type of driving you’re doing, where you live, and the weather, you have a variety of choices for tire types:

  • Touring and All-season tires - provide a smooth ride, good wet and dry traction, decent winter traction, and longer tread life. These tires are acceptable for winter use but can’t be expected to provide the traction and stopping power that a dedicated winter tire can.
  • Performance tires - are focused on providing confident handling, better wet and dry traction, and a sporty feel. Their higher grip and speed ratings come with a tradeoff of shortened tread life and reduced ride quality.
  • All-terrain tires - are built to maximize off-road traction and provide good durability overall. Their construction means more noise and less comfort on the road, but winter traction and tread wear are acceptable.
  • Winter and snow tires - are made with special rubber compounds that maintain grip and pliability when temperatures drop. They are also built with special tread patterns to maximize the vehicle’s ability to start and stop on very slippery roads.

Tire Sizes By Year


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Ford Escape Tire FAQ

What is the best Ford Escape tire pressure?

Check inside your driver’s side door for a white and yellow label that will tell you the exact tire pressure recommendations for your Escape model. That tire pressure can also change depending on the load of passengers you’re carrying, as well as the cargo load. Note that the pressure on the tire itself is never the correct setting, but rather a maximum.

How often should I rotate my Escape’s tires?

Rotating tires is more about the tire than it is about the car. A typical rotation interval is somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, though specific cars and tires may change those numbers a bit. The Escape is either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive SUV. Both models require tire rotation, but those with front-wheel drive will experience tire wear up front first, so it’s especially important to rotate those tires regularly.

What is the best Escape tire change kit?

Your Ford Escape should have come equipped with a spare tire and changing tools in the trunk. In this case, you already have everything you need to physically change the tire, but you may want to carry an extra roadside emergency kit with an upgraded lug wrench, jumper cables, and emergency markers just in case.

Tire Buying FAQ

Where do I shop for the best prices?

Several online retailers like Tire Rack offer regular discounts and free shipping for their tires. Their sites also have tire fit guides and pricing estimators to help you understand what you’re buying.

How much is shipping?

Most online tire retailers have free shipping or reduced shipping cost when you choose to have them installed at a partner shop. The retailer may have an arrangement with a local tire chain or installation center and can ship the tires there for free.

How long does shipping take?

Retailers like Tire Rack offer fast shipping and can often have tires to your preferred installer in as little as two days. Many others, like Discount Tire Direct, offer the same fast and free shipping. It also depends on where you live. If you’re in a large metro area, close to a distribution center, it should be relatively quick. If you live 5 miles from East Moosejaw, it might take a little longer.

How much does it cost to install a tire?

Some shops will offer free installation when you purchase tires from them, and online retailers often promote the same deal for people who choose to have installation done at one of their partners. If you do find yourself paying for tire installation, expect to pay between $15 and $50 per tire, depending on what is needed. That money pays for mounting and balancing the tire to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.

Do I need to change the tire pressure monitoring system with tires?

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is independent of your tires but should be checked at regular intervals to ensure no damage or malfunctions are occurring. Your local tire shop can perform this check as part of normal tire rotation or installation.

Can an online retailer help me with winter tires?

Yes! You can find the right fit, tread pattern, and speed rating on nearly any online retailer’s site. They sometimes offer specials and rebates around the time when people start looking for winter tires (late fall).

If I’m changing tire sizes or buying winter tires, should I buy a wheel and tire package from an online retailer?

It’s certainly not a requirement to buy your tires and wheels from the same place, but you’re more likely to get a deal on the package if you buy from the same place. Check the retailer’s specials and decide from there. You may also find a better deal ordering either the tires or wheels online and buying the other component from your local shop.

Do online retailers provide tire rebates the way traditional stores do?

Yes, and in some cases, rebates are offered alongside discounts on the tires. It’s important to ask questions and understand what you’re getting, so be sure to chat or call the retailer before ordering if the rebates are unclear.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.
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