Many have sought a radar detector that combines the GPS of the Escort Passport 9500ix with the long range of the Escort Redline. GPS would chop false alarms and protect against red light cameras. Longer range would sniff out distant radar traps other detectors might miss.
The Escort Passport Max/Max 2 family of detectors aims to appeal to both camps with a combination of GPS and high performance. (The Max was discontinued, its place taken by the Max 2. The two are identical save for the Max 2's Bluetooth.)
The Escort Passport Max 2 comes with a GPS-style StickyCup mount that clings tenaciously to the windshield. A thumbwheel friction lock allows angle adjustment, and the arm holding the detector is short to minimize shake.
Control butttons are backlit, easing the task of operating them at night. During alerts their backlighting flashes.
The OLED display’s font for operating mode—Auto, Auto NoX or Highway—is factory-set to blue, with a matching backlighting color for the control buttons. Displayed above the operating mode is a series of seven horizontal LEDs that illuminate progressively from the center outward, 40 times per minute.
At the display’s far left is vehicle speed, to its right is system voltage. When linked to the Escort Live system and either an iPhone or Android smartphone, the posted speed limit also appears.
- Superior radar range
- Red light camera defense
- Excellent audible alerts
- Extensive features
- Dim display
Other choices of display colors: green, red or amber. Regardless of the choice, font color for speed and vehicle voltage remains white. This is the first use of an OLED display by Escort. It’s colorful but low-contrast, making it difficult to read if the sun is out, forcing reliance on the audible alerts.
Like its two siblings, the Escort Passport Max 2 has a good audible information-delivery system with a choice of voice alerts or two different sets of tones. The latter includes the standard Escort tones or doorbell-like chimes.
Standard features include AutoLearn, AlertLock and Speed Alert, same as the Escort Passport 9500ix. One unique feature is AutoPower that turns it off after a period of inactivity. The delay can be set at 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours, with a factory default of four hours.
On the road, we found the Escort Passport Max 2 to behave very similarly to the Escort Passport 9500ix. Over time it progressively locked out errant signals causing false alarms. Then it usually stayed quiet unless it was warning of police radar or red light cameras.
At our Curve/Hill site northwest of Phoenix we measured the performance of the Escort Passport Max 2, along with an Escort Redline and an Escort Passport 9500ix used for comparison.
On X band the Escort Passport Max 2 eked out an eight percent lead over the Passport 9500ix and trailed the Redline by four percent. In K-band performance the Escort Passport Max 2 again scored in between the other two Escort models, outpacing the Escort Passport 9500ix by 29 percent while trailing the Escort Redline by 25 percent.
Same story on 34.7 GHz Ka-band where the Escort Max 2 achieved six percent greater range than the 9500ix, 16 percent less than the Redline. On the widely used 35.5 GHz Ka-band frequency it nearly equaled the Escort Redline, with 16 percent more range than the Escort Passport 9500ix.
We found the Escort Passport Max 2 to be a stylish, well-mannered radar detector. On the downside, its dim display tempered our enthusiasm a bit.