Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Automoblog earns from qualifying purchases. Commissions from Amazon and other affiliate partners come to us at no additional cost to you. The MAX 360c in this review was supplied by Escort Radar. Automoblog is a member of the Radar Detector and Countermeasures Forum to ensure truth and accountability when covering radar detectors.
The Escort MAX 360c offers long-range detection, false alert and IVT filters, Bluetooth connectivity via the Escort Live app, and a multi-color OLED display. Within the preferences menu, drivers can further personalize their experience with the MAX 360c.
Although the MAX 360c is versatile and feature-packed, do you really need such a high-end radar detector? After all, there are other reliable units – which we cover below – for less money. We spent three weeks on the road with the MAX 360c to see if it was worth the $650 retail price on Amazon.
Escort MAX 360c In-Depth: What It Offers
As I set up my MAX 360c, I used this detailed reference guide and spec sheet.
The Escort MAX 360c lives up to its name with its front and rear antennas for maximum coverage. Additionally, the MAX 360c issues directional alerts via illuminated arrows around the OLED display so you know where the threat is coming from. I have the directional alert arrows color-coded according to the alert. For example, X bands light up green while K bands light up blue. During a laser threat (LiDAR), all arrows flash in red.
Escort is confident enough to offer a ticket guarantee for one year after purchase. Essentially, if you get smacked with a radar or laser speeding ticket, Escort pays for it (subject to terms and conditions, of course). The ticket guarantee is a nice perk when spending $650 for the Escort MAX 360c.
The MAX 360c uses GPS technology to memorize your route and reject false alerts automatically. When this happens, the MAX 360c shows the word “STORED” on the display screen. Similarly, you can use the little button on the USB adapter that powers the MAX 360c to either mute or store a false alert. Press it once to mute a false alert and three times to lock it out. If you lock out an alert by mistake, no worries. The next time you receive it, hit the little button twice on the USB adapter to unblock it.
You can also hit the mute button on the unit to lock out false alerts, but as long as the USB power cord is within reach, it’s easier to use that. If you want, you can turn the AutoLearn feature off via the preferences menu.
Escort’s AutoLearn Technology is a handy feature, but I didn’t always have the best luck with it. The MAX 360c quickly learned and filtered out false alerts around the usual shopping plazas and grocery stores – no issues there. While driving through Detroit proper, however, the city’s industrial areas overloaded the MAX 360c with false alerts.
For example, if you take I-75 southbound out of Detroit, you pass Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant and the Marathon Refinery, two massive facilities on the River Rouge. It’s a similar story over by the American Axle facilities in Litchfield, Michigan. The MAX 360c, for whatever reason, struggles to filter false alerts in and around these industrial locations.
The “MRK” button (or Mark Location button) on top of the unit will flag a location for an alert. There are four labels to pick from: Red Light, Speed Camera, Speed Trap, and Other. Near Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn one evening, my MAX 360c sent me a laser warning (and I could see the patrol car a few moments later). I immediately marked the location as a Speed Trap but decided to hang out in the area. As I circled Fairlane Town Center and the now-abandoned Edward Hotel, I was able to drive right into the patrol car’s path.
The Escort MAX 360c displayed a little icon of a blue police car with a corresponding distance measurement as I moved toward the marked location. The first warning issued by the MAX 360c came at an impressive 1,500 feet, over a quarter of a mile away. The distance displayed all the way down to 140 feet when I drove right past the Dearborn police vehicle.
Like the AutoLearn feature, the IVT Filter (or in-vehicle technology filter) reduces the likelihood of false alerts that stem from the advanced safety features on other vehicles around you. This includes radar-sensor-dependant systems like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.
The IVT filter works flawlessly on the Escort MAX 360c. On several occasions, I could see the blind-spot indicator light on the exterior mirror of the vehicle I was passing. And the Escort MAX 360c was as quiet as a mouse. The IVT filter’s effectiveness helps justify the $650 price tag.
Joining the IVT filter is the Intelligent Speed Sensitivity feature, which automatically adjusts the unit’s sensitivity on the go. This is a fancy way of saying “Auto” sensitivity, meaning the MAX 360c will shift between City and Highway modes based on your current speed.
You can create your own experience with the Escort MAX 360c through the OLED Display. On the top of the unit, hit the “SEN” and “BRT” buttons to access the preferences menu. Tap “SEN” to scroll through everything in the menu and the volume buttons to change the different settings within a given category.
You can adjust things like the threshold of the over-speed warnings, alert tones, and the GPS filter through the preferences menu. You can dive into K and Ka band segmentation to ensure the MAX 360c is as responsive as possible to police radar, given where you live.
You can also change the display color between blue, green, red, and amber. This is a fun little attribute of the Escort MAX 360c, especially if your vehicle has ambient lights. I prefer blue or green as those colors are softer on the eyes, especially at night. However, if you like louder colors, go for red or amber!
Escort Live App
While you can buy a radar detector without Bluetooth connectivity, using the Escort Live app with the MAX 360c makes it that much more versatile. In theory, anyway. Customer reviews of the Escort Live app are mixed at best, with more one-star reviews than we are comfortable with for an app that accompanies a $650 piece of hardware.
The optional Escort Live app is helpful when it’s working correctly. Click on the map tab to see any surrounding alerts in real-time, as reported by a community of over three million Escort customers. Real-time, user-generated alerts include red light and speed camera locations and the origins of various radar bands.
The over-speed warnings are particularly useful, especially if you miss the speed limit sign in the area you are driving. Escort Live picks up the posted speed limit in your location and displays it. While driving, you can see your current speed on the OLED display relative to the speed limit in the area. Over-speed warnings can be changed via the app in different increments, up to 25 mph over. You will hear a voice alert if you travel faster than your set over-speed.
If you want to go above and beyond, Escort’s Defender Database, available via a subscription, provides even more shared alerts from other drivers. The Defender Database offers weekly updates on red light and speed camera locations, mobile cameras, and air patrol zones.
Driving around metro Detroit and staying in my local area, I would skip the Defender Database for my Escort MAX 360c. Although, if I were frequently traveling to different states, I would spring for the Defender Database. I advise getting the three-year subscription ($49.95) versus the one-year plan ($24.95), as it’s a better value overall.
Connected Car Compatible
If you have a vehicle with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, you can connect the MAX 360c to it. Doing so will allow you to receive important software updates from Escort on the go.
Despite being a few years older than other offerings from Escort, the MAX 360c is still one of the best radar detectors on the market.
Ka band segmentation and four selectable display colors allow more flexibility and customization.
IVT filter reduces the likelihood of false alerts from other vehicles with radar sensor systems like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.
Is The Escort MAX 360c Worth It?
There are radar detectors with the latest technology for less money. If all you need is a little peace of mind for your daily commute, you are overbuying with the Escort MAX 360c. True, the MAX 360c will deliver, but there is no sense in grabbing a shovel when a spoon will suffice.
Instead, consider getting a radar detector like the Uniden R3 or Uniden R4, which still offer good long-range detection and solid false filtering for less than the MAX 360c. Granted, they don’t have the full range of capability like the MAX 360c, but the performance of the R3 and R4 is hard to beat for the money.
However, the MAX 360c holds a certain allure among radar detector enthusiasts for its features, reliability, long-range detection, and overall performance. Since the MAX 360c debuted in 2018, it has inspired a second-generation MAX 360c detector and the “two-in-one” combo unit, the MAXcam 360c.
If you are in the market for one of the best radar detectors money can buy, the Escort MAX 360c is still an excellent choice. As of this writing, it is available on Amazon for $650.
Carl Anthony is the Managing Editor of Automoblog and the host of AutoVision News Radio and AutoSens Insights. He is a Midwest Automotive Media Association member and on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation. Like many Detroiters, Carl is holding out for a Lions Super Bowl win.
Escort MAX 360c Specs
- X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz
- K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz
- Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz
- Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth
Radar Receiver/Detector Type
- Superheterodyne, Varactor-Tuned VCO
- Scanning Frequency Discriminator
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
- Highway, Auto, Auto No X, Auto Lo K
- 12VDC, negative ground
- Escort SmartCord USB (included)
Escort MAX 360c Warranty
- The Escort MAX 360c comes with a one-year limited warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship. Escort will repair or replace your radar detector free of charge (you do pay for shipping, however).
- 1.38” H x 3.25” W x 5.15” L
Escort MAX 360c Extras
The Escort MAX 360c will let you go nuts with accessories. Available upgrades include the 1080p M1 dash camera, the upgraded M2 dash camera, and the ZW5 or ZR5 laser shifters. The M1 and M2 dash cameras are fast plug-in-play options, although the laser shifters will take a little more work. Laser shifters are illegal in some states, so check your local laws before installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I register my Escort MAX 360c?
Yes. Registering your MAX 360c will give you access to the Escort Live app. It will also streamline things if you need to file a warranty claim.
My suction cup mount keeps falling down.
If this happens, gently rinse the suction cup mount off under warm water and allow it to air dry. Doing so will remove any debris, dust, and dirt that may be causing the suction cup mount to lose its grip.
Is the Escort Max 360c wireless?
No. In order for the MAX 360c to work, it must be plugged in via the included SmartCord USB.
Does Escort charge for shipping?
Escort offers free shipping on all orders over $99.