I could disable the 4WD on my 2005 Escape by pulling a fuse. It worked but would set off a warning in the Info Display.
I do not think there is a way to disable the 4WD on the newer Escapes.
My 1998 Subaru Outback had a fuse holder under the hood that would put the car into FWD mode if you installed a fuse. The Owners Manual contained instructions to install the fuse when running a temporary spare to prevent binding caused by running a tire with a mismatching circumference.
2014 (Job 2) Ford Escape Titanium 4WD, Ruby Red, 2.0L Group 401A, Pano Roof, Nav, Towing, 19" Wheels