After a decade and a half on the market, the Ford Escape has earned a gold star as an unmitigated sales success for the Blue Oval company. As the second-most-popular vehicle in the company’s line-up (behind the ubiquitous F-150 pick-up), Ford is very carefully updating the Escape for 2017. Here’s what you need to know about it.
The Family Face
With a little nip and tuck to the front and rear of the 2017 Escape, it more closely resembles its handsome bigger brother, the Edge, redesigned and released last year. The new Escape’s profile and dimensions are generally unchanged, and really, as one of the most handsome offerings in the segment already, it didn’t need much updating for this mid-cycle refresh.
It Looks Sportier, too
Ford is offering a new Sport Appearance Package for mid-level SE trim and top-line Titanium trim Escapes. Aside from adding blacked-out trim around the Escape’s exterior, its most obvious contribution to the appearance is the fitted set of handsome black 19-inch wheels. The fashion of those big wheels (and consequent low-profile tires) come at the expense of a stiff ride.
What’s New Inside?
Well, not much, really. The glove box is new and fashioned in such a way that it forms a bin to contain all the stuff a glove box should contain (yet strangely, rarely gloves). Whether open or closed, the glove box is designed to prevent its contents from spilling all over. And if that’s not sufficient, Ford has relocated the shifter freeing up valuable storage nooks and crannies in the centre console.
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The new Escape is quieter thanks to better seals, insulation and the implementation of acoustic glass, leading to what Ford believes to be the quietest cabin in the compact SUV segment. A drive from Calgary to Jasper National Park and back revealed that both road and wind noise are very impressively quelled.
More in SYNC
While SYNC 3 – the latest version of Ford’s infotainment system – was introduced in the 2016 Escape, with SYNC Connect, motorists can, err… sync with FordPass and lock, unlock and locate their Escape from their smartphone. Fuel levels can be checked and even the remote start can be scheduled to warm up the Escape at specific days and times. Additional applications and functions will be rolled out in the coming months for FordPass as well, giving even greater control to motorists over their vehicle without even leaving their favourite living room chair. Apple CarPlay is also included in the new Escape’s infotainment system.
There’s a Stronger Heart
Two of them, in fact. Ford is offering up two new EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engines for the 2017 Escape. The first is the 1.5L from the mid-sized Fusion sedan. It offers up 179 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
Optional on the SE trim and standard on the Titanium is the 2.0L twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder from the larger (and heavier) Edge crossover. With 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, the Escape takes the crown for most powerful four-cylinder engine in the class.
Efficiency is Key
The “Eco” part of EcoBoost speaks to Ford’s desire to get impressive performance with remarkable efficiency. The top trim 2L engine is rated at 11.5 L/100 km city and 8.7 highway. The 1.5L with an AWD set up nets 10.7 and 8.3. That figure drops to 10.2 and 7.8 for a front-wheel-drive Escape with the same 1.5L engine. Auto start/stop is now standard on all EcoBoost equipped Escapes to help earn those figures.
It Keeps You Safe
Even more so this year, the Escape will help keep its passenger safe with more active safety features available including adaptive cruise control and collision-warning brake assist, plus Lane-Keeping Aid and alert and even automatic high beams to help motorists see and avoid collisions.
Ford’s 2017 Escape is poised to continue its place as a sales leader thanks to upgrades to a well-loved machine that should make it even more appealing to consumers. Pricing starts at just over $25,000 for a basic S model with FWD and climbs to over $36,000 for an AWD Titanium trim Escape.