Ford has accomplished something same with its Escape SUV! Have you noticed from 2001 to 2012, the Ford Escape was there, which was replaced by the Kuga, and now Ford has altered the name to Escape. With the transformed new name, it also has a heap of other modifications to the car, which makes this quite a vital upgrade. In a super-competitive mid-size SUV segment that comprises capable competitors in the likes of Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 the Escape requires keeping momentum.
In case, you haven’t driven the Escape or Kuga earlier, the very first thing that will amaze you is the windscreen shape and the fantastic visibility through it with negligible impact from the narrow and bent A-pillars. Due to a big back window, rear visibility is also awesome. The cabin ergonomics are fantastic as well – the dashboard is low; the seats are supportive and comfy; the steering wheel, gear lever and pedals feel the right distance away. If you don’t need AWD then FWD Trend is the pick of the Escape line-up. AWD is not important but it assists in maintaining a grip on rocky as well as wet terrain.
The AWD diesel variant is having the torque of one of the hunk and is better known for its towing capabilities – its braked towing capacity is 1800kg while the petrol AWD is 1600kg whereas the petrol FWD stands at 1500kg. The ride quality is soft and serene. The dual-clutch is a gentle shifter that actions well. Overall, the Escape is an effortless and delightful SUV to drive.
The rear doors open broadly and the entrance is spacious making it simple to get in and out. The ground height is sufficient for good visibility but should be adequately low so that most can slide into their seats without jumping high. Back seats have good legroom and even at 191 cm, you can sit behind your driving position on all variants except Escape’s topmost variant – Titanium. All Escapes come with 5 seats and luggage space of 406 litres, which is similar to the Kuga’s. Storage is quite good in the cabin with 4 cup holders (2 in the front and 2 at the back) and small bottle holders in all of the doors. The electronic handbrake replaces the manual one freeing up valuable space in the centre console – this has been redesigned with a bigger storage area below the armrest.
The Escape has achieved the maximum 5-star ANCAP rating. Across its back seats, there are 2 ISOFIX-mounts and 3 top-tether anchor points for child’s safety.
Well, it’s not just the new name but Ford Escape comes with a new face. The thin strip top grille and the large lower grille of the Kuga have been replaced by the massive gaping mouth that’s now worn by the rest of the upgraded Ford family. It’s a bolder and sturdier look, which works well on all Ford’s SUVs and cars. The headlights are thinner and sleeker; the Titanium grade gets impressive LED DRLs. The fog lights have been dragged back providing the feel of smaller overhangs now. The taillights at the back have been restyled, they’re larger and squarer. As numerous buttons have been taken out from the dash, the Escape’s cabin is a far more pleasant place now. Also, new alloy wheels are there with diverse finishes.
As per Ford, the FWD Ambiente (manual) is fitted with a 1.5-litre engine that consumes at an average of 6.3 litres/ 100 km. With the same engine, FWD Trend (auto) consumes 7.2 litres/ 100 km whereas the AWD Trend with a higher 2.0-litre engine will consume 8.6 litres/ 100km. All petrol engines have a 60-litre tank capacity and run on 95-RON petrol. The diesel engine just ingests 5.5 litre/ 100 km and has the same tank capacity as its petrol variants.
All variants of Escape come with an 8.0-inch display, Sat Nav, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a stainless steel exhaust, front and rear fog lights, dual-zone climate control and Ford’s new Sync3 media system, which has Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The top model Titanium gets leather seats while the Ambiente and Trend get cloth seats. The Titanium also gets a panoramic sunroof and proximity unlocking, 9-speaker sound system and the kick open tailgate as standard. Technology package (for $1300 extra) adds advanced safety equipment like AEB, rear cross traffic warning and blind spot – these are must have; however, on the base spec ‘Ambiente’, this package isn’t available.
Escape comes in 3 variants viz. the base variant ‘Ambiente’, mid of the range ‘Trend’ & the top variant ‘Titanium’.
- The Ambiente (FWD) petrol with a manual gearbox at $28,490 list price is the most economical Escape that you can buy. If you want automatic transmission with the same car, you can get it for just $1500 extra. Spend another $3000 to get an AWD.
- Now, Trend can be had in FWD, which is fabulous as it reduces the entry price into this class to $32,990 – it comes with auto transmission and petrol engine. You can get AWD at additional $3000 and a diesel AWD Trend is also available for $38,490.
Topmost Titanium variant with a petrol engine can be had for $44,990 and diesel version for $48,490.