I am a convert. When I first heard the V6 was being dropped from the option list with only a Ecoboost 2.oL Four as the top option I was totally “oh noes”. After driving it I walked away impressed. The folks at Ford did their noise, vibration and harshness homework and you would not even know this is a 4 cylinder except for that short second when you first started it up. Under acceleration there is no turbo lag to cause concern. Cruising there is no 4 cylinder drone. Its actually a very refined power train, probably the best 4 Ford has ever made.
The redesign from the traditional 2 box SUV look to a more aerodynamic modern form is not without its detractors. I like the look, but I can tell you after some 40K views on my youtube vid of the reveal at last years LA Auto Show the comments are all over the board with many not liking the new look. We’ll see how it does in the market place as it is hitting showrooms now.
This new Escape is much more fun to drive than the outgoing model. The steering is more responsive. The brakes seem to be stronger with better fade resistance. The body has less roll than before. Overall handling is better than before. It certainly is quieter than before. I didn’t get to test the AWD, but then again these were never serious off roaders, but “soft-roaders” or AWD for adverse road conditions that we suburbanites run into.
The model I drove happened to be the top shelf Titanium. It had all the bells and whistles and included the best materials and build quality. It had had a beautiful leather trimmed interior with all soft touch materials on the door panels and dash. It was quiet as can be with no engine noise making it into the cabin even under full throttle getting onto the freeway. Nice.
There is more room inside the Escape this year as well. A bit more in the rear seats. Much more room in the cargo hold than the outgoing model.
The MyFord Touch on the Escape was faster and simpler to use than prior versions I had used. It certainly was much more intuitive than it was in the past. I still don’t get why some of the consumer mag types keep knocking the system!?
Fuel economy is a driving force in new car sales right about now. The new Escape is much more fuel efficient than the outgoing model. Its 1.6L Ecoboost bests last years hybrid by a few MPG’s which is why part of the reason there is no hybrid option this time around. The 2.0L Ecoboost I drove showed an indicated 24MPG over the route that was driven by us journalist types…not usually the easiest on gas…which is pretty commendable results compared to its EPA of 21city/28highway for the AWD model. (More info on the Escape Stats on the Ford Site HERE).