Style update for the Ford Escape
Ford Escape, which was called Ford Kuga until it underwent a name change at the start of the year, is a medium SUV sold with either all-wheel or two-wheel-drive.
A new model, the Escape Trend, which sits between the Ambiente and Titanium, has been added to the range.
We’ve just spent an interesting week in the top-line Escape Titanium. “Interesting” in that it was used as a mini-truck for several days because we were moving house. Escape has rear seat backs that fold almost flat, making for easy loading of long items.
Escape styling changes when compared to the superseded Kuga include a facelift that was one of the first to use Ford’s new global design language.
It still has the familiar trapezoidal shape of the previous design, but now adds a bold two-bar grille.
Two new colours, White Platinum (tri-coat) and Copper Pulse, are offered throughout the range.
Inside, the steering wheel and air-conditioning controls have been modified to be more intuitive.
Our Titanium was powered by a 2.0-litre TDCi turbo-diesel that produces 132kW at 3500rpm, with a strong 400Nm of torque between 2000 and 2500 rpm. Its six-speed automatic transmission drives through all four wheels.
Other engines offered in the Escape are a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol in two variants, 110kW and 240Nm or 134kW and 240Nm, and a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol (178kW/345Nm).
The low-powered 1.5 is offered in the entry-level model, the Ambiente, with a six-speed manual.
All others in the Escape range use a six-speed automatic. Note that all automatic Escapes have paddle-shifts.
Escape has an eight-inch touchscreen. Connectivity is via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s a big emphasis on voice recognition as Ford has done considerable research into how people have been using the system.
An upgraded version of Ford’s optional Active City Stop collision avoidance system now operates at speeds up to 50km/h. The Ford Escape comes with some of the most comfortable front seats we have experienced. Rear-seat legroom is very good.
Steering is nicely responsive and there’s good feel through the wheel. Handing is pretty good, with the expected safe understeer when pushed hard.
Escape isn’t a sports SUV in the manner of some of the big name European SUVs of this size, but it’s not that far behind.
The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel starts almost as quickly as a petrol engine.
The latest version of Ford’s Escape SUV is a competent machine with a styling update that provides a good combination of toughness and family wagon practicality. It certainly deserves a place on your shortlist.
The Escape’s familiar trapezoidal grille has been kept and two bars added within it.
Interior comfort is high. The Ford Escape SUV deserves a place on your shortlist.