Style up­date for the Ford Es­cape

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

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.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

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.

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