The Ford Escape arrived on the market in 2001 and has undergone regular updates since then. The current generation model was released in 2013, giving Ford an even stronger entry in the compact crossover SUV segment.
At the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford unveiled a significant refresh for the Escape to coincide with the 2017 model year, the fifth year of the current generation. The new model gains additional driver-assist technologies, an available SYNC 3 interface, new front fascia, and two new engines with automatic start-stop.
Ford is now selling more than 300,000 Escapes annually in North America. Notably, since its launch more than 3 million have been sold in the United States alone. The Honda CR-V is the segment leader, but Ford is making inroads. Other competitors in this segment include the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Kia Sportage, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.
New Driver-Assist Technologies
Ford says that the refreshed Escape will be the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, a system that allows users to unlock doors, check the fuel level and even detect where they parked their SUV.
Driver-assisted technologies continue to grow in importance as well as in demand. The 2017 Ford Escape will offer adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support. The system operates by way of sensors that recognize when another vehicle is just ahead and adjusts the Escape’s speed accordingly.
A driver alert system will come in handy and work in tandem with a lane-keeping system. Driver alert detects when the driver may be fatigued as by the number of times the lane keep assist system must move the SUV back into its lane. A warning notice in the instrument cluster will alert the driver; at the same time the steering system will mitigate lane crossing due to drifting.
Ford has also been rolling out its various parking assist technologies since last year. The Escape will offer “enhanced active park assist,” what provides steering assistance for both parallel and perpendicular parking. The assist is especially handy to help maneuver the SUV in tight spaces on city streets. This feature is especially beneficial for people who have had surgery and may no longer able to shift the wheel sharply to either side.
The new technologies add to a number of other driver-assist features currently available with the Ford Escape. A blind spot information system with cross traffic alert, hill-start assist, automatic high-beam control, and a hands-free, foot-activated liftgate are also available.
Two New Engine Choices
The base engine choice for the 2017 Ford Escape is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder motor and is the standard engine for the Escape S. Two new EcoBoost engines with turbocharger technology will also be available. A turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder making an estimated 180 horsepower and 185 foot-pounds of torque. This engine will replace the current 1.6-liter turbocharged four.
A 2.0-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine will deliver optimum power for the Escape. For says that it will make 245 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque; this engine is also found in the midsize Edge SUV. All three engines will come paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2017 Ford Escape
The 2017 Ford Escape will be offered in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels. A new sport appearance package will be available with the SE and Titanium. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.
The Ford Escape will continue to serve as the brand’s entry-level SUV even as competitors bring even smaller models to the market, including the Chevrolet Trax, Honda CR-V, and the Jeep Renegade. When Toyota introduces a production Scion C-HR next year, Ford will be the only major manufacturer without such a model. Here’s betting that such a model will eventually find its way to Ford and slot beneath the hot-selling Escape.
See Also — Updated SUV: 2017 Ford Escape
Photos copyright the Ford Motor Company.