Words: Stephen Spyropoulos
Photography: Stephen Spyropoulos
Published: May 31, 2017
Solid, sophisticated, and athletic; three words that never used to describe the Ford Escape, until now. The fun-to-drive 2017 Ford Escape now delivers agile handling and a taut yet supple ride. This small SUV feels more substantial than most of the competition, with a long list of desirable and high-tech options. You can read about our first drive impressions here.
So to truly find out what the Escape is all about, I enlisted its capabilities to Escape to New York City for a quick weekend road trip.
It was 6:00 am and our Escape was already filled to the brim with luggage and snacks for the long road trip ahead. With a plethora of freshened up bits in the interior and improved reliability, I knew this was going to be a pleasant haul to the Big Apple.
The Escape's sporty persona shone within the first few kilometres of our trip, with handling agility reminiscent of a well-honed European car. The ride is firm, yet composed. It corners with enthusiasm and feels athletic. Body lean is well suppressed and turn-in response is prompt and eager.
This small SUV does feel more like a freight train eating up the highway miles when it’s fully loaded with luggage and five passengers. Even mid-corner bumps didn't upset the Escape’s composure. The steering is quick and nicely weighted as well, communicating some feedback and inspiring confidence.
After crossing the USA/Canada border into the state of New York, I had a chance to take the Escape onto some city roads whilst looking for a place to stop for lunch. In suburban traffic, the Escape performs equally as good. Smooth acceleration from the 245-hp 2.0L EcoBoost makes it feel like it has a V6 under the hood. Step on the gas pedal and you have more than enough juice (again, even with a fully packed car) to pass slower traffic.
With our bellies satisfied we once again climbed back into the Escape. “Onwards to the Big Apple!” we all cheered, singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as we made our way back onto the freeway. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no Escape from reality!
Inside, the Escape is a blend of upscale and cheap touches. Soft touch points, the leather seating, and the large moonroof and metallic bits give it a classy appearance. The Escape has a neatly trimmed interior that skews more utilitarian than plush. But the experience is hurt by some details such as the narrow driving position and the tight rear passenger space.
In terms of rear-seat accommodations, the Escape is nowhere close to the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, or the Toyota RAV-4. Rear legroom is so compromised that we had to ensure we stopped more than once on the way just to be able to stretch.
The controls have improved considerably with the addition of Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which is clear, responsive, and versatile. Even more basic controls like those for the climate system is improved with the 2017 update. The Sony stereo system keeps you entertained and has crisp highs with a good sounding bass. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard with the Sync 3 system. A downside is that the screen is buried in the dash, meaning you will have to stretch your arm in order to access the touchscreen.
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to Weehawken, New Jersey and utilized the Lincoln Tunnel to find ourselves deep in the heart of Manhattan.
Here, I discovered an annoying feature: auto start-stop. Apply the slightest pressure on the brakes and the motor will cut off. During stop-and-go traffic, the constant switchback makes you wonder if you’re actually doing harm to the motor rather than saving fuel. At long stop lights this feature is great but in NYC traffic where its hustle and bustle, I had no choice but to turn this feature completely off. If I wasn’t saving fuel, at least I was saving my sanity.
After a short trip over to neighbouring Astoria in Queens, we had finally made it back to our hotel, and so had the Escape. The Escape plan to New York City was complete, and now we found ourselves looking for a quick bite to eat. If you’re ever down in the Queens area and are pining for some authentic and tasty Greek food, Astoria has some of the best selection in all of North America.
Although the Escape remained mostly parked during our city adventure (the metro system they have really takes the cake) it did a wonderful job of getting us into the big city, and back home afterwards. Not one hiccup was had in the 1,600 km haul. Other than a few gripes with interior comfort when it is filled to the maximum of five people, and some lackluster gas mileage in the city, the Escape held up its end of the deal.
We couldn’t have asked for more.
型号 Model: 2017 Ford Escape Titanium
顏色 Paint Type: Lightning Blue
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $35,999
試車售價 Price as Tested: $40,399
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,690
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,524 / 1,838 / 1,684
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,707
引擎 Engine: 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder
最大馬力 Horsepower: 245 hp @ 5,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 275 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 11.5 / 8.7 / 10.2
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 10.2