2017 Ford Escape SE: Everything you like—and more

11 Aug 2017 | 880 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Ford's 2017 Escape is a classic made all new for this model year. It's got all the stuff we all loved about Escape:  Zippy performance, good looks, terrific gas mileage, and a contemporary zest that a lot of its competitors just did not have.   [caption id="attachment_8974" align="alignnone" width="612"] New Ford Escape packs more of what Escape customers said they wanted, including the latest driver-assist technologies, remote connectivity and two new fun-to-drive EcoBoost® engines.[/caption] Well, if you liked the old one, you're gonna love the new one. Ford has deftly, expertly made some of the changes desired by consumers, but it kept all the wonderfulness and made it even better. First, there are considerable upgrades to the interior.  It looks classier and the materials look sturdier and more luxurious.  The dashboard is looking good too.  The Escape now offers a 1.5 liter four that is new, but it's the modified 2.0 liter EcoBoost that steals the show.  It has lots of pickup, and gets pretty outstanding gas mileage compared to its peers, as you can see by what I had to say under the Fuel Economy portion of my review. If you get an Escape with Sync 3, you will get an ownership app (FordPass with Sync Connect) and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Safety features now include lane departure prevention, a drowsy driver warning system, which is something not offered by most of its competitors,  and adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert. Next, though the newest Escape resembles prior ones rather closely, it does look smoother, more substantial and more robust. You will notice the difference when you see last year's model or others in the current generation of the Escape. Our test model was  a 2017 Ford Escape SE FWD version with a price of  $32,165 The Escape always has been one of the sportiest, best handling small CUVs you could buy. And though the Escape is pretty much all new for 2017, that description still holds.  I was amazed at how agile this car is on the road.  It can be tossed into corners, it accelerates briskly, and yet it remains firmly planted on the ground.  No problems here! Power with our particular tester  comes from a 2.0 liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine, and it truly does provide V-6 punch behind the wheel, too. The transmission is a six speed with SelectShift. The Escape model with the EcoBoost engine like I drove is rated at 25 miles per gallon overall, 22 city and 29 highway.  You will spend $250 more in gasoline costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle, and the Escape with EcoBoost uses four gallons of gas to drive 100 miles.  The annual fuel cost is $1,450, based on five years of driving 15,000 miles annually on gasoline costing $2.40 a gallon. Wondering which Escape to buy? Let me help. The S, the entry level Escape, starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 168 horsepower, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Standard features include 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, MyKey parental controls, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat, a 4.2-inch central display, a rearview camera, the Sync tech interface with AppLink smartphone integration, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port. Note that this model is generally aimed at business fleet buyers and may not be an easy find on your local dealer's lot. Step up  to the SE and you will get  17-inch alloy wheels, a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine (179 hp, 177 lb-ft), foglights, a keyless entry keypad, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, rear air vents, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), upgraded cloth upholstery, a rear center armrest and satellite radio. Optional on the SE  is that  2.0-liter turbocharged  EcoBoost four-cylinder engine (245 hp), all-wheel drive, and the SE Technology package (also called Equipment Group 201A), which adds LED daytime running lights, roof rails, rear parking sensors, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, the upgraded Sync 3 technology interface (including an 8-inch touchscreen), a nine-speaker sound system with dual USB ports, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The available Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and mirrors, a windshield de-icer and a 110-volt outlet (if not ordered with the Technology package). To this, the SE Leather Comfort package adds an eight-way power passenger seat (with two-way power lumbar adjustment) and leather upholstery. Also available are a hands-free power liftgate (requires the SE Technology package), 18-inch wheels and remote engine start.   The SE also has that foot sensor that opens the power liftgate. Also included is keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio. The 2.0-liter engine is also optional for the Titanium, as is adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning. The Titanium Technology package (Equipment Group 301A) includes xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning and intervention, and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature (which includes front and side parking sensors). By the way, you will rejoice to hear that Ford's made big changes to the  new Sync 3 is a significant upgrade over the old  MyFordTouch infotainment interface that was the bane of many owners. Now you will find much better touchscreen graphics, quick response time and easily navigable menus. I will say that the styling changes they made, subtle as they were, were the absolute right things to modify because the Escape looks a lot more contemporary, and I actually thought it looked more like a top of the line model instead of a model that was only one rung above basic.  There was nothing at all basic about the level of comfort and attractiveness to the interior either. The Escape has the familiar three year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper basic warranty and the five year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty, too.  

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