A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join journalists and bloggers from all across the country at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan to preview the new Ford Escape. While I was surrounded by seasoned veteran journalists from the “automotive beat,” this was entirely new territory for me. On my blog, I write about pop culture and current events. I don’t know much about cars.
While I might not be an automotive expert, I know what I like and I know what my family needs in a car when it comes to style, driveability, and efficiency. I wondered if the Escape could deliver.
Ford has been making the Escape for over ten years, but the newest model, slated for release next Spring, brings a car to the marketplace that exceeded my expectations. I was initially struck by the new body design. It looks smaller but actually provides more cargo space than the previous model (over 68 cubic feet). The seats fold easily and the there is plenty of room to transport the team’s soccer equipment, pack for a two-week family vacation, or move your eldest into college.
Interior design is sleek, providing cup holders in all the right places, a front console with space to hold and charge your electronics as well as two USB ports and AV ports. Whether you are keeping the family entertained on long drives or call your car a portable home office, you will be well-equipped for the 21st century in the new Escape.
Speaking of technology, Ford also recently unveiled upgrades to the Escape using exclusive innovations. SYNC® with MyFord Touch® has been redesigned and offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control information through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs. The upgraded system includes a faster, improved display that makes phone, navigation, entertainment and climate controls even easier to use.
Do you hate parallel parking? Me too. The Escape is virtually stress-free with active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into the space. Drivers control only the gas and brake pedals.
The all-new Ford Escape also uses technological advances to provide exceptional safety features. It is the first Ford SUV to combine class-exclusive technology to automatically slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast (Curve Control) or help accelerate through a turn (Torque Vectoring Control); a new Intelligent 4WD System helps deliver outstanding handling in all road conditions.
Finally, my favorite innovation on the new Escape is an available hands-free power liftgate. Do you approach your car with an armload of groceries or boxes and wish the tailgate would open automatically? This latest innovation is enabled by motion technology used in today’s video game systems. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob in a pocket or purse. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys. The same process closes the hatch.
While Ford seemed a little vague on actual numbers, it appears that the new Escape’s eco-boost engines will provide at least 5 more miles per gallon than its predecessor, giving the Escape the best fuel economy in its class. The eco-boost engines are becoming an industry favorite, combining the power of a strong engine with the balance of fuel economy. While it still falls short of hybrid standards, it’s a step in the right direction.
“We call our all-new Ford Escape the ‘Smarter Utility Vehicle’ because it offers the strengths that customers today really value – fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun – all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford understands that more people every year are looking at vehicles like Escape, and we want to give them even more reasons to buy.”
My sneak peek at the Ford Escape gave me plenty of reasons to add the vehicle to my list of options for our next family car. After my trip to Dearborn, it was easy to see why the Escape is quickly becoming the best selling small sport utility vehicle. They might have just snagged a new customer.