Just the name of this model invokes the urge to, well-Escape. And this little crossover SUV will allow you to do it in style. The Escape compact SUV has been a top seller for Ford since it debuted in 2001 after its production year of 2000. The original Ford Escape was based on the CD2 front wheel drive platform with an option of all wheel drive.
The first models had a more rugged and sporty look to them but they offered better handling than that of the competition back in the day; Ford created a unibody design for the Escape that offered an independent suspension and rack and pinion steering specifically for a more car-like ride. The newer models are now more aerodynamic and still offer the nimble car-like handling and excellent road manners that SUV drivers were quick to notice from the beginning.
The First Generation was between 2001 and 2006. The Escape was available in the following models: XLS, XLT, XLT Sport, and the Limited. The Escape Hybrid was also introduced in the first generation in September of 2004 for the 2005 model year. The Ford Escape Hybrid was the first American-built hybrid and the first hybrid vehicle from an American automaker. Another Ford first … Imagine that. Now, you can't beat that with a stick!
All models came loaded with standard equipment such as 16" wheels, ABS, keyless entry, a folding rear bench seat, power windows and locks, and air conditioning, high-back front bucket seats, cloth and vinyl seats, and with available options the sky was the limit. The XLT was the most popular during this generation and could be had with a power sunroof, 3.0L V-6 engine and a seven-speaker sound system with an amplifier and subwoofer. The XLT Sport model could be had with all the same options as the XLT.
The Hybrid also offered the same options as the XLT model, but it also had a unique GPS navigational system with a Hybrid Information System, Sirius Satellite Radio, a two-tone exterior paint scheme, and it housed a 2.3L DuraTec I-4 engine with an electric motor.
The Second Generation was between 2007 and 2012. A few changes were made in this generation but nothing major because Ford just got it right from the beginning. However, there were a few notable changes such as a new grille and larger headlamps and cleaner lines and rounded wheel arches. The interior now offered the new Ford navigation system.
In 2008, Ford added a standard Electronic Stability Control system and the Escape was the first vehicle that featured Ford's Pull-Drift Steering Compensation Enhancement software for Electric Power Steering. Also in 2008, Ford replaced the previous 4-speed automatic with a new 6-speed 6F automatic transmission for the I-4 and V6 models.
It also had a new 2.5L Duratec 25 that boosted hp to 171 with 171 lb-ft of torque. An optional 3.0L Duratec V6 now offered 240 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid saw an upgrade to a 2.5L engine that boosted it up by 22 hp with the electric motor added in. In 2008, Ford developed the very first flexible-fuel plug-in hybrid SUV that used E85 fuel and it was offered to various energy companies as commercial fleet vehicles.
In 2009, Ford's SYNC became standard on the Hybrid, Hybrid Limited and conventional Limited models, but was optional on the XLT and XLS. In 2010, the Escape offered standard MyKey, trailer sway controls, and a blind spot integrated Spotter Mirror.
In 2010, the Escape offered new optional features of Active Park Assist that visually and audibly instructed the driver while parking. Active Park Assist used sensors to automatically park the vehicle. Also in this year, a rear-view camera system was added.
The Third Generation began in 2013 to present. This generation saw a ton of technological advances and a new, sleeker exterior to make the Escape more aerodynamic for aesthetics and enhanced fuel economy. The Hybrid model was dropped in this generation due to Ford's new 1.6L EcoBoost engine that would match the fuel economy of the Ford Escape Hybrid. It was also now based on Ford's Global C Platform.
The 2013 Escape emerged as a completely redesigned SUV since it first debuted in 2001. It was now offered in the following models: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Options for the S model included SYNC voice command and steering wheel audio controls. The SE would get you a turbo-charged engine, 17" alloy wheels, automatic headlights, SYNC, reclining rear seats, a four-inch multifunction screen, privacy glass, satellite radio and more. Options included a navigation system and a power panoramic sunroof and a power liftgate.
The SEL offered heated side-view mirrors, power windows with one-touch up and down, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a nine speaker stereo system, and options included a Cargo Management System, a Technology Package, Parking Technology, rearview camera, and more.
As if all these amenities weren't enough, The Titanium trim would get you a more powerful engine for off road, and mountainous road adventures, Sony audio system, keyless ignition and entry, and ambient lighting. Options (yes, there's more) included a Titanium Technology Package, Parking Technology, full leather upholstery, power panoramic sunroof, and navigation system.
The 2017 Escape will be available early in 2016 and it promises to remain a major contender in its class. A refreshed look will add a new front fascia, reshaped LED taillights, and a new grille. As a new feature, the SYNC 3 Infotainment System is being added as well as a SYNC Connect smartphone app. With this app, you can monitor your vehicle, start the engine, lock and unlock doors, and check the fuel level.
The 1.6L will be replaced by a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder option and the 2.5 and 2.0 EcoBoost remain in the lineup. As far as ease of navigation, Enhanced Park Assist, Lane-Keeping, Forward Collision Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control will be available. Important to note: According to Ford's News Sales Release of December 2015, "Escape sales of 27,954 rose by 9 percent, making this a record." So, how do you take something that was already good and make it better? The new Ford Escape-that's how.
Angela Krause Ford Lincoln in North Georgia has a nice inventory of brand new and used Ford Escapes at our Alpharetta dealership. If you are in the market for a fully loaded compact SUV that's fun to drive, has a lot of get-up-and-go, is surprisingly more glamorous than the average bear, then the Ford Escape is for you. We are near Milton, Roswell, Atlanta, Cumming, North Point Mall, the Humane Society on Mansell Road, close to Duluth, Norcross, and beyond.