Revamped last year with a modernized look and a new Sport package, the Ford Escape continues to be one of the top-selling SUVs in Canada, all categories combined.
Currently shopping for a compact SUV? Here are 10 good reasons why the 2018 Ford Escape (starting price: $26,099) should be on your short list:
- 1. The aforementioned Sport package greatly enhances the Escape’s styling, thanks to black 19-inch wheels, several other black trim elements, exclusive colour choices for the body (Ruby Red, for example), a new leather-wrapped steering wheel and sport-style seats.
- 2. While many of its competitors content themselves with offering one or two choices of engines, the 2018 Escape offers three: a 2.5L version delivering 165 hp, an EcoBoost turbo generating 179 hp, and a strong 2.0L EcoBoost with 245 horses on tap. The latter is ideal for towing, if that’s one of your needs, with a maximum capacity of 3,500 lbs.
- 3. The Escape coddles occupants with a comfortable ride―a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. The steering is also precise and direct. The slightest turn of the wheel will spur a reaction from the vehicle, aided by the torque vectoring system.
- 4. Available intelligent access unlocks the door without a key and starts the Escape’s engine with a mere push of a button.
- 5. The new SYNC 3 infotainment system is one of the best on the market. Much simpler and clearer than the previous generation, it’s accessed via an 8-inch touchscreen display and its use is exceedingly intuitive. Also available is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
- 6. Then there’s the SYNC Connect system, linked to the FordPass application; it allows the user to start the car remotely, lock and unlock the doors, verify the level of gasoline in the tank and locate the vehicle in a parking lot. The system also includes a Wi-Fi hot spot able to accommodate up to 10 devices simultaneously.
- 7. The optional twin-panel Vista panoramic sunroof, which spans most of the Escape’s ceiling, inundates the interior with light. Even better, especially for taller passengers, is that it barely affects headroom.
- 8. In terms of active safety, the 2018 Ford Escape ranks ahead of most of its rivals. The list of available technologies includes a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, lane keep assist (which brings the vehicle back to the centre of its lane if needed) and forward collision warning with automatic braking, a system that is integrated with the adaptive cruise control.
- 9. Not comfortable parking your vehicle in tight spots? You can add an upgraded park assist system. Without much input from the driver at all, the Escape will be able to park itself or get out of a spot on its own, either when parallel or perpendicular parking.
- 10. The rear seats of the 2018 Escape fold down to provide 1,925 litres of cargo space―more than the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage. Access to the trunk is also made easier by the presence of the available hands-free power liftgate, activated by a swipe of the foot under the rear bumper.