Ford is bound and determined to have a vehicle in their lineup that will meet your needs. They have an extensive SUV lineup ranging from the massive Ford Expedition down to the compact Escape. Since its birth in 2001, the Escape has maintained relevance in an ever changing market. Having been a part of the compact SUV segment from the start, its popularity has undoubtedly paved the way for the proliferation of its segment. This third generation, having been on the market since 2012, needed to stay current ahead of its 2017 refresh. Ford delivered a solution to the Escape’s biggest problem, its dated infotainment system. 2016 Escapes, as well as most of Ford’s lineup, comes with Sync 3 software installed.
Although the Escape has not received a full redesign since 2012, they’ve made small updates along the way. Notable, some trim package and equipment changes. The Escape is actually based on the Focus platform, meaning it remains one of the best handling CUVs available. It has an engaging drive quality with responsive steering. The athletic prowess does not affect ride quality thankfully. However the upgraded 19″ wheels do. Ford offers three engine options on the Escape. The base engine is a 2.5-liter engine with 168 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The SE and Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost, offering 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The most lively engine offered, and equipped on our tester, is the turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four cylinder with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It’s optional on the SE and Titanium and is well worth the premium. This engine paired with the Escape’s chassis makes for a fun ride.
The interior of the Ford Escape is much the same from the previous year. It features comfortable and well padded front seats and a well appointed interior. Climate controls are sensibly laid out and the upgraded Sony stereo makes any journey more enjoyable. Ford provides you with opportunities to make the Escape your own. I love Ford’s ambient lighting and the ability to change the colors. One of the biggest weaknesses in previous years was its clunky and confusing MyFord Touch infotainment systems. Fortunately, the 2016 Ford Escape has the new Sync 3 system powered by BlackBerry. What makes it better than the MyFord Touch? First, it acts more like a smartphone, making it more intuitive to anyone born in the last 3 decades. Its voice recognition capabilities have vastly improved, which means its actually usable. Visually, you’ll notice that they’ve simplified the layout with larger fonts and on-screen buttons. You won’t find yourself taking your eyes off the road as often and you wont spend time poking though menus. The jury may still out regarding overall reliability, but the new system is a vast improvement in terms of usability and interface.
2016 marks 15 years in production for the Ford Escape. It’s one of the quickest compact SUVs in the segment, has decent fuel economy, and is genuninely a joy to drive. With the CUV market continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever for Ford to stay at the top of their game. Upgrading the infotainment system to the Sync 3 is a definite win for the Ford Escape. 2017 will bring further changes as the Escape goes though it’s midcycle refresh. Some visual changes, updated engines, and expanded Sync Connect technology will make the Escape more appealing than ever.
|2016 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD 2.0L EcoBoost
|Equipment Group 301A||$1,735|
|19″ Aluminum Wheels||$675|
|Sony Audio with Navigation||$795|
|As Tested MSRP||$36,330|