Ford Escape

The Ford Escape, a compact four-door SUV, was first introduced in 2001. Priced affordably and offered as an attractive combination of utility, versatility, and fun, the Escape was an instant hit with drivers.

More on the Ford Escape
Ford Escape Origins

The first generation of the Escape lasted until 2007. Up until that time, the vehicle was produced without any significant interior or exterior design alterations. However, the second generation of the Escape debuted in 2008 and featured a refreshed look, inside and out.

The Escape is very similar in design to the Mercury Mariner, another SUV produced by GM. Both vehicles feature underlying structures that were partially developed by Mazda. However, the Mariner offers additional features and a refined design that’s more in line with that of a luxury sedan.

About the Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is one of the bestselling smaller SUVs on the market. The success of the Escape is largely due to its effective blending of SUV styling and capability with the comfort and pragmatism of a mid-size sedan. The Escape’s appeal is also bolstered the fact that it is more affordably priced than many other vehicles on the smaller side of the SUV market segment.

Reviews indicate that the Escape offers good performance and an array of high-tech extras. Some experts have criticized the Escape for poor braking ability and for being a bit dated in comparison to other vehicles in the same segment of the market. However, Ford possesses a knack for designing SUVs with a broad appeal, and the Escape is no exceptionsince it remains one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market. The Escape has been available in both gasoline powered and Hybrid versions throughout most of its production run. The Hybrid version of the SUV notably offers more fuel efficiency than any other of itscompetition.

Ford Escape Features

Currently, the Ford Escape is available in three trim levels: XLS, XLT, and Limited. Despite the XLS being the base model, it offers a generous array of features including 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power accessories, air-conditioning, antilock brakes, and stabilization controls. The more deluxe XLT version features extras such as automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and full power driver seats. Upgrading to the top-of-the-line Limited trim level adds leather bound upholstery, front seat heating, and Ford’s Sync feature.

The 2012 Escape also offers drivers a host of extra options including dual-zone climate control, sunroof, an improved stereo system, rear parking sensors,a navigation system, and an automated parking system. Availability of specific options varies by trim level.

The Escape is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. While the compact Escape is technically an SUV, it’s generally more capable in on-road driving situations than in off-road ones. This is largely due to its independent suspension, light duty all-wheel drive system, and unibody construction. The standard engine for all models except the Limited is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which is rated at 171 horsepower. The standard transmission is a six-speed automatic. However, the XLS also offers the option of a five-speed manual. The V-6 is available as an option on the XLT and is only available with the six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford EscapeEvolution

The Ford Escape came in XLS, XLT, and XLT Sport trim levels when it debuted in 2001. Design changed slightly during its first generation. As a result, Escape SUVs produced between 2001 and 2007 were barely distinguishable from one model year to the next. First-year versions of the Escape were also subject to numerous recalls. Therefore, one should look for a model from 2002 or later to avoid mechanical issues.

Models made between 2001 and 2005 are typically equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is rated at 130 horsepower. In 2005, the Escape was given an engine upgrade and outfitted with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that offered an increase in horsepower to 153. Some first generation models of the Escape were also equipped with V-6 engines that produced 200 horsepower. Some four-cylinder versions of the first generation Escape were equipped with five-speed manual transmissions, but most featured four-speed automatics. V-6 versions of the first generation are all equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission.

In 2008, the Escape was given an interior and exterior redesign. Models since then were closer in appearance to Ford’s more contemporary-styled vehicles. The interior was also given a contemporary makeover. Controls were made more ergonomic and stylish. When the second generation came out, it featured the 153-hp four-cylinder and the 200-hp V-6. Ford began equipping the Escape with 171-hp four-cylinder engines and 240-hp V-6s in 2009. The Escape also received an improved transmission that year. The public saw the addition of many of the advanced technological features found in more recent models of the Escape in 2010.

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