Fresh from its 2005-model-year redesign, the fun, agile and durable Ford Escape enters 2006 with exp and ed availability of its new four-cylinder engine and two new paint colors. Escape’s style, roominess, fuel-economy and affordability continue to make it the segment leader. It is geared to active singles and couples, first-time SUV buyers, and those who desire SUV qualities in a more compact, fuel efficient package.
Design and Equipment
Two new paint colors freshen the Ford Escape’s aggressive appearance for 2006. Titanium Green Clearcoat Metallic is available on Limited models, while Blazing Copper Clearcoat Metallic can be found on XLS, XLT and XLT Sport versions.
The new-for-2005 Escape design updates included new headlamps, fog lamps, front and rear fascias, 15-inch and 16-inch aluminum wheels and a honeycomb grille. The lower bumpers in the front and rear have stylized ribs.
Customers can now choose from a dozen common equipment configurations in XLS, XLT, XLT Sport and Limited trims. Escape Limited customers can select the Luxury Comfort Package which includes a 320-watt Audiophile stereo with six-disc in-dash CD player, six speakers plus subwoofer, as well as heated front seats, heated side mirrors and the Reverse Sensing System.
Escape’s interior stresses comfort, convenience and roominess. Highlights include a standard flow-through console, floor-mounted shifter, modern gauges, numerous storage spaces and modern seat fabrics. The popular rear liftgate with flip-up glass offers easy access to the generous cargo area. The Cargo Convenience Group available on all models combines a retractable cargo area cover with a rear cargo storage bin for additional utility and security.
Powertrain and Chassis
The Ford Escape comes with either an economical, smooth and surprisingly torquey Duratec 23 four-cylinder engine or the eager 200-horsepower Duratec 30 V-6 engine.
Since it became available last year, the 2.3-liter Duratec 23 4-cylinder engine has surprised customers with its combination of power and fuel economy. The engine develops 153 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque, while a balance shaft provides exceptional smoothness. The four-cylinder engine is backed by either an automatic or short-throw manual transmission.
St and ard on XLT Sport and Limited is the Duratec 30 V-6 engine. With 200 peak horsepower, it is one of the most powerful engines in the segment.
The available automatic Intelligent 4WD System provides excellent traction and stability with a smooth, fuel-efficient operation, even in slippery conditions. The computer-controlled system operates so seamlessly that its engagement is barely noticeable to most drivers. Escape also is available in a front-wheel-drive configuration.
Known among enthusiasts for its hallmark driving dynamics on pavement, Escape is also the only small SUV designed to pass the rigorous Tough Truck testing given to all Ford trucks and SUVs.
Safety and Security
Safety is paramount with the 2006 Escape. Its body structure has been designed to perform well in offset frontal crashes, while st and ard safety equipment includes dual front air bags with passenger-seat weight-sensing technology. The Personal Safety System™ with occupant classification sensor is st and ard on all models, and three-point safety belts are st and ard at all seating positions.
Anti-lock brakes are st and ard across the lineup. The available Safety Package combines Ford’s exclusive Safety Canopy™ rollover protection system with front side air bags.
Major Features and Options
XLS Manual: 2.3-liter Duratec 23 I-4 engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel ABS, 15-inch steel wheels, grey front and rear fascia and body cladding, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, roof side rails, AM/FM stereo with CD player, low-back cloth front bucket seats, 60/40 split rear seat, air conditioning, center console with two cup holders, dual vanity mirrors, cargo floor hooks, front air bags, LATCH child seat attachments in rear outboard seating positions and SecuriLock passive anti-theft system.
XLS adds: four-speed automatic transmission.
XLT adds: 16-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, roof rack with two horizontal bars, privacy glass, speed controls on steering wheel, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, premium cloth seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, floor mats and perimeter alarm.
XLT Sport adds: 16-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, painted Dark Shadow Grey fascias, cladding and wheel-lip moldings and black step bars.
Limited adds: Monochromatic appearance with body-color door and liftgate h and les, fascia and cladding, leather seating surfaces, overhead console with dual storage bins, automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, message center and dual illuminated vanity mirrors.
Options include the Luxury Comfort package, Safety Package, Leather Comfort Group, Class II towing preparation, moonroof and a cargo convenience group with rear cargo area shade and a rear storage bin.