The long-anticipated next-generation Ford Escape has been official unveiled at the 2015 LA Auto Show. Totally revised with new looks, two new powertrains, and a slew of technology features that not only make the Escape a better crossover, but a more connected one. That will surely help drive sales in this day in age.

The new Escape hasn’t grown over the outgoing model, but does take plenty of styling details from its larger brother, the Edge. The trapezoidal grille leads into a more angular design with a more premium feel. The steeply raked windshield returns, allowing for plenty of forward visibility.

Inside, a more upscale cabin greets all five passengers. The driver now has the use of SYNC 3, Ford’s latest infotainment software. What’s more, the Escape is also debuting SYNC 3’s newest feature called SYNC Connect. Coming with a free, five-year subscription, SYNC Connect allows owners to remotely start, lock and unlock, monitor diagnostics, and track vehicle location from a securely connected smartphone.

Of course, the new Escape come with Ford’s modern assortment of safety systems, including the blind spot information system, hill-start assist, auto high-beam control, and the foot-operated rear tailgate. New for the Escape is adaptive cruise control, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Lane-Keeping System, and the Driver Alert System.

Updated 11/17/2015: Ford unveiled the 2017 Escape at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Escape.

  • 2017 Ford Escape
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic (Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    181 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    185 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L (Est.)
  • 0-60 time:
    9.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    23500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
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Here we see the Escape’s new six-sided grille borrowed from the updated Edge and current Fusion sedan. Within the grille lies two horizontal bars that hold the blue oval. Flanking the grille are updated HID headlights with LED daytime running lights. The lights’ design feature a few sharp angles as evidenced by the angular side marker visible in the front three-quarter view.

the bumper features a large center cut-out with two faux openings on either side near the fog lights

Down low, the bumper features a large center cut-out with two faux openings on either side near the fog lights.

Around the side, the Escape looks rather similar to the current model. The strong belt line runs under the windows and kinks upward at the D-pillar. Below that, a hard accent line runs through the door handles, giving the crossover a wider appearance. Lastly, a kink in the doors near the rocker panel brings the SUVs visual weight down low.

Out back, the updated rear end features new taillights. The new units blend from the side of the quarter panel onto the liftgate. The familiar license plate surround returns, helping the Escape keeps its recognizable identity. Down low, dual exhaust tips peek from under the bumper. A two-inch trailer hitch receiver is optional.

Three new color options are available, as were six new wheel designs. The colors include Canyon Ridge, White Gold, and Lightning Blue.

Interior

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Interior
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It’s here within the cabin that many of the changes take place for 2017. The dashboard is completely new, updated with new lines and styling details, while still holding some familiarity with the outgoing design. The driver is treated to a color information screen mounted with the four analog gauges.

The large touchscreen in the center stack is now home to SYNC 3, Ford’s latest SYNC software.

The large touchscreen in the center stack is now home to SYNC 3, Ford’s latest SYNC software. It is said to be easier to operate, contain better graphics than before, and offer more functions, the biggest of which is SYNC Connect.

Climate controls are mounted below the infotainment system, while a USB port and 12-volt power outlet are mounted below that. The center console holds the shifter, two cup holders, and some smaller storages slots.

Back seat passengers enjoy a 60/40 split bench that can be folded for extra cargo space. A center armrest gives elbows a place to relax. Speaking of cargo room, the rear area of the Escape offers a respectable amount of cargo room, and even more with the second row folded flat. Getting into the cargo area is simple, thanks to Ford’s hands-free, foot-operated, power liftgate. Just swipe your foot under the rear bumper with the key in your pocket, and the tailgate will open.

Drivetrain

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
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Behind the newly shaped grille are two all-new engine options. Gone are the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines, replaced with similarly sized four-cylinder mills, but with improved efficiency and performance.

The mid-range engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost.

The mid-range engine – and likely powering the majority of Escapes – is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost. Ford has yet to release finalized output specs, but suspects the engine will produce 180 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.

Coming as an optional engine on SE and Titanium trim levels is an all-new 2.0-liter EcoBoost. The engine uses a twin-scroll turbocharger to help create 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque – a five horsepower and five pound-feet improvement over the outing unit. Ford says the new engine has improved efficiency thanks to a higher compression ratio and integrated exhaust manifold, along with improved NVH levels and performance.

The standard engine is still the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine that carries over from the previous generation. It produces 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.

All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. SE and Titanium models will get paddle shifter for manual control. AWD will remain an option.

Prices

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
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Ford isn’t likely to jack the price too high with the updates. The current Escape starts at $22,960 and tops out just over $30,000. At most, Ford might tack on another $500 to $900 to the base MSRP of each trim level.

Speaking of trim levels, the Escape should continue with the same three trim packages: S, SE, and Titanium.

Trim Level Price*
S $22,960
SE $24,860
Titanium $29,245

*Prices for 2015 models

Competition

Honda CR-V

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V Exterior
- image 570635

Like the Escape, the CR-V got its last major design updates in 2012, though for the Honda, 2015 brought a mid-cycle refresh. The newest rounds of updates bring a far-funkier front clip with an interesting new design featuring a grille the flows into the headlights. Like in years past, the CR-V maintains its impressive approach angle and tall greenhouse. Likewise, the interior for 2015 has been revamped to include upscale materials and better ergonomics.

The drivetrain also got a welcomed refresh for 2015. A new 2.4-liter four-cylinder featuring Honda’s “Earth Dreams” technology puts out 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Those hippie technologies include direct fuel injection and Honda’s famed i-VTEC system. A CVT remains the only transmission choice.

Pricing for the 2015 CR-V starts at $23,320 and climbs into the low $30,000 range for the top trim packages.
Read our full review here

Toyota RAV4

2015 Toyota RAV4 - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 617526

The RAV4 has been Toyota’s answer to the small crossover since before time began, though its most recent refresh came in 2013. The update included funky new styling that is rather unconventional compared to the 2012 model, yet feels at home against the current Escape, Rouge, and CR-V. Those design changes have held fast through 2015 with only minor changes.

Under the hood lies a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers fall under its competition and it’s noticeable when driving. During a recent test, the RAV4’s engine felt just adequate for pulling the crossover along. Nevertheless, gas mileage retuned a respectable 25 mpg combined, despite the tester having AWD

Pricing for the 2015 RAV4 starts at $23,680 and dives into the low $30,000.
Read our full review here

Conclusion

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
- image 655885

The updates to the Escape should help it stay relevant in this highly competitive segment. With SUV and crossover sales soaring these days, it’s no wonder why Ford and other automakers are pouring so much into these high-riding sedan alternatives.

The visual, interior, and mechanical updates on the 2017 Escape seem well conceived and smartly timed. The current Escape is still fresh as it’s only three years old (having been released for 2012), but by 2017, the new design will be a welcomed sight. The updated 1.5-liter EcoBoost powertrain will also help fuel economy numbers while also keeping the Escape within a lower tax bracket in China. U.S. buyers hungry for horsepower will enjoy the added power within the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost.

All told, the Escape is a popular crossover and these updates will only further its world domination.

  • Leave it
    • * No solid fuel economy numbers yet
    • * Could increase in price

Spy Shots

May 18, 2015 - First testing session

2017 Ford Escape Exterior Spyshots
- image 630543
2017 Ford Escape Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Ford Escape Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

The popular Ford Escape SUV is newly engineered to make customers feel unstoppable – with even more driver-assist technologies to help enable safer and easier driving, new mobile connectivity that allows owners to interact with their vehicle from anywhere through a smartphone app, and two new efficient EcoBoost® engines.

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
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The new Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.

To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist. That’s all packed in a vehicle that has been redesigned from the inside out, including a driver and front passenger area upgraded with more storage space and mobile device charge ports.

“The compact SUV segment is the largest and most competitive in the United States, and the new Escape delivers even more of what our customers want – more technology they can really use to make their daily drive safer and easier,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.

SYNC Connect keeps drivers in touch with remote vehicle access
Need to lock your new Escape from across town? There is an app for that.

With SYNC Connect, owners can remotely start their vehicle and schedule future starts, as well as lock and unlock their Escape using their smartphones. The technology provides vehicle location, as well as key vehicle information such as tire pressures, battery and fuel levels.

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 655892

SYNC Connect, available with SYNC® 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.

Driver-assist technologies SUV drivers want
Other driver-assist features available help make the daily commute safer and easier for drivers of the new Ford Escape:

·Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support: Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly
Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control
Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane
Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster

Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:

Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS® can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching
Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal
Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting
Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper – perfect for those whose hands are loaded with gear

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
- image 655893

Two new EcoBoost engines with Auto Start-Stop
Escape is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically – in less than half a second – when the driver releases the brake pedal.

“Auto Start-Stop is the equivalent of turning off the lights when you leave a room, or turning off a water faucet when you’re done washing dishes,” said Milton Wong, Escape chief engineer. “It’s a high-tech approach to more efficient driving.”

Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.

The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.

The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter – an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque.

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Exterior
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Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.

Three trim levels, with new Sport Appearance Package
Escape customers can continue to select from S, SE and Titanium trim levels, as well as a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium.

Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim is available for Escape Titanium. Salerno leather seats feature a unique horizontal pattern. Titanium customers can also opt for Medium Stone seats to contrast with the black interior.

Escape will be offered in three new colors – Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue. Six new wheel designs are also available.

Built to lead in a growing segment
Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher – both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the U.S. auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40 percent by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time ever.

Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.

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