Ford has reengineered its Escape SUV to feature more driver-assist technologies, new mobile connectivity and two new efficient EcoBoost engines. In fact, the new Ford Escape is the carmaker’s first vehicle to come with available SYNC Connect that enables customers to unlock doors, check fuel level and determine its parking location.
With SYNC Connect, drivers could access their Ford Escape remotely through their smartphones. Using a special app installed on any smartphone, owners can use SYNC Connect to remotely start their SUVs as well as schedule future starts.
They could also access certain information like tire pressures, battery and fuel levels. SYNC Connect is available with SYNC 3 for the new Ford Escape and comes with complimentary activation for five years.
To enable their SYNC Connect, users just need to undergo a two-step authentication process that is designed to protect their personal information. SYNC 3 is perfect for those who want a faster infotainment system that could recognize even conversational voice. It also comes with intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easy-to-understand graphical interface.
On the other hand, providing ample support to Ford Escape drivers are its driver-assist technologies like adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support as well as an improved active park assist and a lane-keeping system.
These features are designed to make daily driving safer and easier in the new Ford Escape. For instance, the adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support feature sensors that could detect that the Escape is nearing a slow-moving vehicle.
Then the system will adjust cruise control accordingly. On the other hand, the enhanced active park assist technology supports the driver during a maneuver into a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot. This technology, which includes side park distance control, also helps the driver to pull out from tight parallel parking spots.
Meanwhile, the lane-keeping system features lane-keeping alert and lane-keeping aid technologies. Lane-keeping alert provides a warning to drivers when it detects that the SUV is drifting unintentionally from the lane. Lane-keeping aid, meanwhile, provides steering assistance to guide a drifting vehicle back into its lane.
Moreover, the Driver Alert System uses data from the lane-keeping system to determine whether the driver is showing signs of fatigued driving. If these signs are present, the technology will then provide a warning on the instrument cluster.
The new Ford Escape still features existing driver-assist technologies like Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert (BLIS), hill-start assist, auto high-beam control and hands-free, foot-activated liftgate. BLIS provides a warning when the SUV enters a blind spot in a neighboring lane. The warning is indicated by a light on the side mirror corresponding to the location of the blind side.
The hill-start assist system, meanwhile, keeps the Escape in a stationary position on the hill when the driver is transitioning from brake to gas pedal. An approaching vehicle blinded by an inappropriate beam could lead to accident.
This can be prevented by the auto high-beam control system, which automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting. Opening the liftgate when one’s hand is full could be a hassle, but Ford Escape comes with a foot-activated liftgate that opens when the driver is in possession of the key fob kicks beneath rear bumper.
Customers can choose from three trim levels for their Escape SUVs: S, SE and Titanium trim levels. SE and Titanium customers, meanwhile, could avail of the new Sport Appearance Package. Customers purchasing Escape Titanium the could opt for the Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim, which comes in Salerno leather seats with distinct horizontal pattern.
They could also avail of the optional Medium Stone seats that will perfectly contrast with the SUV’s black interior. The new Ford Escape will be available in three new colors -- Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue -- and in six new wheel designs.
With the Escape, Ford is hoping to take advantage of the growing demand for SUVs not only in North America, but also around the globe. In fact, SUVs now account for around a third of the auto industry in the US and sales of the vehicle type are expected to top five million units for the first time this year.
Ford is also very optimistic of the demand for SUVs, expecting them to account for 40 percent of US sales by the end of the decade. The Ford Escape remains one of the most popular small SUVs around, with record sales of 306,212 units in North America in 2014. The carmaker expects to top that record this year. Since launching the Escape in 2000, Ford has sold over 3 million units in the US.