Escaping the Kuga with more tech, sharper price

Escaping the Kuga with more tech, sharper price

Ford is rebranding its revamped small SUV as the Escape from December as the vehicle is arriving at dealerships with a refreshed design, new engines, more technology, and a sharper price tag.

Ford says it is responding to customer demand for a broader line-up with the addition of a front-wheel drive mid-range Escape Trend and sharpened pricing across the range.

The changes for the new Escape SUV over the previous Kuga SUV include a refreshed design inside and out for a distinctive look, improved specification and features across the range, and improved value for money and better fuel economy for 2.0-litre models thanks to automatic start/stop as standard.

A new front-wheel-drive 1.5L EcoBoost Escape Trend provides customers a new entry level recommended retail price of $37,990.

The Escape features Ford’s latest design language for a bold, smart look shared with other Ford SUVs, including the all-new Edge arriving in New Zealand in 2018.

Functional fog lamps complement the sleek new headlamps incorporating daytime running lights while restyled taillights complete the exterior look while a new range of 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs and two new colours will also be on offer.

Escape drivers will find an array of new convenience features, including ISOFIX anchorage points, an electronic parking brake, improved storage in the centre console, rear tray tables on the Titanium and rear air-vents on all models.

It offers up to 1603 litres of cargo space with the rear stadium seating folded.

All models will feature paddle-shift controls that enable drivers to select gears, adding to Ford’s fun-to-drive ethos. Laminated front side glass helps to improve cabin ambiance.

The Ford Escape will allow drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Ford’s new SYNC3 connectivity system.

By pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee” for example, SYNC3  will find nearby cafés. Other simple voice commands can also find petrol stations or car parks, train stations, airports, and hotels.

It can then guide the driver to the selected destination via the embedded navigation that’s standard across the Escape range. Voice search results are enhanced by a better understanding of how consumers refer to businesses and points of interest.

Escape drivers can operate SYNC3’s 8.0-inch touchscreen – the largest in this class – in the same way, that they use their smartphones. A new interface features larger, easier to operate buttons and enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.

iPhone users can activate Apple CarPlay to use iPhones in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimized for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road.

Android users can activate Android Auto making apps and services that are already widely used accessible in safer and seamless ways in the Escape, including Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Play.

SYNC3 also delivers AppLink for customers, enabling voice-activation from the driver’s seat of a range of smartphone apps that now includes Spotify, AccuWeather, and Pandora.

Ford’s adaptive front lighting system is available for the Escape and monitors ambient light conditions and automatically optimizes visibility by adjusting the beam angle of the new bi-xenon headlights depending on the vehicle’s speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front. It features anti-glare capability, as well as country road, city street and also maneuvering beam shaping abilities.

The Escape’s sculpted bonnet features a wider, uninterrupted central dome incorporating a structural design that improves pedestrian protection in the event of an accident. The bonnet and rear liftgate are re-engineered to help mitigate damage to more expensive-to-replace components.

It also introduces an enhanced version of Ford’s active city stop collision avoidance system, which now operates at speeds of up to 50km/h, increased from 30km/h.

The Escape also now offers new perpendicular parking functionality enhances the semi-autonomous active park assist technology. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.

Recommended Retail Pricing

Ford Escape Ambiente

  • 1.5L EcoBoost FWD 6-speed Automatic             $37,990
  • 1.5L EcoBoost AWD 6-speed Automatic             $40,990

Ford Escape Trend

  • 1.5L EcoBoost FWD 6-speed Automatic             $41,990
  • 2.0L EcoBoost AWD 6-speed Automatic             $44,990
  • 2.0L TDCi AWD 6-speed Automatic                   $46,490

Ford Escape Titanium

  • 2.0L EcoBoost AWD 6-speed Automatic             $53,490
  • 2.0L TDCi AWD 6-speed Automatic                   $54,990
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