For the last couple of weeks I have been reviewing and test driving a 2013 Ford Escape, compliments of Ford Canada.
It’s not the first time I had seen a Ford Escape. Â I was a part of the Escape with Ford event last summer, a day I called the greatest day in my life. Â My wife and kids weren’t impressed. Â I still stand by my statement.
The Ford Escape I had was a black 2013 Titanium edition. Â It’s hard to describe my first impressions because I already loved the vehicle. Â So here is what I liked about the SUV.
- I am 6’4″ tall. Â I am comfortable in it despite it being a crossover. Â Lots of leg and head room.
- I didn’t have my dog Maggi in the car but there would have been lots of room for her in the back. Â Maggi is a Lab/WeimaranerÂ cross and is a big dog. Â It would have been perfect to take her to the lake for the weekend. Â Knowing Maggi, she would have tried to take the passenger seat and have Wendy in the back but whatever works.
- The traction control is quite incredible. Â In Mayfair and all over the city, the streets are deeply rutted with ice and are quite dangerous to drive on. Â The Ford Escape shows how hard the traction control is working and it was at work driving through our side streets. Â One morning last week while driving 20 kph down Avenue E, the SUV in front of me driving the same speed went sideways in the ruts. Â The Ford Escape didn’t move at all. Â Traction control works amazing. Â It’s one of those things I don’t think you would think of in a test drive but then when driving it prevents a collision.
- Speaking of collisions. Â While at the Escape with Ford event, we did a high speed driving course and one of the parts was collision avoidance. Â When swerving at high speed, the Escape actually settles down for more control. Â It’s cool on a closed course but amazing when you are driving along Circle Drive doing the speed limit and someone decides to cross three lanes of traffic at about half your speed. Â I had Wendy and the boys in the back, hit the brakes and swerved to avoid the idiot. Â Despite hitting the brakes and swerving hard to avoid the accident and other cars, the Escape never lost control for a second and I am not sure the boys realized how close we were to a serious accident. Â As I said to Wendy, “This thing just saved us from being seriously hurt”. Â I have never cared that much about safety features until I tried the Escape.Â
- I am a big Ford MyTouch fan. Â So are my kids. Â I turn on the navigation screen and Oliver is fascinated the entire time we are in the car. Â He actually asked if we could go for a drive so he can watch the “Ford TV”. Â Whatever works folks, whatever works.Â
- It has a USB charger built in.
- Since I don’t use the Ford Sync that much, it starts out like a therapy session. Â I ask it one thing and it says, “did you meanâ€¦” Â Its like having a therapist in your car. Â After two weeks I am communicating with Samantha a lot better (apparently that is what the voice is named according to Ford)
- It does come with Sirius Satellite Radio which is awesome. Â A commute is made tolerable because of ESPN Radio. Â I don’t know if I drive enough to make it worthwhile in the long term but I love it when I have it.
- After I bought my Bose headphones, I started to listen to my music in a whole new way which was a good way of listening to the stereo in the car. Â It is the Sony factory system and I really enjoyed it. Â Using the Ford MyTouch screen in the car, it is easily customizable. Â After a couple of minutes of changing the preferences, I was able to get an amazing sound from it. Â
- The kick lift gate. Â Here is another feature I was introduced to at the Escape with Ford event. Â We played a game of how quick we could carry a box and get it into the back of the SUV. Â The rear lift gate can be opened by a kicking motion. Â At the time I thought it was a stupid feature but again, you are surprised at how awesome of feature it is in the real world. Â
- The Ford Escape’s soul is a sports car. Â At the Escape with Ford event, we got to push the Escape’s to the limit on the closed course. Â Around town I drove it pretty conservatively (my fuel efficiency was quite a bit higher than Chris Enns. Â Of course the flip side is that the Ford Sync always seemed sad when I got in instead of Chris.
- A friend of mine is going through an illness making him very sensitive to the cold. Â He was talking about how awesome heated seats are in his car because they keep him warm until the heater starts to kick out heat. Â I never thought of it but the seats do make a big difference on a cold Saskatchewan morning. Â For those of you not from Saskatchewan, some of our mornings are -40 and it can stay that way for weeks at a time. Â Heated seats make a difference.Â
- A bonus from the heated seats is that I can easily turn up the seat without the passenger knowing it. Â There is some comedy gold there folks.
- I did have it through two snow storms and you would never have known it was anything less than summer driving conditions. Â With traction control it never slid or lost control. Â It’s an ideal SUV for winter conditions.
Some random thoughts based on my experience with the Ford Escape
When I picked up the Escape from Chris Enns, he mentioned that the Ford Sync wasn’t syncing with his iPhone. Â This was bad as Chris is one of Saskatoon’s Alpha Geeks and if he couldn’t fix it, it was broken.Â It would not do it with mine either. Â I looked around the Ford MyTouch, found the master reset and rebooted the Sync. Â It still would not sync. Â It didn’t sync with Wendy’s Android either. Â
One day I left work right after Pope Francis was named pontiff and it recognized my phone. Â Coincidence or divine intervention? Â The Vatican just says that the miracle is being attributed to St. Francis.
The collision avoidance sensors get dirty and covered with grime and ice in Saskatoon’s winters. Â When that happens, they beep. Â A lot. Â Kind of like this. Â BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Â
Then the next time you are stopped at a light.
to get under
I finally just tossed a micro fibre cloth in the Escape and would wipe the sensors off every day or so. Â On a totally unrelated note, I have no idea where Wendy’s micro fibre cloth went.
The kids (Mark and Oliver) didn’t like the lack of heating in the leather rear seats. Â They were actually fine with it until they realized Wendy and I had heated leather seats. Â The remedy of this is not to take the kids car shopping.
The Ford MyTouch is a bit sluggish. Â I thought it was my Ford but according to the interweb it’s the software. Â I know it’s hard to believe that Microsoft would ship sluggish softwareâ€¦.
Specifications (snagged from Car and Driver)
- VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door crossover
- ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled inline-4, aluminum block and head
- Displacement: 122 cu in, 1999 cc
- Power: 240 hp @ 5500 rpm
- Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
- TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
- Wheelbase: 105.9 in
- Length: 178.1 in
- Width: 72.4 in Height: 66.3 in
- Curb weight: 3804 lb
- Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec
- Zero to 100 mph: 19.6 sec
- Street start, 5â€“60 mph: 7.5 sec
- Top gear, 30â€“50 mph: 3.5 sec
- Top gear, 50â€“70 mph: 4.8 sec
- Standing Â¼-mile: 15.3 sec @ 90 mph
- Top speed (gov ltd): 118 mph
- Braking, 70â€“0 mph: 172 ft
- Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.81 g
This is one of my favourite vehicles that I have ever gotten behind the wheel of. Â It’s a powerful, quick, and responsive SUV which is big enough for my family, whether around town or on a longer road trip. Â It’s also one of those cars that unless you test drive it during a blizzard, you won’t realize how incredible it is until that first winter or first time you need to brake and steer more aggressively than you thought possible. Â There is a lot more to this SUV than a test drive will show and I am glad I was able to have it for a couple of weeks.