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. I was a part of the Escape with Ford event last summer, a day I called the greatest day in my life. My wife and kids weren’t impressed. I still stand by my statement.
The Ford Escape I had was a black 2013 Titanium edition. It’s hard to describe my first impressions because I already loved the vehicle. So here is what I liked about the SUV.
- I am 6’4″ tall. I am comfortable in it despite it being a crossover. 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. Maggi is a Lab/Weimaraner cross and is a big dog. It would have been perfect to take her to the lake for the weekend. 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. In Mayfair and all over the city, the streets are deeply rutted with ice and are quite dangerous to drive on. The Ford Escape shows how hard the traction control is working and it was at work driving through our side streets. 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. The Ford Escape didn’t move at all. Traction control works amazing. 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. While at the Escape with Ford event, we did a high speed driving course and one of the parts was collision avoidance. When swerving at high speed, the Escape actually settles down for more control. 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. I had Wendy and the boys in the back, hit the brakes and swerved to avoid the idiot. 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. As I said to Wendy, “This thing just saved us from being seriously hurt”. I have never cared that much about safety features until I tried the Escape.
- I am a big Ford MyTouch fan. So are my kids. I turn on the navigation screen and Oliver is fascinated the entire time we are in the car. He actually asked if we could go for a drive so he can watch the “Ford TV”. Whatever works folks, whatever works.
- It has a USB charger built in.
- Since I don’t use the Ford Sync that much, it starts out like a therapy session. I ask it one thing and it says, “did you mean…” Its like having a therapist in your car. 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. A commute is made tolerable because of ESPN Radio. 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. It is the Sony factory system and I really enjoyed it. Using the Ford MyTouch screen in the car, it is easily customizable. After a couple of minutes of changing the preferences, I was able to get an amazing sound from it.
- The kick lift gate. Here is another feature I was introduced to at the Escape with Ford event. We played a game of how quick we could carry a box and get it into the back of the SUV. The rear lift gate can be opened by a kicking motion. 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.
- The Ford Escape’s soul is a sports car. At the Escape with Ford event, we got to push the Escape’s to the limit on the closed course. Around town I drove it pretty conservatively (my fuel efficiency was quite a bit higher than Chris Enns. 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. 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. I never thought of it but the seats do make a big difference on a cold Saskatchewan morning. For those of you not from Saskatchewan, some of our mornings are -40 and it can stay that way for weeks at a time. Heated seats make a difference.
- A bonus from the heated seats is that I can easily turn up the seat without the passenger knowing it. 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. With traction control it never slid or lost control. 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. This was bad as Chris is one of Saskatoon’s Alpha Geeks and if he couldn’t fix it, it was broken. It would not do it with mine either. I looked around the Ford MyTouch, found the master reset and rebooted the Sync. It still would not sync. It didn’t sync with Wendy’s Android either.
One day I left work right after Pope Francis was named pontiff and it recognized my phone. Coincidence or divine intervention? 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. When that happens, they beep. A lot. Kind of like this. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
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. 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. They were actually fine with it until they realized Wendy and I had heated leather seats. The remedy of this is not to take the kids car shopping.
The Ford MyTouch is a bit sluggish. I thought it was my Ford but according to the interweb it’s the software. I know it’s hard to believe that Microsoft would ship sluggish software….
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, 5–60 mph: 7.5 sec
- Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
- Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
- Standing ¼-mile: 15.3 sec @ 90 mph
- Top speed (gov ltd): 118 mph
- Braking, 70–0 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. It’s a powerful, quick, and responsive SUV which is big enough for my family, whether around town or on a longer road trip. 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. 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.