The more things modified, the more they stay the same. when we first drove the 2017 Ford Escape back in may 2016 with the powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, crossovers were booming – second only on the sales charts to full-size pickups. It’s now early 2017, and guess what? Crossovers are still booming. The only difference is, we’re disbursement per week in a less-powerful Escape equipped with the smaller, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, and we’re unsure it’s up to snuff in this cutthroat CUV market.
Let’s set the stage for the task the 179-horsepower, 1.5-liter Escape has ahead of it. These crossovers are volume vehicles, marketing in the hundreds of thousands every year. Competition is fierce, the stakes are high, and the payoff for building a hit is large. To put this in perspective, the Escape sits in fourth place among CUVs according to the January 2017 sales numbers, with Ford moving 20,588 of them last month.
That creates it the eighth-best-selling vehicle overall in the us, and the popular domestic vehicle that is not a full-size pickup – not too shabby, right? this is the big leagues. The problem is that all the direct CUV opponents that matter crowd above it. The Honda CR-V presently has the 2017 CUV sales crown, with 29,287 units, followed closely by the Nisan Rouge (28,760) and Toyota RAV4 (22,155).
Honda and Toyota also are playing for keeps. The CR-V and RAV4 are better than they’ve ever been – comfy, quiet, powerful, and full of convenience choices. And the 2017 CR-V, which impressed us with its various enhancements as well as the powerful and efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged four from the Civic, erodes one of the Escape’s draws: a choice of two turbocharged engine choices.
Ford Escape Features
Attractive, utilitarian, and with an documentary system that aggravates less than most, the Escape has a lot going for it. There are some gripes, however. I did not see anything near the 24-mpg combined EPA rating in my week with the Escape. Of course, EPA ratings dissent significantly from real-world results, and the EPA test cycle does not look much like my circuit of errands and outings.
Even so, I expected to see more than the roughly 21.5 mpg indicated the Escape returned, even though i was driving it conservatively. The economy was unsatisfying particularly given the 1.5-liter’s lack of overall grunt. Its larger-displacement competitors all beat it in EPA testing, and considering how little turbocharged engines perform in the real world, they are likely to beat the Escape out on the road also.
We had a few minutes with the 1.5-liter on our first drive, even if we focused on the 2.0-liter. At the time, our reviewer found the Escape to be “near-silent” below most loads. this time around, that won’t the case: The 1.5-liter proved to be a buzzy companion. It works hard to move the Escape, particularly up the rolling foothills of Western Washington. Uphill, the poor Escape reels, punchdrunk, from bogging at the cusp of stalling to suddenly surging forward after a double downshift.
Ford Escape Performance
Provide the accelerator a harder shove, await the little engine to come into its powerband, and it moves together with some authority. It’s simply that in normal driving, the transmission does its absolute best to keep you out of that thirsty powerband, keeping that turbo unspooled and the engine in the more economical confines of the lower rev range.
This is apprehensible if you consider our tester just one of a multitude of Escapes that are ultimately simply numbers on a cafe economy standards spreadsheet. Sadly, it is not a compromise that works well in the real world. Ultimately, the 1.5-liter Escape could be a miscellanea. It’s undeniably handsome, and the interior is comfortable.
Its synchronize 3 system is, among the competitive set, arguably the strongest choice. However the frenzied engine rankles, and maybe the a lot of stronger 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine – less fuel-efficient, sure, but packing a compelling 245 Horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torsion – is the best Escape to do battle with its CUV peers.
To mis-paraphrase a previous idiom, if you cannot beat ’em, smoke ’em, that the hot-rod 2.0-liter Escape surely can. Since there is lots of choice in the CUV sphere, Ford should begin thinking currently about how to push the much-improved 2017 CR-V from the top of the heap.