Updated Ford Escape – Looks More Like a Hot Hatch

by Hubert Mckinney / SUV

Ford purposefully and systematically brings shine to its entire range of SUV – after the Explorer and Edge the third one, Escape, is ready to be retuned, restyled, facelifted (in Europe the crossover is known as Ford Kuga): the current modernization has become the fourth for this very model and, as they say in the company, one of the largest in quantity and quality of changes. So far, however, it is known about only part of the truth of this statement: the chassis and structure as a whole have remained virtually unchanged. Dimensions of the new 2018 Ford Escape remains nearly the same as well.

What Is New?

In the exterior, a new hexagonal radiator grille strikes the eye, giving the SUV a more respectable look, but cutting off individuality due to its similarity with other brand models. New headlights, a slightly different forge on the hood – all these changes can hardly be called radical, and the new Kuga is identified immediately – the main features have not gone away.

In the cabin there is a change, but also more is made just to change, although generally pleasant. There was a new three-spoke steering wheel, which is better in the hand, now there are paddle shifters of the automatic gearbox, the usual handbrake replaced the button of the electromechanical parking brake, which allowed to free up additional space in the central tunnel. There now appeared a horizontal curtain. Armchairs due to the elongated cushion have become more convenient, but even earlier it was all right with them.

Escape has received a new multimedia system called SYNC 3 with an 8-inch display in the top-end trim, with navigation and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

MyKey security system, on the contrary, is available in the base trim, which allows the owner to independently program the keys, introducing certain restrictions: you can set a speed limit or ban on turning on the car stereo without a fastened belt and so on – the function will be useful if the car is driven by a novice driver.

Updated Escape acquired an improved parking assistance system. Now the car will be able to stand up not only on a parallel road, but also perpendicular. But for ordinary drivers who are able to park themselves, it will be very useful to notify the driver, who is giving back in conditions of reduced visibility, about cars passing at that moment on the road.

Under the hood of the new 2018 model year Ford Escape redesigned, the main 1.5-liter EcoBoost is installed to replace the old 1.6-liter power unit. The output power is 180 hp, the maximum torque is 184 ft lb. The second engine is a modernized 2-liter EcoBoost producing 245 hp and 275 ft lb of peak torque: with a new piston group and an improved intake system. As the manufacturer assures, the new engine has become much quieter and more comfortable. Both power units are equipped with the Start/Stop system, which in theory allows saving about 4-6% of fuel at average loads.

In addition, the SUV will be offered with a revised 2.5-liter naturally aspirated for 168 hp and 169 ft lb of the maximum torque – it’s basically interesting to say and write nothing – it will be installed exclusively in the basic version, which in general is unlikely to be of any interest to anyone. Moreover, 2018 Ford Escape with such engine has high MPG ratings.

New Escape Design In Details

Here are some detailed pictures of 2018 Ford Escape’s exterior design


More Convenient Interior

Bulky four-spoke steering wheel has remained in the past – now the 2018 Ford Escape interior has not only beautiful but also comfortable three-spoke steering wheel. The mechanical handbrake, which occupied the territory of a small unrecognized republic between the seats, became electronic and is now controlled by a neat button on the central tunnel, adjacent to the cupholders, a 12 volt outlet and a small niche for the smartphone. The climate control unit completely changed, and the screen of the multimedia system was seriously distributed in size. The dashboard has also changed.

But the updated Escape surprises not because of this. The main thing here is an unexpectedly classy and high-quality finish. The plastic on the entire front panel and partly on the doors is soft and expensive in appearance. The steering wheel feels pretty good too. Rubberized regulators of climate control spin with a pleasant, solid effort. Decorative inserts in black piano lacquer styling – in general, almost like a bonus from more expensive SUVs. I mean, they’re here, too.

Soft leather seats look almost more expensive than in the Ford Explorer, quite comfortable in the long journey, keep your body in the corners well, and headrests in them – in general a fairy tale. Really. It would seem that the headrests are the last thing you pay attention to in the new car, but we somehow turned it.

In the Sport version of 2018 Escape, the leather upholstery of the seats becomes a combined, with inserts from the Alcantara, and this combination also looks great. And at the same time pleasantly scratches the sports feelings of the owner – who, perhaps, would like to buy himself a Focus ST (and even RS!), But eventually left the Ford dealer on a SUV.

The only thing that aroused the questions was the lack of rather expensive, but not the most top versions of the passenger seat height adjustment. Clambering to the driver’s seat, I immediately brought down the seat “on the floor” and did not know grief, but on the right seat this trick was not rolled. It would seem that this: in many cars the passenger is deprived of such privileges. But having exchanged places with my partner, I realized that I was at the Inquisition stool.

New Advanced Multimedia

They saved us from the SYNC 2 multimedia. More precisely, they updated SYNC 2 to SYNC 3. Hurray! The previous version of Ford’s branded multimedia system was scolded for the terrible interface, slow response to pressing and unimportant performance. Now, abandoning the cooperation with Microsoft, Ford uses the Unix-system from Blackberry – the processor is already ten times more powerful than the former one. The screen is huge, everything works perfectly, the navigation map is enlarged or reduced by usual smartphone gestures, without freezes, and with normal accuracy. I wanted to bring the object closer to the map, so as to lay a route to it, he picked up and spread the map with his fingers. No delay in loading, no problems with the click.

But only the design of the menus themselves could have been made a bit more fun. The interface is understandable, but the very design of SYNC 3 is for an amateur. Graphics are very simple, without frills – and for sure there will be those to whom such a solution will seem “cheap”. Although such buyers as a good example, it is better to immediately recall the horrors of SYNC 2.

Another new among 2018 model year Ford Escape changes is support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You connect the smartphone to the multimedia system via USB (two inputs are located in the niche under the armrest) – and you can “broadcast” the supported applications to the screen. Only here in our car, there was a problem with disconnecting the smartphone from the interface. We broke the connection in the menu, disconnected the cord, but the iPhone’s “ghost” hung in the system, neither allowing either to switch to standard navigation, nor to listen to music from another source. Only the radio sadly played against the backdrop of cold menus. I had to stop, turn off the car and start it again.

High Packed

The system for monitoring dead zones, automatic parking and even active cruise control – and yet it is not so common for compact SUVs.
Modern options, we will not tire of repeating – it’s very good. It is clear that most buyers will save money and they will not even think of giving additional money for “extra” electronics, but gosh… It’s really good and convenient. This is good. This is a step forward – both for the car and for the driver.

In the USA, the 2018 model year Ford Escape prices range from 25 to 35 thousand. The new Escape will be presented in three trim levels:

  • S (basic);
  • SE;
  • Titanium (top trim).
    In the US and Canada, the 2018 Ford Escape release date planned to the last quarter of 2017.

Going Turbocharged

Apparently, only the engines in the new Escape in 2018 have dramatic changes, though not all of it. The Ford company has reasoned that they do not need to update the engines, which have shown themselves well all these years. Only two engines didn’t hit under the cut:
1.5-liter unit with an output of 185 horses;
And a 2-liter unit with 245 HP.
Top modifications of Escape will receive the most powerful turbocharged engine. For control the work of this engine a 6-speed automatic gearbox will be available. Top model, incidentally, is gaining the sixty for 6.5 seconds, which inevitably imprint the driver and passengers in the seats. The developers claim that they polished the designs of all the engines of the Ford Escape, and now they will be noticeably quieter, and also equipped them with the “Start/Stop” system, which in the city cycle gives a very tangible fuel economy (4-6%). However, no hybrid version of 2018 Ford Escape is announced.

Also, the car can boast a front-wheel drive, giving increased control in a peaceful ride. The top model is equipped with a four-wheel drive layout.

Controversial Behavior

The car rides pleasantly – precise and helpful response to the steering wheel turn, the same leaves much to be desired for noise isolation, a soft enough, comfortable suspension, although it was not possible to check it on a slightly serious off-road.

Ford in general and Escape in particular, is accepted to praise for driver’s and almost sports habits. the car on this indicator can easily compete with the leaders of the class – in particular, the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan. And the updated version once again reminded that it is something more than just a beautiful and well-equipped car.


The steering wheel is accurate, moderately sharp and informative – if someone tells you that he has driven on the Escape and enjoyed driving, you know: he does not lie. But for connoisseurs of uncompromising comfort there is nothing to catch: for handling, it was necessary to pay, even if it was not harsh, but still quite a rigid suspension. Passage of small irregularities a little more than just a tangible, and the large driver and passenger can and throw. Even on a standard car.

In the Sport versions, the suspension is even more clamped, the 19-inch wheels also do not go for the benefit of smooth running, and the steering wheel is recalibrated towards even more sportiness. And its settings are very different depending on the version – to another strife. For example, a standard engine is still easy to change direction, sorry for carelessness, the wave of one hand – but the version with a powerful gasoline engine requires much more attention. The steering wheel is heavy not only at speed but also in the parking lot – ladies will be unpleasantly surprised.

I still did not like acoustic comfort. More precisely, discomfort. The side mirrors are noisy at speed, hum comes from the wheels themselves, and from the wheel arches – the driver definitely does not feel himself in a protected capsule. Clearly, do not wait for the compact crossover the noise insulation from Explorer, and Escape simply by virtue of its own class deserves some indulgence, but that is – that is.