The Ford Escape has been offered by the Ford Motor Company since the year 2000. It is a compact crossover vehicle and is in its 3rd generation. The original version was released in the year 2000 and sold in model year 2001. This version of the crossover vehicle was jointly developed and then released with Mazda from Japan. Mazda took the lead part in the engineering of the vehicle and sold their model as the Mazda Tribute.
While the Escape and the Tribute have the same underpinnings which were constructed using the Ford CD2 platform, the only panels that are common in the two vehicles are the floor pressings and the roof. The power trains were provided by Mazda in respect to the inline-four and the Ford Company providing an option V6 version.
When the Escape was first released, most SUVs were building using a body on frame type design, similar to a truck. Solid rear axles were often used because they could carry heavier loads. Ford realized that most of their consumers were not using their SUVs for off road adventures so they decided to make the SUV more car like using a monocoque design that offered independent suspension combined with rack and pinion type steering.
While the Ford Escape is not really meant for serious off roading, there is a full all-wheel drive system in place as an option. The all-wheel drive system would normally send out power from the engine to both of the front wheels. If the front starts to slip there will be more power sent to the back wheels in a split second.
The braking system for the vehicle was designed by Continental Teves. This system includes the all-wheel drive as well as the different suspension components that are related.
Since it first entered the market in 2000, the Ford Escape has seen a few tweaks. The current version of the Escape is one of the top competitors in the compact crossover segment, which is very competitive.
There are currently 3 trim levels available, the S, the SE, and Titanium. The S is the base version of the Ford Escape and offers fully powered accessories, Sync voice command, air conditioning, rearview camera, as well as a 6 speaker audio system. Some of the highlights of the S model include keyless entry, power driver seat, as well as satellite radio.
The Titanium trim adds the MyFord touch interface, automatic climate control, leather seating, heated front seats, as well as a sound system that is upgraded. Many of the features that come with the higher trims are also available on the lower trims as options. Some of the other options that are available include a power lift gate, panoramic sunroof, and parking technology package that includes parking assist as well as front and back parking sensors.
When it comes to the first Ford Escapes, Ford was able to combine the styling along with four wheel drive of a more traditional SUV, with the practicality, size, and driving characteristics of a mid-range car. For those consumers that live in the city and are looking for something that is comfortable to drive, fun, and versatile, as well as the ability to do a bit of towing or off road driving, the Escape works. The affordability of the vehicle makes it appealing as well.
The Ford Escape is capable of handling a winding road and although the ride is a bit firm, it is comfortable enough to take the edge out of bumps and the ruts from city roads that are poorly managed.