A beautiful blue Ford Escape parked in my driveway recently. Ready to begin a week-long test drive, it oozed appeal as the answer to our mid-size SUV search.
The 2014 Ford Escape is ranked #9 in Affordable Compact SUV’s by US World Reports. Don’t let the “compact” category fool you. We found the Escape to be a roomy, well-sized vehicle capable of getting the job done, whether hauling gear or people.
My Touch Offers One Touch Connectivity
Ford has really promoted their “connectability” in vehicles with the My Touch system. I tend to be one of those car driver/owners who discover technology on an “as needed” basis. What’s most important to me is first and foremost driving and the car’s ability to do that well. Second is finding a favorite radio
station or way to play my music. All of the other things – like Bluetooth phone calls and navigation take a backseat. However, the “My Touch” screen is well situated and easy to navigate. If you spend some time learning this system you will be amazed at all the things you can accomplish from the driver’s seat.
Lift Gate Magic Eludes Us
If you’ve seen the TV commercials for the Escape, a big feature is the one where you have arms full of something: groceries, flea market finds, or artwork and standing at the back of the vehicle you wave your foot under the bumper. Voila! The lift gate magically opens and you load as needed.
OK, I am sure if I’d had another week with the vehicle I would have perfected the location to wave my foot. Meanwhile the neighbors probably wondered what we were doing standing in the driveway waving our feet under the bumper to find the “release” spot. I’d say we got it right maybe once every eight attempts. Kind of funny and yet, not a big deal. You can always open the hatch with a button and closing is easy with a button push as well.
Easy to Drive
Ok so how does it drive? First, getting in and out is easy. I found the driver’s seat to give me a POV not dissimilar to driving a minivan. Sitting up high in a comfy captain chair style seat, the dash felt expansive, the hood small for easy visibility. Driving the Escape is a treat. Quick response, good visibility, and needed power for highway driving.
Special features included back seats that recline (not all the way back, but enough to satisfy a sleepy child) and wow – those front row heated seats! I can’t speak for other Ford models but the heated seats (which crank all the way up to 5) in the Escape are perfect if you are having a “Polar Vortex” winter.
The model I drove had a back up camera (likely part of a navigation package) and I have to give credit to the engineers for the best back up camera I’ve used. A
clear, wide view with good “guide” lines.
Other specials include a “capless” gas tank and a “super secret” storage place in the floor of second row.
Be sure to consider the Ford Escape if you are in the search for a mid-size SUV.
The 2014 Ford Escape starts at about $22,610.
Note: Ford provided the Escape for my test drive; opinions expressed are my own.