LOS ANGELES — Last year, it was the Ford Explorer. This year, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker introduced its 2017 Escape SUV at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The new Escape will be the first Ford vehicle to come with SYNC® Connect, allowing customers to unlock and lock their doors, start their engine and even locate vehicle through smartphone app. Other features include enhanced active park assist, a lane-keeping system, and adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support make driving easier and safer.
“We’ve updated the interior, we’ve added a lot of driver assist technology that people like adaptive cruise, collision warning,” said Mark Schirmer, communications manager of Ford utility vehicles. “We think we can keep this vehicle competitive in what is the most competitive segment in America. Current owners rate the driving dynamics and fun-to-drive really high.”
It comes with a choice of two new EcoBoost engines a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. It has technology that will shut off the engine in common stops so the vehicle uses no gas, improving fuel economy by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic.
“I think what sets this apart is the combination of performance, the strength of the Ford brand and the technologies that we’re offering,” Schirmer explained. “The vehicle’s got a new front and a new back. It looks a little like the Fusion. We’ve got new colors that we’re offering for the first time– Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue.”
Look for the 2017 Escape to arrive at Ford dealers late next Spring. Pricing is expected to remain about the same as the current model, which would make it about $23,500. However, the new Escape will be built at Ford’s Louisville assembly plant.
“They’ve been doing a lot of revamping of their core utility vehicles and trucks, the F-Series is all new, the Edge is all new, the Explorer is all new,” said Akshay Anand, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The Escape had been struggling a little bit recently so it’s a good time for a refresh. I think going forward in Detroit or New York, you’re going to see them focusing on sedans.”