It’s becoming an old and outdated cliche when I hear auto writers call certain mini-SUV’s a soccer mom’s car. It’s 2016, and there is a lot more to life than a one track minded writer who’s self-defined image of being a swashbuckling, tire squealing, craft-beer-drinking car guy. Also, the economics of writing about cars tend to dictate a certain set of values and behaviours upon said auto writers, meaning that they aren’t incredibly likely to have families or, you know, own a lot of stuff. Finally, don’t forget that in the world of automotive journalism, anything mainstream is lame and everything that sells in single digits annually is awesome.
I enjoy the 2016 Ford Escape SE and actually so do a lot of mainstream friends of mine who don’t have families. Here is what’s needs to be apparent moving forward in the future. The most important change for the 2016 Escape is the addition of SYNC 3, which is supposed to be an improvement over the much-maligned MyFordTouch system used in prior incarnations. As you can see, the screen is large and easy to read in both day and night conditions. SYNC is designed to work with several mobile apps, including Spotify and Pandora. However, I found it somewhat frustrating to use the SYNC Spotify app as I couldn’t select individual songs, only specific playlists. I decided to just select my phone as a USB source and use Spotify from the screen of my iPhone 6S.
The volume-selling SE starts at $26,545 ($28,245 with AWD), comes with a 178-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine, and is available with a host of functional and dress-up features, including Sync 3. Topping the line is the Titanium, priced from $30,630 with front-drive and $32,380 with AWD. Like the SE, it’s optionally available with a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo but includes among its standard features such amenities as leather upholstery, power memory front seats, and Sync 3.
Near mid-pack in the compact-crossover class, which is good news considering the EcoBoost engine performance. S models earn a just-par EPA rating of 25 mpg city-highway combined. Rated 26 mpg combined with front-drive and 25 with AWD, the 1.6-litre falls only slightly below top competitors of similar horsepower. The 2.0-liter is among the strongest engines in the class so ratings of 25 mpg combined with front-drive and 24 with AWD are easy to live with. Ford says both turbos will run just fine on regular-grade 87-octane gas but admits that using 91-octane premium will maximize both fuel economy and performance.
We live in the city. These things are super important to us.