By on March 17, 2012

We get all kinds of silly and nonsensical emails at our TTAC inboxes, but when they come from a major OEM, it’s always a little more entertaining. Check out this absurd release from Ford, boasting the 2013 Escape’s towing prowess.

According to the Blue Oval, the Escape’s hauling capability is “…best in class among small SUVs with turbocharged four-cylinder engines.” The Escape can tow 3,500 pounds, crushing the effete Volkswagen Tiguan’s 2,200 pound limit. Ford also compares the Escape to the Acura RDX (which won’t be available with a turbo for much longer) and the Kia Sportage, suggesting that it must have been a really slow news day for Ford to concoct this release out of whole cloth. Last time we checked, the turbocharged small-SUV segment was quite small, and Ford appears to have snagged a gold medal merely for showing up. Congrats!

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69 Comments on “Ford Wins Asinine Press Release Of The Week Award...”


  • avatar
    Frownsworth

    Will Ford enter the special Olympics of car races ? The fastest and longest lasting 3 wheeled mobile – a tricycle!

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Pretty cynical, pointing and laughing at a factually true and relevant claim by a manufacturer. That you chose to do this indicates a slow news day at TTAC.

    My 09 Sedona V6 is rated at 3500 lbs towing, so I’m actually impressed with Ford’s statement for any smaller vehicle/engine.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Except, as noted, the field is so narrowly defined. The Rav will tow 3500 lbs, too. Price and other characteristics matter more than engine type.

      • 0 avatar
        LectroByte

        I am not sure I’d want to tow 3500 lbs with any of the cute utes. At least not at interstate speeds and over any great distance. The whole towing capacity thing seems pretty bogus, anyway… Seriously, I like something with some wheelbase and more brakes when I am towing more than say a ton.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        And thus we get massive pickup trucks towing at 80 plus mph across our interstates. Remember back in the day when we were towing and we actually slowed down? My father recently bought a 1988 camper on a GMC van chassis. It has the HD gas 350 and a three speed auto trans. The way the gearing is on the sucker it can only manage about 65mph on level ground before the old man fears over-reving it. You produced something like that today and people would laugh you off the planet. 20+ years ago we just expected campers, semis, and trucks towing to go slower.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        At least in CA, 55mph speed limit if towing anything and trailer brakes required over 1500lb, so the vehicle brakes are not a big issue and we are not going 80mph. I applaud Ford for not prohibiting towing, as most car makers to in the US market for anything that isnt huge. Tow ratings have traditionally been based on engineering requirements of the powertrain. In other words, how much total load can be accelerated from a dead stop, on a certain grade, with the engine, transmission and final drive. This is the Gross Combination Weight Rating from which the maximum trailer weight is derived. Ford may limit the passenger and baggage load in order to allow a 3500lb trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      Very true KixStart.

      Ford’s tow ratings have always been suspect. The F-150 was powered by a boat anchor V8 for years (5.4), and yet with a measly 310HP, it could tow MORE than the 5.0 V8. Doesn’t make sense.

      And why can the porky Explorer tow more than the Edge when they share a powertrain? Or better yet…why does this new, ugly micropod called the Escape tow as much with a high-strung 4-banger as the Edge does with a much more powerful V6?

      Ford is dishonest.

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        You make it sound like engine horsepower is all there is to tow rating. It’s a lot more. Maybe this will help you http://www.trucktrend.com/features/consumer/163_0910_truck_towing_capacity/index.html

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Factually true… yeah, but along the lines of

    “If you put 3 pigs in a race, one of them is going to win”.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Is it just me, or does the new Escape (and Ford’s new design direction in general) have the stench of ’96 Taurus on it?

  • avatar
    jhott997

    YAWN

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    All these compact CUV’s are looking alike, if you remove the badges most people will be unable to tell them apart, I bet!

  • avatar
    don1967

    They should have left out the turbo-four reference, because a 3,500-pound towing capacity is a damn good number in the compact CUV class regardless of engine type.

    What remains to be seen is whether or not Ford will sneak into the fine print a 1,000 lb “non-braked” limit a la Toyota Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      Yep. I had a 2000 Blazer with a similar rating, and it wasn’t that long ago, and the 1st Gen Highlander had only a 2000 lb tow rating. Some V6 Minivans have had lower ratings. So, if they’d just gone with the numbers sans qualifiers, it would been more impressive.

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      “What remains to be seen is whether or not Ford will sneak into the fine print a 1,000 lb “non-braked” limit a la Toyota Tacoma.”

      Well, anything over 1,000# and you should start considering trailer brakes anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        Not necessarily. There is a longstanding rule of thumb which says that a vehicle with decent brakes can safely tow half its weight without trailer brakes, ie: 1600-2000 pounds for most CUVs and minivans.

        The problem with these arbitrary limits on non-braked towing is that they force tens of thousands of lightweight rv/camper owners into super-sized Dodge Rams and Ford F-150s, which is just plain silly.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Don, that is correct, but brakes on heavier trailers make things easier and safer. For example when going downhill on a slippery surface it’s easier to maintain control while slowing down by using the trailer brakes.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Any sort of towing capacity is news now a days.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark_MB750M

      That’s the truth. we’ve been looking at vans, more for hauling dogs and material than people, and we’re checking out the Ford Transit. That has no towing capacity, which is strange considering they seem to target business and commercial users.

      Our current V70 is rated for 3350 lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I was thumbing through a recent Car and Driver (ya got to have something to read in the restroom) and I chuckled a bit to see that when the magazine decided to pit a Nissan Juke, Mini (AWD), and Jeep Compass against each other the Jeep was the only one with any sort of tow rating AT ALL at 1000 lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        rentonben

        According to Buick – my German built Buick Regal has no towing capacity, or they’re really good at hiding the spec.

        According to Opel – the Opel Insignia (same car as my Regal) has about a 1100 lb towing capacity and they’ll happily sell you a trailer hitch.

        My hunch is that the American car market is being artificially pushed into buying SUVs for towing.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark_MB750M

        I’d bet it’s a liability concern. I looked thru some Euro sites and it seems there the Transit Connect can tow about 800kg. Of course, they get diesel and manual options, but the basic vehicle structure should be identical.

        Even my old Suzki Sidekick was rated for 2000 kg if I recall.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Down here you can expect to see even the more improbable car fitted with a tow hitch.

    • 0 avatar
      scrubnick

      My Honda Prelude can tow 1500 pounds and comes with a trailer wire harness and connector from the factory. It’s in the trunk.

  • avatar
    GD3FTW

    love starting my morning off with a good laugh. thanks DK

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    I would say this is an indication of a slow news day at Derek Kreindler’s version of TTAC?

  • avatar
    carguy

    That thing looks so much like minivan that they should have called it the E-Max instead of Escape.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Yawn; I’m going to go back to look at the illustrations from the TTAC VW sex scandal article and contemplate whether the IG Metal Union Rep knew about the purple pintle hook from the TTAC article about something that I don’t recall anything about except the purple pintle hook…

  • avatar
    lothar

    Absurd, asinine…….so if this release is of interest to me because I can drive a nice car during the week and get halfway decent mileage, then tow my medium size boat or a couple of snowmobiles on the weekend without sweating my cuv’ 2000lb max tow rating ……am I asinine ? absurd? How many people do you know driving around mid or full size suvs because ” I need something to tow my________” and suffering with mid teens mileage while towing maybe once a month? Ford is responding to a big market with this press release, hopefully your headline is an attempt to grab readership…otherwise it’s clear here who’s asinine.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    The base vehicle tows 1500 just like the rest of the field. And 3500 is not remarkable for the bigger engine options in this class. The narrowed definition for the “win” is a bit silly.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Who-what-how—decides on the tow capacity. I saw a neighbor once tow a 1935 pickup truck over 300 miles with a Corvair equipped with a bumper hitch and tow bar. Take that Ralph Nader!!

  • avatar
    TW4

    The accolade is asinine, but not the press release itself. Manufacturers must raise CAFE economy. Communicating the capabilities of small cars is an integral part of altering the sales mix.

    Who is responsible for asinine accolades? The question is difficult to answer. Are consumers really suckers for fake superlatives? or do marketers simply peddle disinformation and smut at every available opportunity? Probably both.

    My verdict: Ford is only 1/4 guilty :)

    (1/2 asinine press release, 1/2 responsible for asinine accolade in press release)

  • avatar
    lw

    The market is changing. People who once bought 2 or 3 vehicles need one that is multipurpose.

    Why were full size wagons so popular? Because the family couldn’t afford a pick up truck, a four door sedan and a van.

    Now dad drives an F150, mom has a minivan and they talk about getting a small car that’s better on gas, but not trading anything in.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Looks like a Kia Soul, which probably don’t have much of a towing capacity.

    I did see a Chevy S-10 towing a dual axle trailer trailer and a Hyundai Santa Fe towing a pop-up trailer and…** small boat behind the trailer. Surprised they made it through Ohio.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Is Mark Fields gonna have to choke a Kreindler?

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    My Jeep Liberty has a Four-cylinder engine and can tow 5,000lbs. Plus, it can get 30mpg, without a trailer hooked up to it. I have a 3,400lb camper I tow with it; maybe I should tow it down to the local dealer and see how it stacks up behind a escape….

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    As owner of a small fiberglass travel trailer, I’m always interested in vehicle tow ratings– especially when it’s a turbo four that ought to be able to score 30mpg in everyday use. What’s the old saying– “Tow on Sunday, Save on Monday”?

    Yes, Ford’s giving accolades to itself for being best in a small competition. But awards come and go. It’s the car’s capabilities that count. Nothing asinine about that. What’s more irritating is the snarky, ever-jaded attitude that’s become standard equipment here at TTAC.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    I don’t understand the point of this article, a manufacturer points out an advantage of one of it’s vehicles over the competition, like they have since the beginning of time. How is that news?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ford’s PR department sent out a press release hoping that various sites and blogs would write about the news, and Derek, deeming it so non-newsworthy as to be notable decided to write about it.

      It seems like Ford’s PR department did a pretty good job.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I don’t understand the reference to the engine at all. The ability to tow depends on the strength of the chassis and hitch plus the rigidity of the body. The engine only determines how fast or what kind of slope you can tow on.
    The difference in tow ratings for the US may be due to product liability or it may be a conspiracy but as an example I had a Land Rover Discovery which was rated to tow 1600 lbs in America but 3500 kgs in Australia. That’s right – Kilograms. (about 7700 lbs)

    • 0 avatar
      Extra Credit

      I was wondering the same thing. In Europe the Tiguan is rated at 2,500 kg (5,500 lbs). The U.S. rating seems very conservative.

    • 0 avatar
      musiccitymafia

      Towing capacity is really about braking capacity … accounting for speed, distance, and slope. Isn’t the outback sort of empty and flat :-) hence no-worries??

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        And also about vehicle stability while towing, which is affected by its wheelbase, weight distribution between axles, and other factors. Too much weight behind the trailer axle is a killer too!

        There’s nothing scarier than the trailer trying to perform the PIT maneuver on your tow rig while on a wet road.

        Oh, all this talk about towing reminds me of the Lucille Ball/Dezi Arnaz movie “The Long Long Trailer” from 1953. A definite must-see if you’ve ever owned (or wanted to) a travel trailer. “Trailer brakes first, trailer brakes first!”

  • avatar
    stickman

    Can you guys do a comparison of the Mazda CX5 and 2013 Ford Escape? I think I would find such an article useful and informative.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    The Escape thing comes with 5 cylinder turbo Volco engigine here whats the big deal of the turbo4

  • avatar
    Bryce

    The Escape thing comes with 5 cylinder turbo Volvo engine here whats the big deal of the turbo4

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    excuse me but a CUV with 2 liter engine ready to tow 3500 lbs is pretty significant and fairly rare. If its brakes and tranny are up to the job – great!
    I had to buy a Volvo 240 because I don’t want and SUV and need to tow my boats.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Tow tow tow tow tow.

    It’s always tow.

    Yawn.

    Just for a change of pace if I was involved with marketing a conveyance I would promulgate the concept of push.

  • avatar

    With lightweight 2000-2500 pound campers becoming quite the rage, for the sake of fuel economy, many people are in the market for a fuel-efficient smaller vehicle to be able to tow them. A 3500 lb tow-rating, from a 4-cylinder vehicle, IS something to talk about.

    I’ve looked at Chrysler’s offerings, and there is not much to choose from in that catagory. Everything has the standard 1500 lb rating until you get to the minivan’s 3500 lb rating. And I don’t want a V6 minivan. I want a smallish 4-cylinder Jeep or Dodge that has a 3500 lb rating to pull my 2000 lb camper.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I bet the new Viper has best in class towing for all sports cars in the 8.0+ liter v10 class as well.

    This vehicle is best in class in a very narrow subset of CUVs and I think that is what the point of the article is about.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Are campers that much heavier here than in Europe? Most folks towing trailers across the pond tend to drive, well, um…cars…not huge SUVs or trucks. I’m wondering if it’s a combination of lower trailer weight and higher percentage of diesel engines?

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      Campers or caravans as they call them are much smaller and lighter in Europe and are usually towed behind 4 cylinder diesel hatchbacks at 20-30 mph on single lane twisty roads where it is impossible to pass them.

  • avatar
    damikco

    So what if it is in a small class, it gets the job done. Why does this site hate all things American?

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “…Ford appears to have snagged a gold medal merely for showing up.”

    Since my greatest accomplishment in high school was perfect attendance, I see no problem with this.


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