What's Wrong With This Picture: Ford Escapes The SUV Look Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
what s wrong with this picture ford escapes the suv look edition

Ford’s outgoing Escape is neither the newest, nor the nicest compact crossover on the market, but man does it sell well. How something so relatively old and uncompetitive maintained such strong volume in the market has long been a bit of a mystery, but my theory is that the Escape offered two basic attributes that the market desires: low price and SUV looks (without SUV efficiency). And by combining Escape with Europe’s Kuga to create one global compact crossover, Ford has been forced away from those two basic attributes: Escape likely won’t be cheap with its turbocharged engines and upscale interior (though pricing hasn’t been released), and it definitely doesn’t look like an old-school SUV anymore. Will a new approach to the compact crossover segment pay off for Ford, or is this Escape too “global,” or too similar to other “cute utes” to succeed in the US market? Is this the point at which the “One Ford” ethos crashes against the rocks of America’s appreciation for boxy, rugged utilities?

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  • Gogogodzilla Gogogodzilla on Nov 17, 2011

    I think this looks amazing. Hopefully, it'll drive as well as I think it looks.

  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Nov 18, 2011

    I too am torn. I find the current Escape good looking, right sized, and has just the right blend of tech. It is a little cheap feeling inside, but at the same time feels "trucky" and looks "trucky" so it almost seems to work. With that said, I'd never buy the Escape. It is too unrefined, not sporty enough for me. But I've recommended them to friends who have had them for a few years and still love them. To me, they're a great go-to car for people I know who don't like to drive, just want a good, reliable, truck-like, fuel efficient car for a good price. That is why they sell so well. The only other boxy choice is really the Jeep Patriot I think, and the Escape is miles ahead of that thing. I have driven the current Kuga in Europe a few times, with a diesel engine and 6 speed manual transmission. I LOVE the thing. Its one of those cars that is peppy enough around town, gets enough speed without waiting all day on the Autobahn, sit up high, looks great, has some truly nice features inside, comfy seats, great steering feel, great rear seat comfort, easy to park, but still holds a lot, excellent fuel economy, etc. I've rented quite a few Euro cars over the past few years, while I still slightly prefer the 1er and 3er BMWs, I'd probably put the Kuga right behind them. Something about it I like even more than the Audis I've had. Benz's I don't care for. And the Kuga is certainly better than a Golf or anything French :) But.....I don't know what those cars cost. I'd be willing to bet more than an Escape. If it isn't terribly more expensive, I think people will pay for the added features, refinement, etc. But if we start talking mid to upper 20's for a low to mid trim model, then Ford may have a problem. Especially because it loses that trucky look too. Will be interesting to see. Some cars are "better" but sell awful (Freestyle & Flex vs Explorer, Saturn Astra vs old Focus) for various reasons. Will the new Escape be "better" enough to offset the price increase and style difference? I really don't know which side I'd take. Though they do have to refresh at some point. Eventually the Escape would turn into a solid, cheap, good car like the Crown Vic and Ranger... you can't let it rot on the vine forever, even if the cars are excellent values and profitable. Will say I think the new Focus does a great job balancing smooth/sexy with somewhat manly touches. The grills are aggressive, and the thing has some shoulders and such. Old Kuga was a bit too rounded, but very clean and classy. If the new Escape can take some of that beefiness on the Focus, then they might find it has just enough balance between curvy and trucky/aggressive. We shall see...

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.