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

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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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...

  • Kars This article was about Ford not Tesla - you are clearly confused.
  • Ollicat Those are individual charging stations vs entire gas stations that have 8 - 16 pumps. And gas stations take 3 minutes to fill vs 30 min to hours for a charging station. And gas pumps are much more likely to be working vs charging statins. Nice try with more propaganda though.
  • Richard Poore Sure, as the article itself notes (hence my ire) California has mandated that all new vehicles sold in state be EV by 2035. They require EV or hybrid by 2026. Since the author admits to this mandate it seems that the article title is clickbait... was really hoping that there was some sort of changes in the CA position since the state is sorely behind on where they need to be with charging stations for this sort of requirement.
  • VoGhost When will Audi eliminate the fake, oversized grills that impede aerodynamics?