By BennettÂ Oghifo
The new Ford Escape has arrived in Nigeria, offering one of the most technologically-advanced, smart sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with five-star safety and improved fuel efficiency.
Ford is the second largest SUV brand in the world and every model is backed by Fordâ€™s global SUV expertise and robust 50-year heritage in the segment.
â€œWe are thrilled with the new Ford Escape joining our line up,â€ said Abiona Babarinde, GM Marketing and Communications at Coscharis Motors. â€œMore importantly, our customers will be thrilled too. With stunning new design inside and out, smart technologies, fuel-efficient yet powerful engines, and five-star safety, itâ€™s a vehicle that will be so many things for our customers.â€
As preference for SUVs continues to grow around the world, so too does the demand for greater choice. Ford has responded to customer demand with a broad line-up that includes Trend and Titanium models. Depending on market, a front-wheel drive version is available with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the option of an all-wheel drive model with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The New Escape features Fordâ€™s latest design language for a bold, smart look that is shared with other Ford SUVs. Its large upper trapezoidal grille and a smaller lower grille are flanked by sleek new headlamps incorporating optional daytime running lights complemented by functional, stylish fog lamps.
â€œWe know from customer feedback and research that vehicle design and style are key factors in the car buying decision process,â€ Babarinde added. â€œIn many cases, itâ€™s actually the top consideration which is why weâ€™re particularly excited about the new Escape. In addition to being a very capable, functional SUV with a fantastic suite of smart technologies, itâ€™s also a vehicle that will turn heads wherever itâ€™s driven.â€
Restyled taillights complete the smart exterior look while a new range of standard 17-inch wheels (steel on the S) or optional 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs are available.
Smart and intuitive interior
Steeped in SUV expertise from around the Ford world, the new Escape designersâ€™ objective was to combine stylish form with everyday function for the interior of the SUV.
â€œOur designers went to great lengths to ensure the vehicle and its many different features, large and small, are smart yet provide welcome benefits to even daily routines,â€ said Babarinde. â€œThe Hands-Free Power Tailgate, for example, is something customers have really grown to appreciate, and is available as an option across the range. No matter what you might find filling your arms, from sports gear to shopping bags or a toddler or two, the Power Tailgate can save the day.â€ Escape drivers will find an array of new convenience features making the vehicle very user-friendly, including ISOFIX anchorage-points and improved storage in the centre console. An impressive range of additional standard items are included on the top-spec Titanium model, such as rear tray tables and rear air vents for enhanced comfort, and the electronic parking brake (optional on S and SE).
The new Escape offers up to 1603 litres of cargo space with the rear stadium seating folded â€“ ideal for weekend escapes. In addition, the Escape steering wheel and air-conditioning controls operate through fewer and more easily distinguishable buttons and switches, making the controls easier to recognise and navigate.
Introduction of SYNCÂ®3 *
The New Ford Escape will allow drivers to control audio, navigation, and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple, more conversational voice commands, with Fordâ€™s new SYNCÂ®3 connectivity system â€“ available as an option in the new Escape range in selected markets, either with or without embedded navigation depending on model and the relevant in-car entertainment package selected.
Ford has drawn on more than 22,000 comments and insights gained from research clinics and surveys to ensure the new version is the most customer-centric system to date.
By pushing a button and saying â€œI need a coffeeâ€ for example, owners of the new Escape featuring SYNCÂ®3 with Navigation will guide the driver to the selected destination. Voice search results are also enhanced by a better understanding of how consumers refer to businesses and points of interest.
Escape drivers can operate SYNCÂ®3â€™s 8.0-inch touchscreen â€“ the largest in this class â€“ in the same way that they use their smartphones. A new interface features larger, easier to operate buttons and enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.
SYNCÂ®3 incorporates Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use iPhones in the car allowing drivers to make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, get directions optimised for traffic conditions, and more while they stay focused on the road.
Androidâ„¢ users can activate Android Autoâ„¢, which makes apps and services that are already widely used accessible in safer and seamless ways in the Escape, including Google Search, Google Maps and Google Play.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be activated once the licensing is finalised for the collective Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Enhanced visibility and safety
The latest Ford technologies and sophisticated body engineering help drivers see more clearly and enhance safety on the road for new Escape occupants and other road users.
Fordâ€™s Adaptive Front Lighting System is available for the Escape (depending on model specification) and monitors ambient light conditions and automatically optimises visibility by adjusting the beam angle of the new optional Bi-Xenon headlights depending on the vehicleâ€™s speed, steering angle and distance to an object in front. It features anti-glare capability, as well as country road, City Street and also manoeuvring beam shaping abilities.
The new Escapeâ€™s sculpted bonnet features a wider, uninterrupted central dome that not only serves to complement its sporty, smart new look, but also incorporates a structural design that improves pedestrian protection in the event of an accident. The bonnet and rear liftgate also have been re-engineered to help mitigate damage to more expensive-to-replace components.
The latest Escape introduces an enhanced version of Fordâ€™s Active City Stop collision avoidance system, which can be specified as an option on all models.
Sophisticated technology for safer driving
Segment-defining driver and passenger safety remains a highlight of the new Escape, with standard safety features across the range incorporating a total of seven airbags â€“ including a driverâ€™s knee airbag â€“ as well as ABS brakes with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Trailer Stability function, Hill Launch Assist (HLA) and Rollover Mitigation (ROM).
The new Ford Escape also now offers new Perpendicular Parking functionality in addition to the semi-autonomous Active Park Assist technology â€“ available as an added-cost option. Using additional ultrasonic sensors, Perpendicular Parking at the push of a button enables drivers to locate parking spaces alongside other cars as well as parallel to the road, and steers the vehicle into them while the driver controls the accelerator and brake.
Efficient EcoBoost performance
The new Escape relies on Fordâ€™s powerful yet extremely efficient 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. Two output levels are offered, comprising the 110kW unit in the front-wheel drive six-speed manual derivative.
A 132kW version is paired with the sophisticated intelligent all-wheel drive system and a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission â€“ with paddle-shift controls provided for enhanced driver interaction and control.
Three-model line-up *
In Nigeria, three specification levels are available in the new Escape range. The line-up starts with the Escape S, which incorporates an appreciably high level of standard equipment, along with an extensive range of optional features.
The programmable Ford MyKey allows the owner to limit maximum speed and audio system volume â€“ particularly for young drivers. This is bolstered by a keyless start power button, heated powered side mirrors, electric windows all round and semi-automatic air-conditioning. The in-car entertainment system includes a six-speaker set-up with steering wheel-mounted controls. An upgrade to SYNCÂ®3, or the fully-featured SYNCÂ®3 with Navigation, can be selected across the range (depending on market).
The mid-range Escape SE is primarily distinguished by 17-inch alloy wheels in place of the steel versions on the S â€“ although an attractive mix of optional 17, 18 and 19-inch rims are offered across all models in order to suit customer preferences.
Headlining the range is the Escape Titanium that gains distinctive black and chrome treatment for the front grilles, a leather-trimmed gear knob, LED rear tail lamps, stainless steel scuff plates incorporating the â€˜Escapeâ€™ logo and dual-zone automatic climate control. Cruise control with speed limit function is also standard, as is the midline in-car entertainment pack with the standard SYNCÂ® media system.
* Please note, features such as navigation vary by market. Visit Coscharis Motors for details.