Ford has re-introduced the Escape SUV in Australia, using the mid-life update of the previous Kuga to revive the previous medium SUV nameplate, bringing it in-line with the naming convention used around the world.
Compared to the Kuga it replaces, the Escape introduces a toughened-up new look at the front, with minor revisions at the rear, a wider range of 1.5-litre turbocharged front wheel drive variants, plus changes to the 2.0-litre turbo engine in the interests of fuel economy.
Entry level pricing also dips slightly, with a starting point of $28,490 (plus on-road costs) for the 1.5-litre EcoBoost Ambiente manual, representing a $760 saving over the outgoing Kuga Ambiente with the same mechanical package.
All Ambiente models are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine producing 110kW and 240Nm, available in front-wheel drive with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, or in all wheel drive paired to a six-speed auto.
The Ambiente comes equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, cruise control with speed limiter, dual-zone climate control, reverse camera, rear parking sensors, six-speaker audio ,and 17-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers.
The mid-grade Escape Trend offers a new variant with the 1.5-litre EcoBoost with front wheel drive and six-speed auto, as well as a 178kW/345Nm 2.0-litre EcoBoost with all wheel drive and a six-speed auto, or a 132kW/400Nm 2.0-litre TDCi turbo diesel, again with all wheel drive and six-speed automatic.
Starting from $32,990 (plus on-road costs), Trend models add roof rails, auto headlights and wipers, rear privacy glass, laminated front windows, auto-dimming interior mirror, leather-wrapped gear selector, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Trend buyers can also opt for an additional Technology pack ($1300) which includes lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, auto high beam, autonomous emergency braking that operates up to 50 km/h (the standard version operates up to 30 km/h), tyre pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.
A Hands-Free Tailgate Pack also adds keyless entry and start and a hands-free powered tailgate to the Trend.
Top-grade Escape Titanium models start from $44,990 (plus on-road costs) and utilise either the 2.0-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel engines, both with six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Additional standard features include keyless entry and start, bi-Xenon headlights, power folding mirrors, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, powered tailgate, active park assist, panoramic sunroof, multi-colour ambient interior lighting, nine-speaker Sony audio and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The Titanium can also be upgraded with the same $1300 Technology Pack as the Trend.
All models feature seven airbags, electronic stability and traction control, autonomous emergency braking (up to 30 km/h), front seatbelt pretensioners, Bluetooth connectivity, SYNC3 infotainment. The Ford Espace also receives a 5-star ANCAP rating.
Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost FWD manual $28,490
Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost FWD automatic $29,990
Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost AWD automatic $32,990
Trend 1.5L EcoBoost FWD automatic $32,990
Trend 2.0L EcoBoost AWD automatic $35,990
Trend 2.0L TDCi AWD automatic $38,490
Titanium 2.0L EcoBoost AWD automatic $44,990
Titanium 2.0L TDCi AWD automatic $47,490
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