2017 Ford Escape SE FWD – Newish and improved

Will Ford Philippines give it another chance?

Rumored not to return to the Philippines, unfortunately, after stocks are liquidated, the award winning and best-selling (in the US anyway!) Ford Escape got its model life update recently and we logged close to 2,000 test kilometers on a Canyon Ridge Metallic colored front-wheel-drive SE model. Using the excellent 1.5-liter Ecoboost engine and shedding 152 pounds less weight compared to a 4WD model with the same powerplant, the Escape did not feel anywhere near as anemic as I thought it would. It looks pretty good too with its new face. The sporty black treatment contrasts nicely as well.

Sure, I would theoretically prefer the updated 245 bhp 2.0-liter engine for a more energetic driving experience, but for real-world practical use, this mid-model powerplant was more than satisfactory. I didn’t actually miss the extra power because the Escape SE drove so well without it. The peak power delivery of the 177 lb-ft of torque arrives at 2500 rpm and elastically holds it until 5000 rpm and since we didn’t load up the test unit with too much cargo with only three people on board, at times the front 19-inch alloys would even chirp for grip until the Curve Control system intervenes.

The six-speed automatic actually had paddle shifters which looked nice but was barely ever used during the test period. What did get a workout, and it did work very well, was the automatic stop/start, which worked very seamlessly and smoothly though you can’t disable it. To further help fuel efficiency, the front grilles also employ automatic shutters to reduce drag. The interior looks mostly the same except that there is now an electric e-brake, a healthy amount of 12-volt and USB ports, and the excellent new Sync 3 infotainment system, which we first tested last year in a Mustang GT convertible. As expected, the new system worked very well with quicker responses and a crisper more vibrant GUI display.

As a pure front-wheel drive, the Escape SE truly functions as an elevated wagon though interior space and load capacity is unchanged. It is not the best in its class but you wouldn’t be making excuses for buying one either.

Specification – 2017 Ford Escape SE FWD

Engine: Inline-4, 1498 cc, dohc 16V, Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, VVT, 6-speed AT

Max power: 179 bhp @ 6000 rpm

Max torque: 177 lb ft @ 2500-5000 rpm

0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 9.4 sec.

Top Speed: 184 km/h (115 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 23 mpg City & 30 mpg Highway

Price as tested: US$ 29,975.00

C! RATING 9.5/10

+Tasteful facelift, very well-featured and well-mannered, energetic powerplant

-No HID, should have more range, may not come back to our market

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President / Editorial Director / Founding Editor