The least costly Escape, the Ambiente FWD, has the 1.5-litre petrol engine, rolls on 17-inch steel wheels, drives only the wheels at the front, and has cloth seat trim and the equipment in all Escapes. Spend more for an Ambiente AWD and you get drive to all four wheels, which brings you more security on slippery surfaces.
For about what you would pay for an Ambiente AWD you could have instead an Escape Trend FWD. It uses the same engine as the Ambiente and drives only the front wheels, but has more equipment.
The Trend has 18-inch wheels made from aluminium alloy, which look nicer than the steel wheels and don’t need plastic trim. Windows are tinted to reduce sun penetration, and laminated side-windows block out more noise. Wipers operate automatically when it rains, and headlamps switch on automatically in low light.
An AWD version of the Escape Trend uses the more powerful of the petrol engines or the turbocharged diesel.
Choosing any Escape Trend brings you the option of spending about $1300 more to add a Technology Pack, which brings driver-assistance and crash-avoidance features. They comprise active cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dipping headlights and a tyre pressure monitor. (For more on Escape safety systems, please open the Safety section below.)
From September 2018, all Escapes, including the Ambiente, will come autonomous emergency braking as standard, rather than as part of the optional Technology Pack.
For about the same price you can also add a Hands-Free Pack to the Trend, which lets you unlock and start the car without removing the smart key from your pocket or bag, and gets you a powered tailgate that you can unlock and open with a sweep of your foot.
The most expensive Escape, the Titanium, is available in AWD only. It adds leather trim on all seats, heating for the front seats, and power adjustment for the driver’s seat. There is a power-opened sunroof, which you can operate from outside the car (to release heat before entering). A partial self-parking system automatically steers you into a space. Extremely bright bi-xenon headlights adapt their beam shapes for the driving conditions, shining into corners and dipping only part of high-beam for oncoming drivers. Wheels on the Titanium are bigger again at 19 inches, fitted with tyres of a significantly lower profile than those on the Ambiente – which quicken steering response slightly.
The Titanium also brings you as standard the features of the Hands-Free Pack – smart-key entry and a hands-free tailgate. The Technology Pack remains an extra-cost option, however.