2016 Ford Escape Titanium Test Drive

?2016 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD?
A Smart, Tech equipped SUV

In 2013, the Blue Oval team came up with a better way to Escape. The Escape Hybrid was dropped from the lineup, but the Ford Escape lineup continued to offer three other fuel conscious models: an updated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, as well as a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and finally, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger.

Those engines choices still power the Ford Escape for 2016. The 2.5-liter motor will deliver a projected 168 horses with 170 pound feet of torque, while the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine makes 178 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque. Continuing as the most potent mill of the three is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that generates 240 horsepower along with 270 pound feet of torque. All three powerplants are DOHC, 16-valve four cylinder units (the 2.5-liter engine comes with electronic sequential multiport fuel injection, while the other two are EcoBoost engines and feature Direct Injection) that connect to a specially calibrated, electronically controlled six-speed SelectShift Automatic? transmission with a manual shift mode, that gears the driving force to either the front wheels or to Ford?s Intelligent 4-Wheel Drive system that reacts faster and improves vehicle handling off-road with better traction.

The 2016 Ford Escape is available in three levels of trim: The base model Escape S; the Escape SE; and the cream-of-the-crop in terms of features, trim and equipment ? the Ford Escape Titanium.
The Ford Escape has been the best selling SUV in America, and the company?s goal is to continue raising the bar even higher with enhanced efficiency and technology.
From a visual appeal standpoint, the 2016 Ford Escape takes on a more advanced and contemporary exterior styling that reflects Ford?s design language and DNA. The final result does away with the old boxy Escape format and adopts a look that is both more youthful and athletic. Some styling cues display elements that replicate those found in the new Focus and Fusion models. The nose showcases a large lower grille flanked by side air inlets with integrated fog lamps and signals along with a recessed smaller grille just below the sculpted hood?s leading edge that is centered between the jewel-like wrap-around headlamps. The profile is sleek and aerodynamic, with outer hood character lines flowing into the ?A? pillars, which border the sharply raked windshield, and lead onto the curved roofline that travels in a declining rearward motion to the reverse angled ?D? pillar. Wheelwells are accented by prominent fender arches front and rear, with shoulder and rocker character lines that rise aft suggesting motion even when at a standstill. From the rear, the Escape features a large gate window that dips into and follows the total surround shoulder line and incorporates the wraparound taillamps. Dual exhaust tips finish off the sporty rear image.
Moving to the inside, this latest iteration Escape cabin provides a modern and optimally user-friendly layout with sensible placement of controls and switchgear. For instance, the manual shift mode for the automatic gearbox is operated by a thumb switch on the left side of the gear selector knob, and the navigation and information screen is large and highly legible. Materials are soft touch, with the fit and finish well executed and symmetrically balanced. The seats provide heightened comfort and support.
Technology abounds – An available hands-free power liftgate brings new technology to the SUV arena ? it?s motion technology opens and closes the gate, operated by a gentle kicking action aimed under the center of the rear bumper with the key fob in proximity. The new SYNC? 3 communications and entertainment system has been upgraded to enhance personal connectivity and feature controls. An optional active Park Assist automatically parks the vehicle without driver steering. Add the Blind Spot Information System, Curve Control, Torque Vectoring Control along with the new intelligent 4WD system, and the new Escape practically borders on driving itself.
My test 2016 Ford Escape was a 4WD model in Titanium trim, powered by the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing. It sported a Magnetic Gray metallic exterior and a Charcoal Black leather interior. The base sticker was set at $31,485 while the price as equipped came to $36,560, which included destination and delivery charges. Options included the Titanium Technology Package, Intelligent 4WD, Navigation System, the 2.0-liter GTDI EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine and 19-inch alloy Luster Nickel wheels

SUMMARY: This 2016 Ford Escape Titanium not only delivers stunning good looks, but serves up features and equipment that enhance the total driving
experience, along with sporty handling characteristics. Performance delivered by the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger is impressive with pleasing acceleration, smooth shifting and on center steering feel. The ride quality is comfortable – firm and stable, but without being harsh.
The 2016 Ford Escape in any of its trim levels truly represents a smarter SUV in a sensibly sized format. Pressing hard as members of the press often do, yielded mileage results that generally fell short of the projected levels, but once fully broken in and driven in a more ?real-world? fashion, it?s likely that the projected ratings are indeed achievable.

Final assembly of the 2016 Ford Escape takes place at Ford?s Louisville, Ky. Assembly Plant.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $31,485.
Price as Tested: $36,560.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter EcoBoost, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Direct Injection and Ti-VCT.
Horsepower (bhp): 240 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 270 @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed SelectShift automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / 4WD
Suspension: Front – Independent Macpherson struts, coil springs and 24-mm solid stabilizer bar.
Rear ? Control Blade? Independent double-lateral, semi trailing arm design and 19.5-mm solid stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with standard four-sensor/ four-channel ABS and ESC.
Tires: Continental ContiProContact P235/45 R19? 95H premium mounted on 5 ?Can-Opener?-spoke painted aluminum wheels.
Wheelbase: 105.9 inches
Length Overall: 178.1 inches
Width: Width: 72 .4 inches ? excluding mirrors ? (81.8? with)
Height: 66.3 inches ? without options.
Curb Weight: 3,732 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 15.4 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22* mpg city / 30* mpg highway- *projected.
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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