The Updated 2017 Escape, Plus a Look Back

The Ford Escape is easily one of the most popular compact crossover vehicles ever produced. The practical crossover has plenty of great features that benefit families as much as they benefit the single commuter. The Escape was first introduced to Ford dealerships across the nation back in 2000, and it has been through quite a bit of changes in the past seventeen years.

The Growing Pains of the Ford Escape

Arguably one of the worst parts of growing up, is having to make it through those awkward teenage years. You know – that time somewhere between the age of twelve and sixteen when your voice was suddenly foreign to you, when your arms were as long as your gangly undefined legs, and when your face suddenly resembled the pepperoni pizza you ate the night before. Few adults yearn to relive those painfully graceless days of teenage angst – and for good reason.

Vehicles like the Ford Escape may not have feelings or emotions, but if they did, they would no doubt experience bouts of shame as they reflected on their past generations. Just as we adults squirm in our seats as past classmates take the liberty of posting middle school pictures of us on Facebook, I imagine the Ford Escape wincing in the same way at past photos of itself. While the Escape’s fashion faux pauxs don’t compare in severity to other vehicles on the road (wood paneling – really, Jeep?), Ford’s crossover certainly had its moments.

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing times for the Ford Escape in retrospect, was the inaugural 2000 model year. Featuring a formed plastic bumper that was possibly meant to look sleek, but failed miserably in its attempt, the 2000 Ford Escape was marketed to the masses donning a mustard yellow exterior paint color that the Man in the Yellow Hat himself would be embarrassed to drive. Because the Escape was introduced for the 2000 model year, it wasn’t subjected to the nineties car trends that we are still trying so hard to forget. Compared to other vehicles in its class, you can say that the Ford Escape came out of its awkward teenage years generally unscathed.

The second generation of the Escape was introduced at the 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Show, and it became instantly apparent that any traces of teenage angst were left behind in the crossover’s first generation. The 2008 Escape ditched the plastic-looking front bumper with a chrome-accented version that also incorporated the body color of the crossover. The result was a sleeker adaptation of the original Escape that was as suited for professionals as much as it was for families. After four years of second generation bliss, the Escape was given yet another revamp for its 2013 model year.

For its third generation, Ford swapped out the boxy exterior appearance of the Escape for a rounded out design. More aerodynamic in both looks and function, the 2013 Escape boasted up to 33 miles per gallon and was more on-point with the changing trends in the crossover segment. It is likely that the Escape is nearing the end of its third generation, Ford has provided crossover fans with a bit of a morale boost by giving the blue oval SUV a bit of a touch up for the 2017 model year.

2017 Escape Gets More

The compact crossover SUV from Ford may have battled through a few years of embarrassment in appearance, but the Escape has still managed to become one of Ford’s most popular vehicles. Second only to the F-150 pickup truck in terms of overall sales, the Ford Escape has defied the odds in what has become an increasingly crowded segment.

One of the reasons for the Escape’s unlikely success, is that the blue oval brand has been devoted to the evolutionary progression of the compact crossover. Spanning seventeen years since its introduction, the Ford Escape has undergone various redesigns, revisions, and updates in order to stay relevant. Strongly rooted in its third generation, the 2017 Ford Escape may not be getting a full next-generation overhaul, but that doesn’t mean it will be ignored, either. Check out a few of the ways in which the new Escape has been updated in order to keep up with other popular vehicles in its segment.

  • Exterior: First up on the list of updates for 2017, the Escape has received a relatively attractive new exterior appearance. Keeping up with competitors like the CR-V and Kia Sportage, the 2017 Escape is now more rugged and more confident in appearance. Starting with a redesigned hood and a uniquely raised trapezoidal grille, the Escape’s exterior makeover continues to the rear bumper which is more blockier than past model years. Updated LED taillights round out the new exterior aesthetics of the 2017 Escape, an update that drivers will no doubt appreciate.
  • Interior: Perhaps some of the most significant changes made to the 2017 Escape are featured on the inside of the compact crossover. Most of these changes are aimed at improving the experience for both driver and passengers, including updated “grippy” cupholders, new storage bin solutions, and a more accommodating center armrest. A completely redesigned steering wheel is a welcome change to the crossover’s interior, which now features easy to use buttons for not only audio, but climate control. An electronic push-button parking brake replaces the manual version which was bulky and overbearing in comparison. Tech-savvy drivers will appreciate the fact that the 2017 Escape is one of the first model in Ford’s lineup to receive the most updated SYNC3 system, which now includes a streamlined version of the MyFord Touch system as well.
  • Engine Options: Replacing the former 1.6-liter turbo engine that came standard on SE and Titanium models of the Escape, is an all-new 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 179 horsepower. Also new under the hood of the 2017 Escape is an updated version of the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine that carried over from previous model years. Increasing in both horsepower and torque, this engine is now the most powerful in the compact crossover’s history.

While these are only a small sampling of the many changes made to the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape, we can’t imagine what a total redesign would even begin to look like. It is unclear whether the blue oval brand plans to piggyback this heftily revised version of the Escape with a fourth generation introduction next year – so we will simply have to wait and see.

Come check out the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape at DePaula Ford in Albany, New York starting in May. We can’t wait to show you all of these impressive changes in person! See you soon.