Seat Time: 2014 Ford Escape SE

May 20th, 2014 at 8:00am

2014 Ford Escape

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Make: Ford
Model: Escape SE
Type: 5-door CUV
Competitors: Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, VW Tiguan
Price: Base: $25,550; As tested: $30,570
Made in: Louisville, KY
Drivetrain: 1.6L GTDI EcoBoost w/ 6-speed selectshift automatic transmission FWD
EPA Ratings: 23 city/ 32 highway/ 26 combined

Read on for Chip Drake‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Final Impression:

2014 Ford EscapeWhenever I get behind the wheel of the latest Ford Escape I think of one my favorite anti-heroes Snake Plissken and not totally because the crossover shares the same name as the character’s two post-apocalyptic action films.

It actually starts with the roominess of the vehicle, especially when I recall the first movie “Escape from New York.” I can see Cabbie loading Maggie, Brain, The President and Snake into this 5-door CUV with room to spare as they flee from the self-proclaimed Manhattan prison warden, The Duke. Heck, there’s even plenty of luggage area for Snake’s escape rope and the President’s briefcase.

And keeping them well ahead of Duke’s Cadillac chase vehicle would be the Escape’s 1.6-Liter EcoBoost engine that can run rings around Cabbie’s 1974 Checker V6 in both performance and MPGs (especially important since gas is in such high demand in this Maximum Security Island Prison.

Of course when it comes to suspension and handling to zip around wrecked cars and traverse the 69th Street Bridge mine fields, without question the Escape leaves the Checker in its dust.

2014 Ford Escape Gauges

Leaving John Carpenter’s fictional world for a moment, there are a couple of things to highlight about today’s Escape. I really like the vehicle’s instrument panel, especially the large dials with Caroline Blue-colored analog gauges. Easy to see and they stand out night or day.

2014 Ford Escape Steering wheel

Hidden_keyBut as much as I enjoy the I.P., starting the car with a key is a bit tougher. Jumping behind the driver’s seat it’s like playing a pin-the-tail game trying to find the cylinder to slide the key into. It’s there, but hiding behind the electronic extras on the right side of the steering wheel.

Finally, the last thing to note is the upgrade with the communications center. One simple thing that jumped out at me was the rear camera assist. Perhaps it’s been there before but this is the first time I noticed, a dotted line that helps the driver back up straight.

2014 Ford Escape Backup camera

And the SYNC system is much improved since my last Ford loan. The upgrade makes it easier to connect your smart phone as well as to use and navigate. In fact, about the only thing missing in the whole center stack is an in-dash cassette player where Cabbie can listen to his beloved “Bandstand Boogie” or the President’s plans for world peace (depending on your choice of cassette), however, you could certainly bring that entertainment through satellite radio or Bluetooth options.

Of course it would still be up to Snake whether to swap tapes to save the world, but I’m certain he would definitely swap that Checker for a 2014 Escape the next time he finds himself trying to find a way out of Manhattan’s Maximum Security Prison.

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