2015 Ford Escape 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium – Not Your Average Soccer Mom

The Escape has drastically changed calling through the years. From capable, mid-size SUV, it has now turned into a compact, family-oriented crossover. I thought I would turn into a soccer mom by the end of the week, but it turns out there’s a bit of everything for everyone to enjoy, including for a dynamic driver like me. 

After driving the Nissan Rogue on close to 4,000 kilometers last year, I had come to the conclusion that today’s crossovers have lost a lot of their adventurous personality and traded it for family comfort and fuel economy. The 2015 Ford Escape had the mission of either making or breaking the mold. It got me wondering if there was any way a family car could also compromise on quality driving, for the family (wo)man who also doubles as car enthusiast. Because that’s my mission, being the no-kid, single woman that I am, who enjoys sport coupes a lot more than comfort: finding the perfect balance of utility and fun. And in that matter, the Escape receives a pretty good grade. Surprisingly.

My first thought when I sat in the Escape was: wow that’s tiny. The place felt a lot more claustrophobic than I had imagined and I thought to myself that there was no way a family of four plus doggy, bags and stroller would fit in there. Isn’t that what a family normally carries around? But to be fair, I had to play both the roles of soccer mom and of soccer kid, so I gave the rear seats a try. Somehow, the configuration works and my long legs didn’t end up having to be all the way up in my face to fit.  We were off to a good start. Then, it was off to the trunk. I got to try the foot-activated liftgate first hand. Some people had commented that the liftgate was a little moody and wouldn’t always work. Patience, my young Padawans. You only need to give the sensor a chance to capture the movement… while you are balancing on one foot. And there are people out there paying for Pilates.

Cargo volume starts at 970 liters, behind the second row of seats, and doubles up once the seats are folded down with the help of levers that only need pulling to do all the work for you. The perfect size for those times where you need to take your new giant screen TV home. I made the test with a big luggage and a carry on with the seat in the upright position, and everything fitted perfectly with plenty of room to spare. So all and all, though it initially feels a little on the tight side, the Escape is actually more spacious and convenient than it looks. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, then smaller than it initially seems and finally bigger than perceived. It’s sizeception.

This top-of-the-line version of the Escape has a nice interior finish, though we could argue that the glossy-looking plastic of the center console looks more like the type of plastic container you receive your internet order in than an appropriate cockpit material. The double-decker console is pretty sleek looking and convenient, but I would like to address the positioning of the gear stick. When in Park mode, it is virtually impossible to access the climate controls, blocked off by the shifter. So no adjusting the A/C for you while you are parked, mister. Better worry about that while you are driving.

Obviously, who says Titanium says super range of features such as 8-inch touchscreen with SYNC and navigation, wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, blind spot detection system, park assist, etc. Speaking of park assist, have you ever given the Active Park Assist a try? That system everyone has made a video of, including yours truly, that allows the car to parallel park almost on its own? It is pretty cool. Even if your subconscious wants you to grab hold of the wheel while the system is doing its thing. Watching the steering wheel turn on its own does not feel natural.

So we are doing pretty good on the comfort side of things, but I promised there would be a fun part as well. The 2015 Ford Escape comes equipped with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, the most powerful powertrain from the three available on the model. Rated at 231 hp (240 if you want to pay the extra for Premium gaz) and 270 lb-ft of torque, that’s when things start getting fun for this honorary soccer mom. In regular drive mode, everything is smooth sailing. After all, the Escape is a comfortable ride. No teeth clenching at every pothole. A little too disconnected from the road and a bit too heavy in the curves for my personal taste, but do not take my word for it and refer to my previous comment about my preference for coupes over comfort.

Should you decide to slip the shifter downwards, in Sport mode, the turbo does what it does best, and that is: give you quick and immediate power. And contrarily to the Mustang’s transmission that decides when the gears need changing, the 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission on the Escape lets you rev up the engine all you want. I did swear a little out of amazement when I gave it a shot, but for the sake of the kids, I said fudge. Plus, the AWD system will make for a fine ride for the winter (hiss).

As for fuel economy, my mostly-urban driving got me a 9.9 litres/100km combined average. It’s okay, it’s not great, considering that other competitors can achieve a consumption close to two liters under the Escape’s. But some of those have a CVT and I’d rather pay more for gaz than drive a CVT (bis hiss). My version of the Escape is priced at $41,749, with the Titanium trim starting at $35,000, plus added features. But base pricing starts as low $23,952, with a vast selection of packages and features that will get you the equipment you require and/or desire.

So I did not turn into a soccer, as I had expected. No knitted cardigans and wine on Friday nights only for me. Did the 2015 Ford Escape make me fall in love with crossovers? Not quite, there’s still a long way to go, but I’m a tough cookie to crumble. And it did break the “all crossovers are meant to be comfortable, but boring” mold the Rogue had cast. Way to go Escape!

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Sabrina is a woman who loves cars, but hates writing her own biography.

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