by Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – The 2019 Ford Escape might be the best deal in the automaker’s lineup. The reason is simple, there’s a new model on the way. We may not see it for a while but it has debuted at the New York Auto Show.
That means to clear showroom floors, Ford has to make the 2019 Ford Escape even more appealing than it already is. In other words, I’m talking about lower prices on a world class small crossover.
We had the front-wheel-drive Ford Escape SEL. It was powered by a 1.3-liter four cylinder turbocharged engine that made 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
It had an EPA rating of 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined.
This engine had more than enough oomph to handle all driving conditions. Acceleration was good, the only time I heard the engine was during the couple of times I had to really step on it.
I thought handling was really good, cornering was great, the sight lines were good and there was that slight step up to get into the 2019 Ford Escape. Thus, I felt a little higher and with the elevation came that feel of security that is one of the contributors that has made crossovers so popular.
My only quibble was with the lane departure alert and assist. It is robust. When I tried to turn it off I couldn’t find the switch. I finally had to go to the owner’s manual and it was right in front of my face on the tip of the turn signal stalk.
The 2019 Escape had a full complement of analogue instruments. The odometer and speedometer framed a small TFT screen between them. I thought the infotainment screen was a little too far away from the driver to be reached but when I did reach it was a comfortable length away.
The SEL Escape had a power driver’s seat. Both front seats were heated. There was a USB jack and a 12V socket in the front storage bin just beneath the center stack. There was another USB jack in the center console. And a 12V socket facing the second row seats and still another in the cargo area.
Those back seats were a little firm but they were not hard. There was plenty of head room in the second row. I thought hip room was good and I was really pleased by the width of the rear doors; there was no scrunching get into the second row or out of it either.
There were plenty of creature comforts: a power liftgate, pushbutton start/stop and entry and exit, rearview camera (it is the law), satellite radio, remote start, reverse sensing securicode keyless keypad, adaptive cruise control with collision warning and blind spot alert were among the 2019 Ford Escapes comfort and safety assistance features.
For $30,830 as tested, the 2019 Ford Escape is certainly worth a look.