Richard Berry road tests and reviews the new Ford Escape with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch in Victoria.
Prince, John Mellencamp, Snoop Dogg and Melbourne. They all changed their names but then thought better of it and changed them back again. Smart decision, too. Actually, Melbourne never changed its name back again and it should have because it was originally called Batmania, and that is freaking awesome – who wouldn’t want to live there?
Along with the new name there are a stack of other changes to the car which makes this a fairly major update, and in an ultra-competitive mid-sized SUV segment containing talented rivals such as the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Tucson the Escape needs to keep pace.
So has Ford done more than just give this SUV an identity crisis? What’s been removed from the cabin that almost reduced me to tears of joy? And what’s the rattle?
More than a name change the Escape has a new face. The Kuga's large lower grille and thin-strip top grille have been swapped for the enormous gaping mouth now worn by the rest of the updated Ford family. It's a much tougher look that works well on all Ford's cars and SUVs. The headlights are narrower and sleeker, the Titanium grade gets distinctive LED DRLs.
Those fog lights have been swept back and now give the impression of smaller overhangs. Moving down the side of the car those doors are unchanged from the Kuga and coming around the back the tail-lights have been redesigned - they're larger and squarer.