Ford Escape Trend a

It costs: $36,974.

It has: A 134 kilowatt turbocharged 1.5-litre with a six-speed auto.

We got: 10.5 litres per 100 km in the city, 7.5 in the country. The official combined figure is 7.2.

Consensus: Small, but beautifully formed.


He says:

As compact SUVs go this one is more compact than most, and smaller than the big players in this market, the Mazda CX5, Hyundai’s Tucson and Nissan’s X-Trail. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It makes the Escape nimble in the dice down Toorak Road and a lot easier to park. And while the cargo area is limited, rear seat legroom is pretty good.

Ford Escape Trend bThe Trend justifies its pricing with equipment, which is good for the money with navigation, climate control, cruise control with a speed limiter and automatic wipers and lights. It’s also nicely finished and comfortable. But what surprised me most was ride quality. For a vehicle of its size it rides beautifully across all surfaces, including thick corrugations. And the handling is pretty good too.

The great advantage of being a bit smaller is that it only needs a 1.5-litre engine, and despite its being peppy and responsive the fuel economy is good. My only complaint with the six-speed auto is that it’s tuned for fuel economy and is reluctant to change down, even going up hills. Unless you like listening to a small motor struggling at 1400 rpm you’ll use the paddle shifts.

Is the Trend worth $3100 more than the standard Ambiente model? Not to me. If you need it all wheel drive adds $3000.

Rod’s verdict:
Not cheap, but surprisingly good.


She says:

I like the fact that all Escapes get Apple CarPlay and Android Audio, that they all get navigation and a reversing camera, and that they all get cruise and a speed limiter. What I don’t like is that you have to go up to the top model just shy of $50,000 to get keyless entry. This one has a push-button starter but you have to fish around in your bag for the key to unlock and again to lock.

Ford Escape Trend cOtherwise I liked this car. It’s beautifully finished and well made, and has a very solid feel on the road. The seats are deceptive. The first time you climb in they feel a bit too soft and you worry about whether they’ll offer proper support, but they turn out to be beautifully comfortable over long distances and are probably a large part of the reason the Escape rides so nicely.

I liked the navigation. Most systems insist you enter suburb, then street, then house number, but here there’s a search function and you can enter an address as it’s normally written. Most times the predictive function will list your intended address as an option well before you finish entering.

The cargo area is compact but will still take a couple of big suitcases, and there’s a temporary spare wheel under the floor.

Sheryl’s verdict:
Very comfy and nicely made.

Published April 2017