NEW FOR 2015:

– Minor equipment level changes

After a host of tweaks and changes last year, Ford has left the Escape mostly unchanged for model year 2015 other than the addition of a standard rear-view camera and some shuffling of equipment between trim levels and option groups.

The compact crossover remains an impressive offering from Ford, with a slick and nicely appointed cabin, and impressive road manners. While not as athletic as the Mazda CX-5, Ford’s little crossover rides and handles better than most of its competition thanks to a platform that’s shared in common with the Focus. The Escape also offers plenty of technology equipment including a hands-free tailgate, and a self-parking function.

The Escape can be ordered with three engines. The entry level four-cylinder is the biggest at 2.5 litres, but it does without a turbo. Total output is 168 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. It’s available exclusively with front-wheel drive. SE models can be upgraded to a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo that makes up to 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, and can be paired to front- or all-wheel drive. There’s also a gusty 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor that makes up to 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque for SE and Titanium models, and can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. All engines are paired to a six-speed automatic.

In S trim, features include air conditioning, six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input, six-way manual driver’s seat with lumbar support, cloth upholstery, overhead console, centre floor console with armrest, floor mats, message centre and trip computer, reverse camera, compass, map lights, rear cargo lamp, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, 17-inch steel wheels, rear spoiler, three 12-volt power outlets, integrated blind spot power mirrors, power windows with driver’s one-touch down, cloth seats, privacy glass, SOS post crash alert system, TPMS, keyless entry, and Ford MyKey owner controls.

Equipment Group 101A adds a cargo cover, black side rails, Sync, nine-speaker stereo system, USB ports, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

SE trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rear seat armrest with cupholders, illuminated sunvisor vanity mirrors, 110-volt outlet, chrome interior door handles, heated seats, body colour door handles, body colour exterior mirrors, fog lamps, chrome exhaust tips, security door key code.

Equipment Group 201A (SE Convenience Group) adds black side rails, perimeter alarm, reverse sensors, Sync with MyFord Touch, dual-zone climate control, nine-speaker stereo system, cargo cover, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.

SE Chrome Package (1.6 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost only) adds chrome door handles, chrome liftgate applique, chrome mirror caps, chrome roof rack side rails, chrome exterior accents, partial-leather upholstery, and 19-inch chrome wheels.

Leather Comfort Package (1.6 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost only) adds full leather upholstery, heated power side mirrors, leather shift knob, leather steering wheel, one-touch up and down power windows for front and rear.

Notable options include Cargo Utility Package (black side roof rails, cargo cover), Canada Winter Package (all-weather floor mats, heated power side mirrors, one-touch up and down power windows for front and rear), and a 10-way power driver’s seat (SE 2.5 only), power tailgate (1.6 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost only), panoramic sunroof (1.6 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost only), navigation (1.6 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost only), and Calss II Trailer Towing Package (2.0 EcoBoost only).

Titanium trim builds on the SE with 18-inch alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control, cargo cover, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated leather seating with 10-way power driver and passenger seat, power windows with auto up/down for all windows, ambient lighting, proximity key with push button start, Sony audio, Sync with MyFord Touch, driver seat and mirror memory, gloss black upper grille with chrome bar and surround, gloss black lower grille, body colour mirrors (power, heated, with integrated turn indicators), chrome liftgate and window trim, silver roof rack side rails, foot activated hands-free liftgate, reverse sensing system, and perimeter alarm.

Equipment Group 301A (Titanium Technology Package) adds HID headlights, blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, active park assist, front park assist.

The Canadian Touring Package adds power panoramic sunroof and navigation.

Options include 19-inch alloy wheels, navigation, panoramic sunroof, and partial leather seats.

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