Car reviews - Ford - Escape - 5-dr wagon range
Long overdue midlife makeover brings style, safety and comfort to the Ford Escape SUV
9 Jun 2006
FORD has taken the scalpel to its Escape SUV for the first time since it appeared relatively late on Australia’s compact SUV scene in February 2001. The five-year-old model’s midlife facelift may be well overdue, but it’s amazing what a difference a new-look front-end, an all-new interior, revised engines, extra safety features and locally-developed refinement package has made. Available for under $30,000 for the first time, the cleaner-running, more flexible and more sophisticated Escape is now better equipped to turn heads in the booming compact SUV sector.
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Model release date: 1 June 2006 to 1 March 2008
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Ford EscapeReleased: February 2001
Ended: May 2006
Family Tree: Escape
Ford and Mazda were relatively late to join the compact off-road brigade that was already dominated by the likes of Honda’s CR-V, Toyota’s RAV4 and Subaru’s Forester when the Escape and Tribute arrived here in February 2001. Sharing the same monocoque platform, on-demand AWD system and all mechanical parts, as well as their roof and windscreen, the Ford and Mazda twins were launched Down Under exclusively with a 150kW/266Nm 3.0-litre V6. Curiously codenamed the BA, the first Escape was replaced by the ZA in April 2003, when it continued with XLS, XLT and Limited variants. The ZB of January 2004 marked the introduction of a more powerful 152kW/276Nm V6 and, for the first time, a four-cylinder variant - a 2.3-litre offering 108kW/201Nm and priced from $31,990. The Escape range was joined in June 2004 by the heavily promoted XLS-based "Bad Boy" version, which helped lift sales to the same levels long enjoyed by the more popular Tribute.
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