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Ford takes the ST-Line with Escape

Early warning: Ford Australia has announced prices and specifications for the updated 2018 Escape, even though it is still three months away.

Escape becomes the first Ford model to gain a sporty ST-Line in Australia


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14 Jun 2018

FORD’S Escape mid-sized SUV will become the first model from the Blue Oval in Australia to gain a sporty-ish ST-Line variant when the mildly updated 2018 model-year line-up lands in showrooms in September.
Other models such as the all-new Focus and Endura large SUV are also in line for the treatment that is designed to attract buyers wanting the sporty edge without the full ST or RS blitz.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) also finally becomes standard across the Escape range, including on the base Ambiente that currently does not have it as an option.
The changes, which also include alloy wheels in place of the steel rims on the base Ambiente, boost prices by between $490 and $850, depending on the specification.
Prices now start at $28,990 plus on-road costs for the 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol front-wheel-drive Ambiente manual, and tops out at $48,340 for the 2.0-litre diesel all-wheel-drive Titanium TDCi auto.
Slotting just under the flagship Titanium level in the Escape range, the $39,990 ST-Line will get the 178kW/345Nm 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine, six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system.
It exchanges some of the flagship’s plush fittings for sportier touches such as leather combination sports seats, lowered and re-tuned suspension that includes thicker anti-roll bars, sharper steering, black alloy 18-inch wheels and black trim on the grille, foglight surrounds, roof rails and rear valance.
Inside, the upholstery, armrests and transmission lever get red contrast stitching – a common feature of these “Line” variants from rivals such as Audi, Kia, Peugeot and Skoda.
Apart from AEB, ST-Line standard equipment includes keyless entry, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, reversing camera, 8.0-inch touchscreen and auto parking that can manage both parallel and perpendicular parking.
Buyers can also fork out $800 for an optional tech pack that includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, tyre pressure monitor and lane-keep assist.
Sophisticated Sync3 connectivity with voice activation is also standard on all Escapes.
Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said the Escape ST-Line would be the first model to gain the treatment that brings together sports styling and dynamics with the liveability and convenience of the Escape.
Although Mr Whickman did not name future models to get an ST-Line variant, the upcoming all-new Focus is set to get one after it lands in the third quarter of this year, as is the new Canadian-built Endura large SUV that is set to debut later in 2018.
Ford is in the process of adding AEB across its models, including the Mustang, Endura, Everest, Transit Custom, Ranger and Focus.
Due in showrooms in September, the Escape – known as the Kuga until it was renamed with a facelift in February last year – gets a five-year unlimited-kilometre warranty.


2018 Ford Escape pricing*

Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost FWD $28,990
Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost FWD (a) $30,490
Ambiente 1.5L EcoBoost AWD (a) $33,490
Trend 1.5L EcoBoost FWD (a) $33,490
Trend 2.0L EcoBoost AWD (a) $36,490
Trend 2.0L TDCi AWD (a) $38,990
ST-Line 2.0L EcoBoost AWD (a) $39,990
Titanium 2.0L EcoBoost AWD (a) $45,480
Titanium 2.0L TDCi AWD (a) $48,340

*Excludes on-road costs

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