But as much as drivers are drawn to the outside and inside appearances of the model, they appreciate the Escape for the overall quality they find in the vehicle, according to Cullinan. He sees that as a culmination of Ford’s long-running campaign to elevate superior quality as a defining characteristic of its vehicles.
The fuel efficiency of the Escape is another popular characteristic, he said. It’s all the more appealing because people don’t have to sacrifice an engine’s authority to get it.
Cullinan said that’s the benefit of another Ford initiative: to maximize the use of engines designed according to an engineering approach it calls EcoBoost.
Using turbochargers and other advanced fuel-handling methods, EcoBoost engines are specially configured to wring big-engine power out of smaller engines. That gives them the advantages of both: small-engine efficiency with the on-demand responsive of a larger motor.
In the Escape, “the EcoBoost engines give people good power and good gas mileage at the same time,” said Cullinan.
Ford’s EcoBoost campaign has gained so much acclaim that many shoppers now come in asking for the engines, Cullinan said. Some others, unaware of the EcoBoost approach, want to try the Escape with a six-cylinder motor. But Ford doesn’t sell the model with a six. Instead it offers the wagon with a choice of two EcoBoost four-cylinders.
“When they drive the four-cylinder EcoBoost, they’re shocked at how much power it has,” Cullinan explained.
A basic, front-wheel-drive Escape comes with a conventional four-cylinder engine. But around here, most drivers choose an Escape with all-wheel drive, which brings them the option of the two EcoBoosts.
The smaller one is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 178 horsepower. With Escape’s standard six-speed automatic transmission, the engine yields a fuel-economy rating of 22 miles per gallon in city driving, and 30 mpg on the highway, when paired with all-wheel drive.