The 2005 Ford Escape is the smallest SUV of the comprehensive
Ford sport utility line-up. Highlights of changes for 2005
include new and improved Duratec engines, 4 and 6-cylinders,
and a thorough redesign. The Escape is geared active "young
at heart" drivers and first-time SUV buyers who are
looking for all the SUV capability with improved fuel economy
The compact Escape uses a unibody construction that allows
it to handle more like a coupe than a sport utility vehicle.
However, when you take to the trails, you'll be glad it
isn't a coupe.
The upscale members of this entry-level compact Ford SUV
include the XLT V6, the XLT Sport and top-level Limited.
Entry-level XLS Value and the automatic transmission-equipped
XLS and the XLT 4-cylinder are reviewed separately. Ford
has also introduced a gas/electric Hybrid vehicle in the
Even the entry level Escape, the XLS Value, has a great
collection of standards. Not surprisingly, the up-level
trims are really packed with luxury and interior amenity.
SUV's have become the new luxury car class, matching most
full-size sedans for interior features and the Escape is
On top of the basic package of power windows, power door
locks and remote keyless entry and air conditioning, the
XLT I-4 adds an upgraded audio system (AM/FM stereo with
six-disc in-dash CD changer), premium cloth seats, a power-adjustable
driver's seat and floor mats. The XLT Sport adds mostly
exterior details but the Limited's top-level trim is a different
story. The Limited adds such luxuries as leather seating
surfaces, an overhead console with dual storage bins, automatic
headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, message center
and dual illuminated vanity mirrors. A number of stand-alone
options and options packages enhance the choice even further.
The 2005 Escape has had a face-lift. Its fresh, aggressive
look features new headlamps, fog lamps, front and rear fascias.
The lower bumpers in the front and rear have stylized ribs.
15-inch and 16-inch aluminum wheels and a honeycomb grille
provide styling that will appeal to the Escape's target
demographic. What's more the various trim's have significant
The XLT features 16-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, privacy
glass and a roof rack with two horizontal bars. The XLT
Sport adds 16-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, Dark
Shadow Grey fascia, cladding and wheel-lip moldings and
black step bars. Finally, the top-level Limited has a monochromatic
appearance with body-color door and liftgate handles, fascia
Naturally, with Ford, one can expect good quality workmanship
and a reasonable power profile. The Escape V-6 engines have
an improved Duratec engine for 2005. 200 peak horsepower
at 6000 rpm and 196 lb-ft at 4850 rpm make it one of the
most powerful engines in the segment. Other performance
upgrades include an Automatic Intelligent 4WD System that
improves fuel efficiency and a redesigned interior with
flow-through console and a floor-mounted shifter while engineering
advances have produced a quieter interior.
Safety and Security
As a vehicle family designed to work for families, the Escape
has a great focus on safety. The standard safety equipment
list, even at the entry-level, includes dual-front airbags,
automatic-off headlights, and antilock brakes with Quick
Brake Assist, a system which recognizes hard braking and
assists the driver in applying maximum braking force. Additionally,
revisions to the body structure have improved performance
in offset frontal crashes. Ford predicts the Escape to be
the first vehicle in its class to meet the newly amended
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 for occupant crash
As for occupant safety, the Escape is leading the field
with the addition of standard passenger-seat weight-sensing
technology and the Personal Safety System with an
occupant classification sensor. LATCH child seat attachments
in rear outboard seating positions, head restraints and
three-point safety belts and the SecuriLock passive anti-theft
system round out the list of requirements.
Finally, the Escape offers the optional Safety Package
that combines Ford's exclusive Safety Canopy rollover
protection system with front side air bags. The compact
Escape uses a unibody construction that allows it to handle
more like a coupe than a sport utility vehicle. However,
when you take to the trails, you'll be glad it isn't a coupe.
153 @ 5800
200 @ 6000
L4 auto. 22/25
L4 Man. 24/29
V6 auto. 20/25