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Read and compare reviews on the Ford Escape 2017 – 2019 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

Hardworking and Adaptable

Ford Escape review from Noted


Resting easy between the Ford Ecosport and the Ford Endura sits the new Ford Escape ST-Line EcoBoost AWD; the not-so-compact SUV.

A charismatic 5-seat vehicle, the sporty Escape ST-Line is as comfortable navigating city streets as it is hitting the road for weekend getaways.

A hard-working, good-looking SUV that adapts well to a multitude of everyday driving situations, the Escape ST-Line is the perfect partner for Kiwi lifestyles. The Escape ST-Line offers nine colour options – there’s something to suit even the fussiest SUV enthusiast.

I test drove the Escape ST-Line in a bright and shiny Race Red colourway. Alongside its standout hue, the Escape ST-Line also delivers bold exterior and interior sporty design cues. With a black-gloss upper trapezoidal grille, other contrasting exterior highlights include lower nose accents, fog light surrounds, fender trim and roof rails, all underpinned with unique, 19-inch alloy wheels.

The Escape ST-Line offers the sportiest Escape driving dynamics yet, with chassis enhancements including thicker anti-roll bars and a 10mm lower ride height for reduced body roll and sharper responses, giving you the road confidence you need.

Although it sits in the compact SUV category, at 4.5m long, around 2m wide and 1.7m tall, the Escape ST-Line is no shrinking violet. Even better, its outer size specs translate well on the inside, too.

Ford Escape: Please don’t let me be misunderstood

Ford Escape review from Stuff


Ford’s medium-sized SUV offering, the Escape, doesn’t sell in especially big numbers in what is New Zealand’s fastest-growing new vehicle market sector.

It should do. After all, this Spanish-built SUV is a really nice vehicle, with qualities right up there with the likes of the volume-selling Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.

But it doesn’t. Whereas last year 3612 of the Toyotas, 3061 of the Kias, 2841 of the Mazdas and 2650 of the Hyundais were sold, the Escape achieved just 1236 sales. Not very good for an SUV offered by one of the country’s most dominant vehicle marques, with a dealership in just about every town.

So what’s the reason? Let’s hark back to the lyrics of a mid-1960s song, made famous by British band The Animals:

But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Could it be that the Escape’s mediocre sales go back to the few years when Ford misunderstood market forces in this part of the world and allowed it to be sold under the unfortunate name of Kuga? While that name might have been acceptable in Europe, in New Zealand it disenfranchised half of its potential market – women – who for obvious reasons would have shied away from owning a vehicle with that name.

Escape from the clutches of Kuga


For those always uncomfortable about driving a vehicle called Kuga, ford has gone to the trouble of renaming its medium SUV Escape. We break loose in the titanium version.

Let’s be honest here; the Kuga hasn’t changed that much in its transition to Escape, a name well known to Ford faithful, so call the name change a part of the facelift if you want because that’s simply what this is: Kuga facelift plus a new name.

Now some women of a particular age own and drive the Kuga as a badge of honour. They would actively seek out this compact/medium SUV as their vehicle of choice, for obvious reason. However, for every one of them, there would have been plenty more who would never have gone near Kuga because of its name. And that’s despite different spelling from the big pussy. All the same, conservative women with kids who buy SUVs seemed to associate the Kuga name more with predatory middle-aged women and so many of them sidestepped the SUV because of those connotations. An easy way to trim the Ford from a long list of contenders perhaps.

Whatever, there’s not so much in the way of negative vibes associated with the Escape name badge, unless you’ve a fear of prisoners on the loose.

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