2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

Episode 3636
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Nothing’s hotter than small crossovers right now. So Ford probably could have kept business as usual for their compact Escape and been just fine, as they sold over 300,000 of them in the U.S. last year. But that’s not how things work at Ford these days, or the auto industry in general; so for 2017, a freshened Escape drives into the scene. 

Ford certainly gives you plenty of powertrain options. 

Base S Escape’s come with a normally aspirated 168-horsepower 2.5-liter I4; in front-wheel-drive only. SE and Titanium trims comes with Ford’s 1.5-liter EcoBoost with 179-horsepower and all-wheel-drive is available. 

Also optional, is this 2.0-liter EcoBoost which rates 245-horsepower and a stout 275 lb-ft. of torque. All engines work with a 6-speed automatic transmission; max towing is good for the compact class, at 3,500-lbs. 

The 2.0-liter feels plenty peppy on the street with gearing clearly designed for acceleration. We actually got complaints of this being too much engine for this vehicle; highly unusual from our power-hungry crew. But that was mostly due to the overachieving stability system. It becomes very problematic when attempting a strong launch, finding the balance between too much control and too much wheelspin with it turned off. It feels faster than the 7.6-seconds it took us to hit 60; especially, as once the transmission hits 2nd and gets good traction it really takes off. 

Shifts are very smooth; but even in Sport mode, a touch slow for our tastes. We finished out the ¼-mile in 16.0-seconds flat at 85 miles-per-hour.  

Through our handling course, it was light and agile; comfortable and solid for a compact ute. 

A 107-foot average for braking from 60 is quite good; but there’s a very artificial feel to the pedal, and some aggressive pulling to the side on initial braking, keeps the results from being perfect.  

Speaking of stopping, the Escape adds a new standard stop/start system with all EcoBoost engines, and we found it to work quite smoothly. 

Changes to the interior of the newest Escape consist mostly of a reconfigured center console, that swaps the big parking brake handle for an electronic switch, moving the shifter back for easier access to lower stack controls, and for plugging things into the USB port and power outlet. Wrapping the revisions up inside, is a new steering wheel with revised switchgear.

Seating is a “tale of two spaces” with abundant room and coziness for those in front, but marginal legroom and comfort for rear seat passengers. 

Forward collision warning, as well as lane-keeping are available, but not autonomous braking. 

The new Escape looks physically bigger, due to a taller grill and redesigned hood that also gives it a friendlier, less aggressive tone.

Not much else changes outside. A hands free power lift gate is optional; and behind it you’ll find a decent 34.0 cubic-ft. of cargo space, maxing out at 68.0 with the rear seatbacks folded. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our front-wheel-drive 2.0-liter are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined.  Our average was almost right on at 24.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular. 

Escape pricing falls right in line with the rest of the segment, starting at $24,645; and reaching into the low 30s. All-wheel-drive costs $1,750 more.  

With an all-new and terrific Honda CR-V, and better-selling-than-ever Nissan Rogue on the prowl, we applaud Ford for seeing that meaningful mid-cycle changes were critical for the 2017 Ford Escape’s success. It is now about as techno-savvy as the compact utility segment gets, and certainly a fine choice in the ever-more crowded crossover world.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 245
  • Torque: 275 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.6 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 16.0 seconds @ 85 mph
  • EPA: 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles