2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

Episode 3636
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"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.


  • 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
2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined