LOS ANGELES -- As Ford's most popular model behind the F-150, any update to the Escape small SUV carries a lot of weight. For the 2017 model year, Ford revises the styling slightly, creates more room in the cabin, adds two efficient engine options, and gives it new driver assist and cabin electronics features.

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For styling, the 2017 Escape gets freshened up with a new look for the front end and a revised hatchback. This model shows off the Sport styling package, with black wheels and accents.

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This new Escape gains a new grille, designed more like that found on the Ford Fusion, Focus and Fiesta.

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Ford will still offer its 2.5-liter four cylinder engine for the Escape, but complements that with two engines from its Ecoboost line, a 1.5-liter and 2-liter. Those engines use turbocharging and direct injection to produce more power and retain fuel economy.

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New driver-assist features mirror those available on the Fusion, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure prevention and automated parking.

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A revised lift gate changes the shape of the taillights.

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Ford rolled out its new Sync 3 infotainment system in the 2016 Escape, and has included that in the freshened 2017 model, as well as adding a new telematics system with app-based remote control over things like the door locks.

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Removing the manual parking brake lever in favor of an electronic parking brake created more room over the console, although the big shift lever remains.

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Sync Connect is the name of Ford's new telematics app, letting owners remotely view car information and control functions such as the door locks.

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The Sync 3 homescreen in the new Ford Escape shows navigation, phone and the stereo.

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The new navigation system responds very quickly to inputs, even letting you smoothly browse around the maps.

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Audio sources include a mix of apps, broadcast and onboard media sources.

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Ford is rapidly ramping up app support for Sync 3. These apps run on a connected phone and show up on screen, accessible through voice command and touch controls.

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