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Versatile Ford Escape gets big boost from Sync 3 (pictures)

With its small SUV design and well-engineered suspension, the Ford Escape makes for a great all-around driver, but the Sync 3 infotainment system takes it beyond the ordinary.

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Wayne Cunningham
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With a length just under 15 feet, the Escape is Ford's smallest SUV in the US.

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It received a major update in the 2013 model year, shedding traditional SUV looks for a more modern appearance, and converging with the European Kuga model.

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Ford offers the Escape with three engine choices, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the last of which is pictured here.

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With its 2-liter engine option, the Escape gets 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, more than most cars in the segment.

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The Escape is a front-wheel-drive platform but is also available with all-wheel drive.

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Although a fixed suspension, the Escape exhibits excellent ride quality.

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A panoramic sunroof is available, although that option is not included here.

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At upper trim levels, a powered liftgate can be operated with the key fob, or hands-free by kicking under the rear bumper.

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Leather, power adjustable seats add to the comfort.

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The rear seats fold down to maximize the cargo area.

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With the rear seats folded down, the Escape boasts 67.8 cubic feet of cargo area.

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Ford's dashboard design includes a big pod for vents and electronics in the center.

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The new Sync 3 infotainment system replaces the prior MyFord Touch system, with a huge improvement in responsiveness and app compatibility.

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Electric power steering in the Escape is quick and responsive.

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Among the analog gauges, Ford includes a small LCD on the instrument cluster.

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The six-speed automatic transmission includes sport and manual modes.

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The backup camera shows trajectory and distance lines.

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The new Sync 3 system includes a home screen with navigation, phone and audio, along with a persistent menu bar across the bottom.

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Maps include 3D-rendered buildings in some cities.

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Route guidance offers useful graphics to show upcoming turns.

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The destination screen includes saved positions for home and work, which automatically show the time to those locations.

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You can search for addresses or businesses from this one screen.

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Search results come up quickly, although this system lacks online destination search.

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Ford shows all of its audio sources, including apps, on one screen.

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HD radio includes multiple channels from a single station.

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The audio playback screen uses a similar format for apps and local media.

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The music library screen lets you select music from devices plugged into the car's USB ports.

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All of the active apps can be found on one screen.

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Spotify uses a similarly formatted screen for current tracks as onboard media sources.

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The Spotify submenu lets you search for artists and view your favorites.

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The hands-free phone screen is simple to use, and lets you browse your phone's contact list.

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Ford includes Sirius Travel Link, with data sources, such as fuel prices, brought in through satellite radio.


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With Sync 3, Ford adds an excellent infotainment system to an already great car.

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