More than nimble, comfortable, small SUV, the 2016 Escape shows off Ford's latest technical achievements, the Sync three infotainment system.
Checking off the high points, the Ford Escape benefits from an efficient and powerful engine, automated parking, a Sony stereo and quick, responsive handling.
However, the ambitious my four touch info team assistance luxury response, didn't help the overall appeal.
But now, the 2016 Escape is one of the first models to get Ford's entirely new Sync three system, a welcome replacement for my Ford touch.
with sync three I've got an entirely new interface on the touch screen, giving me navigation, digital audio and a hands-free phone system.
The maps look clean and show 3-d rendered buildings.
Best of all the system responds as quick as any tablet to my input.
Although there isn't native on my destination search here, Ford uses the one box input idea.
When I type in letters it begins immediately matching them to streets and businesses in a local data base.
That's a quick way to search, just like using a maps app.
And on the subject of apps, Ford finally has a visual app-link system.
Right now I'm running Spotify on my iPhone, cabled to the car's USB port so I can control the touch screen.
Other apps are available, with more being added by developers every month.
If I want to talk to Siri, I can tap the touchscreen here or or hold down the voice command button.
By the way, there isn't Apple Carplay or Android Auto here, but Ford is looking into adding it.
To top it all off, I'm looking at a Sony branded audio system with 10 speakers.
I really like the sound quality and I think it's one of the best values.
On to the rest of the car, this small SUV has a really versatile interior.
Got a good amount of cargo space and a high seating position for a good view of the road.
You can get a few different engines for the Escape.
I've got the top choice, a two liter ecoboost, turbocharged engine making 200 horse power and 270 pounds [UNKNOWN] of torque.
This engine runs quietly but it's really responsive on the throttle.
It's well matched to 60 in automatic transmission and this car's optional all wheel drive.
there's no differential locks here though so don't expect the Escape to be a baby off roader.
Beyond that peppy engine I'm really impressed with the steering feel of the Escape.
It reacts really quickly to my inputs and the suspension is extremely well tuned, it soaks up the bumps and glides over the road.
Ford gives the Escape a corner braking system with improved handling But it did feel kind of top heavy in the turn.
Okay, now one of my favorite features.
All I have to do is push this button and the Escape signals me on its LCD when it finds a spot.
I put it in reverse and it does all the steering.
Putting me perfectly next to the curb.
All right, let's price out our 2016 ford Escape.
Base price for this model is $23,995 delivered, but I've got the Titanium trim here, which brings the base up to $30,400.
To do the CNet style add the 301A package to get automated parking and a blind spot monitor for 1795.
I'm also going to add the 2-liter engine over the standard 1.6 liter, because I like the power.
That goes for 1195.
But I might leave off the 1795 all wheel drive option,because I live in California.
That makes a total of $33,390.
The 2016 Ford Escape is a really nice little SUV with great handling and responsive power.
SYNC 3 is the icing on the cake here, though, adding a high tech electronics platform with great apps capabilities.