Already quite successful in the small SUV class, Ford has made the 2010 Escape an even tougher competitor. The new Escape receives the highest crash test ratings from the government and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Also for 2010, the little ute picks up five new safety and driver aid technologies.
Obtaining 5-star government ratings in all crash tests is no small feat. The new Escape also received IIHS's "Top Pick" award. Additionally, it is the only vehicle in its class to feature a standard side curtain air-bag system.
If the accolades weren't enough, Ford also gave the Escape a few new tricks for 2010. It now features a standard integrated spotter mirror. The outside rearview mirror is equipped with a secondary convex mirror in the upper outside corner that makes it easier for drivers to check their blind spots. Ford's new MyKey comes standard as well. MyKey is a major downer for new teen drivers, but it offers parents piece of mind with the ability to limit the top speed, encourage seat belt usage, and set earlier low fuel warnings.
The latest optional features include a rear view camera that displays in the rear view mirror or navigation screen. Ford's new "Active Park Assist" will be offered as well. The system will supposedly ease the chore of parallel parking by automatically steering the vehicle into a spot while the driver manages the throttle. Finally, the latest version of SYNC is available with new turn-by-turn navigation, personalized traffic reports, and up to date business, news, sports, and weather information.
Faithful drivers of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V may not be deterred by the Escape's latest enhancements. However, Ford's latest tweaks make the 2010 Escape a very attractive option for new drivers.