"Escape will bring a new group of buyers to our
Outfitters showrooms - buyers who may not have owned or even
considered an SUV before. With the new Ford Escape, we now have the
most comprehensive lineup of SUVs on the planet. Ford can now
outfit customers with the exact SUV to meet their lifestyle and
sense of adventure."
2001 Ford Escape: Small SUV for Big-City Driving and Outdoor
_ Jim O'Connor, Ford Division president
Based on an all-new platform, the 2001 Ford Escape brings a
confident new offering to the growing small sport utility vehicle
(SUV) segment. For the active lifestyles of the young or young at
heart, Escape offers new levels of comfort, convenience and
versatility to the toughness that comes with every Ford SUV.
Key attributes include:
- An all-new platform with unibody construction - for light
weight, nimble maneuverability, low stance for ease of entry and
exit, and enhanced safety protection
- Low fuel consumption - ranging from an estimated 24-28 miles per
gallon on the U.S. EPA highway cycle - and low emissions vehicle
- A four-wheel independent suspension - offering refined ride and
- The most spacious interior in the small SUV class at 133.9 cubic
feet - providing versatility for carrying cargo and room to seat
- A choice of DOHC 2.0-liter 130-horsepower Zetec I-4 or 3.0-liter
200-horsepower Duratec V-6 engine
- Front-wheel drive powertrain or optional all-new Control Trac
IITM, Ford's full-time 4x4 with a
switch to select four-wheel drive automatic or "4x4 On" to
lock the system into 4x4 mode
- Up to 3,500-pound towing capacity (with V-6 engine and towing
package) - enough to pull jet skis, snowmobiles or a small boat
- Four doors and rear liftgate with flip-up glass for access to a
large, versatile cargo area
- Standard in-dash single-CD player or an optional MACH in-dash
six-disc CD player with 300 watts of peak power
- A comprehensive safety package featuring optional side-impact
air bags, Belt MinderTM and
"LATCH" child safety seat attachments and tether
With unibody construction and the confidence of available
go-anywhere four-wheel-drive capabilities, the new Ford Escape
provides refined ride and handling, best-in-class interior
spaciousness, good fuel economy and low emissions in a small, tough
SUV. Versatile enough for the most active lifestyles and easily
maneuverable in urban traffic, Escape is designed to appeal to a new
and younger group of SUV consumers.
Ford's newest sport utility vehicle marks the company's expansion
into the growing small SUV segment. Sales in that part of the
segment have more than doubled in the United States in the past four
years, from sales of 250,000 vehicles in 1995 to more than 500,000
through the end of 1999.
"Ford pioneered the modern SUV market with the Explorer in
1991. Since then, SUV sales in the U.S. have climbed an average of
17 percent per year," explains O'Connor. "The 2001 Escape
provides a logical extension of the Ford SUV family and will help us
maintain our proven leadership by providing customers with a bold
new choice in the small SUV market."
On sale this summer, Escape joins Ford's Outfitters lineup of
sport utility vehicles and is another example of the company's
"No Boundaries" promise for its SUVs. Ford dealers,
Outfitters, now feature Explorer, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport
Trac, Expedition, Excursion, and the new Escape - giving Ford the
most comprehensive SUV lineup in the industry.
Smaller than the best-selling four-door Ford Explorer, Escape is
designed to appeal to younger buyers as well as the "young at
heart" - drivers who want fun, agile, sporty, durable yet
affordable and fuel-efficient transportation for their active
"We believe Escape will appeal to a wide variety of
consumers, including those who have not owned an SUV before but now
require the space and versatility that an SUV provides. They might
not consider a larger SUV. Escape will provide them with the
perfect solution," says Stuart Smith, Ford Escape brand
"Whether they are young singles, newlyweds, small families
or empty nesters, Escape is designed to be an affordable and fun
option that allows them to do all of the things that they enjoy,
such as skiing, camping and biking," Smith says.
Design, Package and Ergonomics
Designed to combine Ford's truck toughness with a refined sporty
look, Escape has a confidently poised stance with aggressive wheel
lips stamped in the sheet metal, wide body cladding and integrated
bumper guards to give it an assured look of off-road readiness and
Escape's interior package - the most spacious in the small SUV
class at 133.9 cubic feet - is designed for maximum comfort,
convenience, passenger roominess and cargo flexibility. Escape has
room to carr y five adults and their cargo comfortably.
Entering and exiting the vehicle is aided by the vehicle's low
sill height and wide door openings, with assist grips for both front
and rear seat occupants.
All audio and climate controls are located in the easy-to-reach
and easy-to-read center stack. The center stack is oriented toward
the driver for superior ergonomics. The controls are logically
arranged with the more often used audio buttons located above the
less frequently used climate controls. An in-dash, AM/FM stereo
with single CD player is standard. Optional audio systems include
an in-dash, MACH six-disc CD changer, that achieves 300 watts of
Escape will be sold in two trim levels. The XLS is the
well-equipped base model with standard air conditioning, power locks
and windows and fold-flat rear seating. The XLT adds such features
as a large center console, anti-lock (ABS) brakes and alloy aluminum
wheels, AM/FM stereo with CD and cassette and 60/40 split rear
seating as standard equipment.
Optional features available from Ford Outfitters reflect the
active lifestyles of Escape owners, including an in-vehicle storage
system for two mountain bikes and a clip-in pet barrier.
Based on an all-new platform, developed in partnership with
Mazda, the new Ford Escape is a tough, rugged and versatile small
SUV that combines maximum convenience and comfort with a unibody
design for refined ride and handling. Its wide, firm stance is
designed to communicate visual confidence.
Escape is designed with robust off-road capability with the
sure-footedness of front-wheel-drive or the all-new Control Trac
IITM four-wheel-drive system.
With a four-wheel independent suspension and fine-tuned
rack-and-pinion steering, Escape is just as at home in the city
because it is nimble and maneuverable in urban traffic.
Escape comes with a choice of a standard 130-horsepower 2.0-liter
I-4 Zetec engine with 5-speed manual transaxle or an optional
200-horsepower 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 with 4-speed automatic
transmission. With the optional V-6 engine and the available Class
II trailer towing package, Escape has an impressive towing capacity
of up to 3,500 pounds - enough to pull a horse trailer, pair of jet
skis, snowmobiles or a small speed boat.
Fuel economy for the Escape will average between 24 and 28 mpg on
the U.S. EPA highway cycle. Escape is certified to low emission
vehicle (LEV) standards.
Front-wheel drive is standard, but many customers will opt for
the new Control Trac IITM
four-wheel-drive system. Control Trac IITM provides the driver the option of two
different settings, "4x4 Auto" and "4x4 On." The
automatic setting allows for the vehicle to determine the torque
split to the rear wheels, while the "4x4 On" setting
splits the torque evenly between the front and rear drive wheels,
enhancing performance when driving off-road or in other uncertain
Safety and Security
From the foundation of its unibody platform to its comprehensive
list of safety features, Ford Escape has been designed with safety
as a priority. Escape's architecture has been carefully designed to
channel the energy created in a frontal crash and spread it out over
a larger area of the vehicle.
Typically, energy created in a crash is absorbed by a vehicle's
rail frame. For Escape, a front fender reinforcement helps to
direct the energy load of a crash between the lower rail frame and
an upper path that goes through the roof.
An energy-absorbing steering column also helps to absorb the
impact of a crash. Escape also features energy-absorbing knee
bolsters - located below the instrument panel - designed to reduce
the risk of leg injuries for front seat occupants.
Standard side-intrusion high-tensile-steel door beams also help
protect passengers in side impacts.
Driver- and front-passenger second generation air bags are
standard. Front-seat dual side air bags are optional.
Buckle pretensioners combined with load-limiting retractors are
standard on front seat belts. In a crash, these devices
automatically take up slack in the belts. The load limiter is
designed to reduce the risk of chest injuries in severe
Escape provides advanced protection for children with the new
"LATCH" (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system
for child safety seats. Offered a full year before required by U.S.
government regulations, LATCH includes rear-seat-mounted rigid
anchors combined with ceiling-mounted top tether anchors to allow a
properly designed child safety seat to be clipped into position
quickly and accurately.
The Ford SecuriLockTM engine
immobilizer system is standard on all Escapes. The system uses a
key containing an electronically encrypted transponder that is
written to and read through a transceiver unit attached to the
ignition key cylinder. Without the proper key, the vehicle cannot
The 2001 Ford Escape goes on sale this summer. The base
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices for the 2001 Ford Escape
range from $18,160 (including destination and delivery charges of
$515) for the XLS series to $21,335 (including destination and
delivery charges) for the XLT series equipped with Ford's new
Control Trac IITM four-wheel drive
Escape will be built at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in