Ford’s Escape SUV has scored a new ST-Line model and standard AEB across the range as part of a broader model update for 2018.
Available from September, the new ST-Line trim ($39,990) slots below the top-spec Titanium ($45,480-$48,340) and above the Ambiente ($28,990-$33,490) and Trend ($33,490-$36,490) trim levels in the Escape’s new-look four-strong lineup. Each of those prices (excluding the new ST-Line, of course) has increased by $500, which Ford justifies by the roll-out of standard AEB across the range, including for the entry-level Ambiente - which also nabs 17-inch alloys for the first time.
The Escape debuts the ST-Line name in Australia (it has long existed in Europe) and Ford is pitching its new model as its “sportiest Escape ever”. Outside, 18-inch “Absolute Black” alloys match the new and blacked-out grille, fog-lamp surrounds and roof rails. Inside, you’ll find a new-look leather interior trim with red stitching, stainless steel pedals and new scuff plates.
The ST-Line will be powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, good for 178kW and 345Nm.
Outside, 18-inch “Absolute Black” alloys match the new and blacked-out grille, fog-lamp surrounds and roof rails.
But Ford has promised it’s more than just a visual nip and tuck. The ST-Line also sits on newly tuned suspension (dropping the ride height by 10mm), and Ford has tweaked the steering and added thicker anti-roll bars to make it feel sharper and more dynamic.
Its eight-inch screen is equipped with Ford's in-house Sync 3 system, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
“Australians continue to pivot towards the practicality and versatility of trucks and SUVs, yet there’s a genuine passion for sports and performance models here, too,” says Ford Australia's president and CEO, Graeme Whickman.
"The Escape ST-Line is the first ST-Line model here, bringing together Ford’s sports styling and dynamics with the liveability and convenience of the Escape."
The Escape, as well as the EcoSport and Everest, will soon be joined by the Endura SUV - a mid-size "premium" model that will launch in Australia by the end of the year, increasing Ford's high-riding family to four models.
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