Ford Escape

The new Ford Escape 2.3 XLT is now in Sime Darby Auto Connexion Sdn Bhd showrooms. It is priced at RM134,837.00 without insurance, road tax and registration. There is only one engine option this time, a 146 PS 2.3 litre Duratec petrol engine with variable valve timing, mated to a 4-speed automatic.

The engine makes its peak power at 6,000rpm with peak torque of 196Nm at 4,000rpm. Fuel efficiency is rated at a claimed 10.5 litres per 100km. That’s actually not very high peak power and torque for a 2.3 litre engine but the reason for this is because it is tuned for SUV usage with better low-down power. A relatively low 9.1:1 compression ratio could also be a contributing factor. Another variation of this 2.3 litre in the previous generation Mazda 6 made 169 PS and 211Nm of torque.

Ford Escape

The facelift has been facelifted with a design that was first previewed at the Tokyo 2007 show. No Kinetic Design here, for that you’ll have to go for the Kuga. This is actually the Asian version of the car, as there is also a US version that has a different exterior and interior. This new Asian model’s interior is largely the same as the older one except for minor changes, and the shifter has been moved to a more traditional position of between the two front seats. Based on a car chassis with struts at the front and multi-link at the rear, it offers a more car-like ride and handling which should bode well with urban commuters. There is also auto cruise control and auto climate control.

Ford Escape

Other than the front end which is completely new with a signature three-bar grille, the rear tail lamps also sport a new horizontal design and are lit up with LED technology. The wheels are 16 inch cast aluminium units wrapped with 215/70R16 tyres. It’s got 200mm front and 242mm rear ground clearance, and a 28.5 degree approach angle and 30 degree departure angle.

In the safety department, the Escape is equipped with dual front airbags and side airbags for a total of four, 4-wheel ABS with EBD and the Control Trac II system detects wheel slip and automatically splits power between the front and rear wheels to maintain traction. Control Trac II can be manually overridden to full time 4×4 mode at the push of a button.

Look after the jump for more photos of the facelifted Escape, including a few more detailed shots of the modified interior.

[zenphotopress number=99 album=321]