Over in the US, the facelifted 2017 Ford Escape (better known to us as the Ford Kuga) is now being offered with a “Cold Weather Package,” that’s especially useful for the winter season. It’s available as standard on Titanium models, but an option on SE variants.

A unique feature of the package is the wiper de-icer. According to Ford, this is a solution to wiper blades covered in clumps of ice, freezing to the glass and streaking. Here, the base of the windshield, beneath the wiper blades, is equipped with a heating element.

Upon activation, the wiper blades can clear the windscreen from light snow and ice, in less than 10 minutes at -18 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from the button inside, the system can be activated with the new SYNC Connect – from an owner’s smartphone and can be scheduled at a specific time to start remotely.

“The windshield wiper de-icer is a great solution to one of the more nagging problems of winter, Escape drivers in the US are going to wonder how they ever got along without it,” said Jennifer Gauthier, Ford fixed glass engineer.

Other items that are included in the package are all-weather floor mats, heated side mirrors, heated seats and supplemental powertrain conditioning heater. The package is standard in Ford Escape models in Canada, while the wiper de-icer will be extended to other Ford vehicles in the US later.

The facelifted Ford Escape was just unveiled recently, sporting a number of visual updates in the front and back. Inside, it has been slightly reconfigured and it also gets added items including, a faster, more intuitive SYNC 3 infotainment system with an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen.

It also features a host of tech including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, enhance active park assist autonomously, lane-keeping system and a driver alert system that warns of fatigued driving.

Engine options include a 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine, a 180 PS/240 Nm 1.5 litre turbocharged, direct-injected EcoBoost petrol mill (new for the US), and an uprated 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine with 245 hp and 373 Nm of torque. The six-speed SelectShift torque converter automatic transmission has been carried over along with the six-speed manual gearbox.