Why the Ford Escape Is Winning Over America


The 2013 Ford Escape. Source: Ford.

Ford's (NYSE: F  ) Escape has been one of the company's best success stories over the past couple of years. It has a chance to do something that only the F-Series has accomplished over the past decade -- break 300,000 in vehicle sales for an entire year. That would be a huge accomplishment, since the F-Series has been America's best-selling vehicle for 31 years, and the best-selling truck for 36.

But what makes the new Escape so popular? Let's look at what consumers love about the new ride, what critics are saying, and why Ford investors should be excited.

So many perks!
Consumers have gravitated toward the Escape SUV because of its numerous technological and fuel-efficient options. Here's a quick run-down of what you can expect when buying a new, fully loaded Escape. Let's start with the fresh outside appearance and design.

Gone are the days of the boxy style, replaced with a curvy, sleek, contemporary design. The new front grille and lower bumper catch the eye, and the 19-inch wheels give a more modern look. Its high-intensity headlights and fog lamps only complete the more aggressive look. Now that the looks draw you in, how does the Escape seal the deal?

Interior
Once you find yourself in the stylish SUV, there are a few things that will grab your attention. It has a long list of convenient, comfortable, and innovative features. The rear seats are designed to fold easy, and with the press of a button and the lift of a handle, you can transform the Escape into a cargo-carrying beast. To assist, as you may have seen in the commercials, you can simply place your foot under a sensor underneath the rear of the vehicle, and the hands-free lift opens the rear hatch -- pretty slick, and helpful when carrying heavy items.

When it comes to technology, the popular ride also features Sync with MyFordTouch, and Bluetooth, giving consumers hands-free control of the vehicle interior with voice commands.

No gas-guzzler here
When it comes down to it these days, fuel efficiency is one of the most important factors when consumers decide which vehicle to purchase. The Escape's 2-liter EcoBoost option delivers 24 miles per gallon -- a 5 mpg improvement over its predecessor.

Innovation
Along with fuel efficiency, tech innovations are also a key driver for vehicle purchases. The Escape is a winner here as well, offering technology that can slow the vehicle automatically when cornering too fast. It also features an active park assist, as well as blind-spot detection and alerts.

Check out what the critics have to say:

  • Consumer Guide: "The redesigned 2013 Ford Escape is dramatically different than the vehicle it replaces. This compact sport utility is smooth, refined, and quite engaging to drive."
  • Popular Mechanics: "The new Escape finally delivers a modern small crossover to the Ford family. It's certainly one of the sharpest-looking vehicles in this price class, and when equipped with one of the EcoBoost engines, the Escape is a fun and practical ute." 

Bottom line: It delivers
There's plenty for consumers to be happy about, and they've responded in droves, increasing Escape sales 52% over last April's figures. That's where investors should be excited about profit potential. The Escape, when fully loaded, becomes pricier than its predecessor and is more profitable than other standard vehicles. It's even better news that the price increase hasn't turned off consumers from making the purchase.

In fact, SUVs are right next to the F-Series -- which brings in majority of Ford's profits -- in profitability. The redesigned SUV delivers on all the important factors for consumers, and in so doing, it delivers top- and bottom-line profits for Ford and its investors. This story is only beginning.

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Read/Post Comments (19) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 9:47 AM, True411 wrote:

    This must be an advertisement because it doesn't say that the Honda CR-V outsells the Ford Escape on a regular basis.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 9:59 AM, harley19691969 wrote:

    Looks like ford copied the HONDA CRV to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:21 AM, DadinWestchester wrote:

    I loved my Escape but they ruined it for me. It looks like a crossover and they put a woosie 4banger in. I bought a glk350 instead.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:29 AM, dberry8953 wrote:

    As the owner of an older (2005) Escape I have to say that the new Escape is interchangeable, style-wise, with the other mini-ute's on the market. When I see one on the street I think Kia...or Hyundai. And we use our Escape (V-6) to tow our small camper, which I don't think I'd try with a 2.0 4-cylinder engine featured in the new Escape. So...maybe good for some, but I will no longer be a customer.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:35 AM, ohnomore wrote:

    Come on people. It's a freaking ford (found on the road dead). I owned two ford products and would never consider buying one again. Heck, i wouldn't even take one for free since you rarely get to use it.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:36 AM, tobyg74 wrote:

    You're right, it has to be an advertisement. The CRV is a much better vehicle top to bottom. However, the one thing that the Escape does have the people are missing is an ECOBOOST engine. Everyone keep talking about how they won't buy it now because it's engine is only 4 cylinder. These people are not very smart. The Ecoboost engine not only can town more than the V6 it had before, but has just as much horsepower, more torque and much better gas mileage. Anyone that thinks you have to has a V6 or V8 to have power in the 21st century is living in the land of the dinosaurs!

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:36 AM, anamceltic wrote:

    Is Ford paying for this?

    Are you Consumer Reports??

    The Fool is financial and you don't show price.

    Don't waste my time.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 11:28 AM, thehexter1 wrote:

    Bought one in October with promises of 30+ mpg and the dealer even telling me that cruising on the freeway would get in excess of 35/mpg. I have the EcoBoost 1.7 and I can barely get 24.5/mpg on straight freeway driving, that's not even what the city mpg rating is listed on the window sticker. It does run smoothly and I do enjoy the ride, however, very unimpressed with the mpg claims.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 11:37 AM, beegeebugger wrote:

    The author, Daniel Miller, has written many blog articles recently, many of them on automotive issues.

    Whether or not the article is influenced by Ford money... wait until you read his Fool bio before you judge.

    https://my.fool.com/profile/TMFTwoCoins/info.aspx

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 11:55 AM, DidYouKnow wrote:

    I owned a 2010 Escape and LOVED it! It was manual and I truly did not expect to like it-- it has been my fav car!

    Now this new 2013 Ford Escape is nothing but the German model called Ford Cougar that has been out for a while.

    ---American now living in Germany

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 12:02 PM, marine1967 wrote:

    I own 2 Escapes, both 2003. Both have had the Cruse Controls replaced, twice. Both have had the Catalytic Converters ( 3 of them) replaced twice. The running boards are rusting off, and one was lost on the highway. The wheel wells are rusting out of them both. The 4WD is only OK at best, as I have been stuck on wet grass.

    Overall, not a terrible car, but for the price, it could be a lot better and certainlt should not rust out in 10 years, like Fords always did, in the 1970s

    Surprisingly, I tow a 4600 pound boat with it, short distances to the ramp and back and it does it sluggishly, but I am overloading it

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 12:17 PM, JonBranda wrote:

    Ford, not built on tax payer dollars.

    Its all we use in our business now, had GM products for 40 years but never again.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 12:58 PM, stevema1 wrote:

    My Toyota Highlander with a 6 cyl gets 25MPG and this is a 4 cyl and gets 24MPG. OK you keep the Ford

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 4:26 PM, 97logic wrote:

    You guys comparing an 2.0L Ecoboost to a regular 4cyl are really dumb.

    Yeah so it's a 4cyl.

    WHICH PUTS DOWN 275 hp (205 kW; 279 PS) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m).

    More than the V6 it replaced. Please get educated.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 5:40 PM, Grayson43 wrote:

    Whoever wrote this article clearly doesn't own one. I unfortunately do. It's had three recalls, been in the shop four times for computer/my sync issues, had the tail lights replaced due to excessive moisture and has had work done on the power windows. I'm lucky to get 22 mpg with the 1.6l Eco Boost. The car has been a total disappointment! Save yourself the aggravation. If you're in the market for a smaller SUV, go for the CR-V or Rav.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 10:32 PM, herky46q wrote:

    The turbocharged engines in these Fords seem to not live up to the fuel economy claims.

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2013, at 2:09 AM, autotek40 wrote:

    Not built with taxpayer dollars,no taxes in mexico

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2013, at 8:26 AM, columnist77 wrote:

    My 2006 model saved my sons life because of the extra air-bags in the sides. He landed 16 ft below a bridge, upside down in a creek. He had a concussion, but miraculously walked away Dont criticize Escapes to me!

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2013, at 9:15 AM, birder1500 wrote:

    Well, as far as the Ecoboost goes I am somewhat skeptical of turbochargers. Just something else to go wrong. Maybe once these things rack up 300,000 miles without a turbo problem or other problem, I might become less skeptical. I do own two Fords but both straight 4 cyl.

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