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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,
I'm updating this thread starter thanks to the help of members to identify the engine type in our Alamo rental Escape hired from Toronto airport. The updated text is red. It appears that Alamo's representative incorrectly stated that our Escape was a non-turbo 2.5 litre. I've now attached pics of the actual engine bay and model identification. From what I've now been told, this Escape is most likely a 2.0 litre turbo. This makes the comparison to our new Forester XT Premium, which is the top spec available in Hong Kong, much closer than originally thought. I've attached screen-saver pricing information (Canada) to illustrate the close spec and pricing of both cars

We have completed a 6000Km road tour in East Canada (Toronto to Nova Scotia and back) in a new Ford Escape (6 speed auto, leather seats, electric tailgate). We test drove the 1.6 litre turbo Escape (Kuger in Hong Kong) but chose the XT (documented our XT buying/early days experience here):

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f151/2014-forester-xt-replaces-2001-terracan-203498/

We've collectively driven some 8000Km's in both new car types in the last 3 months, so it might be of interest to comment on the experience. Both this Escape and our XT (PG 150) are similar spec in terms of trim levels.

Performance.
The 6000Km's were done in the Escape, 2000Km's in our new XT (PG150). Frankly speaking, PG150 is light years ahead. While under the earlier impression that this Escape had the base 2.5 engine, I forgave the relative lack of performance. However, now knowing this car contained a turbo unit, my re-assessment gives this car a significant lower rating. The driving experience of the Escape isn't one of "turbo". The engine feels more like a normally aspirated unit. It does have some punch but nothing like in comparison to PG150. The Suub's 2.0litre boxer is smooth with lots of torque in the right places while the Escape has to be pushed much harder to get barely close to anything considered "sporting". The Escape's engine is rough and noisy under heavy load, PG150's gets smoother and as she's pushed.

Transmission's.
Both cars have auto boxes. This Escape has a 6 speed auto, PG150 the CVT. The one thing that worried me when buying PG150 was the CVT. But having done enough Km's in both vehicles, the Foresters CVT is the winner. Granted our Suub has the "High Torque" version but if the standard CVT is similar, the smooth clean ratio changes are far superior in use compared to the 6 speed of the Ford.

Economy:
The Escape, both according to its dash computer and our manual consumption checks is averaged 10.77litres per 100Km's. This is disappointing compared to PG150's 9.6 litres per 100 Km's. Given that the Ford is cruising at around 100KPH on good fairly flat roads, while PG's consumption is based on short journeys upon hilly roads, the Ford is lagging well behind on economy.

Handling.
Both cars have a partly sporty feeling to them. PG150 has the firmer suspension, the comfort prize goes to the Escape but we noticed it under-steers more and is less "planted" on the road compared to PG150. In terms of handling safety, PG150 is markedly better.

Fit and finish.
The Escape is quite good but there are noticeable differences. The doors on PG150 close with "authority" while the Escape's require more effort, the rears not closing well. The bonnet (hood) over the engine bay on the Escape requires dropping from quite a height to get it locked, while PG150 closes easily with a gentle push. Paintwork on the Escape is OK but patchy in places. Looking down its flanks reveals allot of ripple/orange peal effects, while PG's finish is more glass flat.

Interior.
Here the comparison is a closer match. This Escape's leather seats are nicely finished with good lateral support but a little hard for long journeys. PG's seats are a little more comfy but have less lateral support. In terms of overall seat quality, PG150's feel just that bit better, especially the rears as the Fords are rather thin. Dash layout on PG is much easier to live with. The Escape is less well laid out. Control stalks on the Ford feel flimsy compared to PG. The use of soft and hard plastic trims appears equally proportioned on both cars. This Escape is fitted the large centre dash screen, making reversing easier compared to the smaller screen on PG150. However, if like me, you like to look back when reversing, PG is has the better rear view due to its larger glass area.

Overall impression and buying decision.
In Hong Kong, the Kuger (Escape) with a turbo 1.6 litre engine (2.5 isn't available) including leather seats, electric tailgate (but only with the more simple dash radio and no reversing camera) was some US$6000 cheaper than PG150. However, the 2.0 litre non-turbo engined Forester was only US$2000 more expensive, the price difference due to Ford's special introductory offer. Normal pricing in Hong Kong will put the Kuger (Escape) and the 2.0 litre non-turbo Foresters neck un neck. Had Ford's Hong Kong importer's brought in cars with the upgraded dash (reversing camera included) we'd have likely bought the Kuger. I found its 1.6 litre turbo engine good gave lots of pull despite its small capacity while Suubs 2.0 litre non-turbo (2.5 litre version not available in Hong Kong) hadn't enough grunt for Hong Kong's hills.

For buyers looking for performance as well as practicality, Ford's 1.6 litre turbo will likely come up short compared to the XT turbo Boxer engine. If like me, your willing to pay the premium, I found no other SUV brand in the price-range that offers the excellent "bang for buck" ratio that our XT - PG150 delivers. Given the latest price information that places these 2 cars very close on price and spec, from our 6000Km drive experience in the Escape, this Ford not doesn't hold up to our XT PG150. Fit, finish, performance and economy all fall short compared to the Suub. In light of the collective 8000+Km's driving experience, I'm really glad we bought PG150. The extra money (Hong Kong prices) was worth it.


Cheers
Mark.
 

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I looked seriously at the new Escape, having (largely) enjoyed previous generations as rentals. Unfortunately the current version, though derived of the European Kuga, continues a running tradition of recall/reliability issues that's beleaguered the Escape since introduction in 2000. Having had frustrating chapters with other Fords, I was leery of going back to that.

Other issues:

  • Rearward visibility, which for inner-city driving (I live in downtown Los Angeles) is a bit limited; the RAV4, CR-V and Korean offerings share this problem

  • The instrument panel, which (to me) is busy, elaborate and unintuitive

  • MSRP, which was $2,000 higher than my Forester comparably trimmed

  • No manual MT
The Forester, on the other hand, checks every box favorably, and has a wonderfully tight turning radius -- very handy 'round here. In all, I couldn't be more pleased. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Guys,
Glad relaying our driving experiences might be useful. We've driven another 500Km's today in the Escape at moderate speeds (under 80KPH) but economy remains poorer than expected. I can't get this particular Escape below 10.5 litres per 100Km's travelled.

I can understand member 213's comments. There are some build quality niggles with this particular Escape. For those folks seriously considering buying a new Escape, I recommend they only buy the "actual" car off the sales lot, carefully checking it over before handing over payment.

I'm sort of warming to the Escape but not enough to sway me away from a Forester. If the 2.5 litre Forester buy price remains some US$2000 less than the 2.5 litre Escape (assuming similar spec levels), its a "no brainer", buy the Suub.

Thx
Mark.
 

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I also test drove the current Escape, and it's main drawbacks to the Forester were the rear visbility and the almost comical rear seat legroom. I like to test the latter after I've set the driver's seat where I need to have it (I'm 6'4"). In the Escape, only a toddler has sufficient legroom under thse circumstances . They (Ford) measure their "official" rear seat legroom with the driver's seat pushed forward. You cannot rely on those measurements for comparison purposes as a result. Among the competition, only the Rav4 is close in rear seat legroom. I must say the Outback is even better.
 

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Just hoping you can clarify which engine is in the Escape. You said the 2.5 ecoboost. However, the three available engines from worst to best are:

- 2.5 (non-eco/non-turbo)
- 1.6 Ecoboost/turbo
- 2.0 Ecoboost/turbo

thx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just hoping you can clarify which engine is in the Escape. You said the 2.5 ecoboost. However, the three available engines from worst to best are:

- 2.5 (non-eco/non-turbo)
- 1.6 Ecoboost/turbo
- 2.0 Ecoboost/turbo

thx.
Hi SubiRoo,
We rented this Escape from Alamo at Toronto airport. Their receptionist told me its a 2.5 litre. He said they didn't have any 1.6 turbo engined cars. But I'm not sure if he was right. I looked in the engine compartment but couldn't see any specific details on the engine, but it does say "Ecoboost" on its top cover. I'll try to find some time to upload more pics, see if you can identify the specifics on this Escape, as I'm not familiar with N. American model specs.

Thanks
Mark.
 

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When my buddy was looking for a new car we test drove the new Escape and the Forester, along with the Toyota Rav4 and Honda CRV. The Electronic Stability Control on Fords are ridiculously intrusive and take a lot of control away from the driver during a panic serve maneuver (not at highway speeds, but around 40 mph)........This has been a trend with just about all new Ford's I have driven lately (pun intended)).
 

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I rented the escape and while I liked it overall the center console makes this weird sweep as it goes up the dash. It goes right where I want to have my right leg and made me crazy.

This might only be problematic on left hand drive but if I can't sit comfortably in the car that's it (also I'm 6 foot ~180lb so about average size dude)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Guys,
We've finished renting the Escape, returned it to Alamo at Toronto airport having covered around 6000Km's. The final average fuel consumption was 10.77litres per 100km's. Our main routs are shown on the jpeg screen saving (+ local driving). 90% of the driving was highway cruising at speeds of around 100KPH (Trans-Canada highway).

Please see the pic of the Escape's engine bay. If any member can help to identify the exact engine spec, please feel free to post.

Overall, the Escape as "OK". It was reliable and relatively easy to drive. One major drawback was seat comfort. The seats were too hard, my behind soon ached after 2 hours behind the wheel.

Would a new Forester be better on a 6000Km road trip? I suspect it would, both on economy and comfort.

Cheers
Mark.
 

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Hi Mark, how you liking Canada? Do you come here often?

IHad a Focus SEL for 2 weeks and found the MFT to be confusing and slow. Not sure about the Escape but the older gen had a terrible traction control system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Hi Mark, how you liking Canada? Do you come here often?

IHad a Focus SEL for 2 weeks and found the MFT to be confusing and slow. Not sure about the Escape but the older gen had a terrible traction control system.
Hi W,
Canada is a great place. I've many working associates and friends spread across the whole country (and in the USA). So my travels are a mixture of business and pleasure. I'm likely will be in Canada on an annual basis for the next few years (depending on business volume).

The New Escape is one of those cars that sort of does everything you want, but its not quite satisfying. Critically, this is the car we very nearly bought (Kuger in Hong Kong) instead of PG150. I'm glad we didn't. Having lived in it for many KM's, it falls short on comfort and economy. The build quality of this particular Escape was "Ok" but not up to the standard of our PG150. Other members have commented that similar spec Foresters can be bought for less money than the Escape, the choice is obvious to anyone with moderate or more car knowledge, the Forester is ahead by a good margin. Ford fans might argue against my assessment. I fully accept Ford make value for money product, but speaking as a mechanical engineer with past competition driving experience, Suub's are really good.

I'm likely back next year so will search out a Subaru Forester rental. The acid test is to drive a similar distance to better experience the differences.

We're now in Vancouver driving a Jeep Patriot (Thrifty rental):

2013 Jeep Patriot Specs, Engine Horsepower, Fuel Economy, & Interior Specifications - Automobile Magazine

Gosh this car is a different kettle of fish. Being a renter, its a very basic spec. No leather, no reversing warning/camera, not much of anything. It does feel more solidly built but the suspension feels "primitive" compared to both Forester and Escape. There's allot of tyre noise even at low speeds. I guess Jeep's customer base is looking for more a "workhorse". No problem in this approach as the car is quite easy to drive, its lower price is reflected in its "no frills" design and operation. How this Jeep performs on long runs I couldn't say at this stage. I won't be doing more than around 700Km's on the west coast.

Cheers
Mark.
 

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Mark, if you are ever here in Regina, the National Rent a Car is a division of the local Subaru dealership. I work for a hotel here and I see on a daily basis a handful of Subaru rentals in the parking lot(has National rear licence plate frames).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After doing a quick google to compare images, that engine you had was the 1.6 ecoboost engine.
Many thanks Subi.
I've been told that the engine is the 2.0litre turbo unit. I've updated the first post (red text) as the comparison between this rented Escape and our XT (PG150) now becomes very close in terms of price and spec.

Please take a fresh look at the first post when you have time.

Many thanks
Mark.
 

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Ahh....if it was Titanium model then yes it was 2.0 turbo. I must've found some misidentified pics on Google earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ahh....if it was Titanium model then yes it was 2.0 turbo. I must've found some misidentified pics on Google earlier.
Thanks Subi,
Yes, the renter was a Titanium. Glad of this confirmation.

Having done 6000Km's in this Escape, possibly the longest "test drive" I'll ever do, this car wasn't as good as our XT, especially on fuel consumption.

I'd recommend any prospective new car buyer who's considering the Escape to carefully check/match their needs to this car. I'm not saying the Escape is a "bad" car, its OK, just that from our long drive experiences, the Suub delivers allot more for your money.

Cheers
Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,
I got back into Hong Kong late last night. Happily, our XT - PG150 survived a strong typhoon without any damage while we were in Canada and USA.

PG150 hasn't been started and ran for over 3 weeks, was exposed to the strongest typhoon to hit Hong Kong this year and topping that, I accidentally left the key-fob in my pants. It survived a long wash cycle and a 1200rpm spin, it still works!

Getting back into the driver's seat of PG150 today, the first most immediate thing that hit me was the amount of glass area new Forester's have compared to the new Escape and Patriots. It was a breeze to back out PG150 from our tight parking spot. Other things that made me realise the differences, XT's are sooooo much quicker than the 2.0 litre Titanium Escape. PG's handling, steering, braking, fit and finish is all better than the Ford.

I felt that the Patriot we hired on the Vancouver side of our road tour was, compared to the Escape, a better value for money proposition. We rented the "North Latitude" trim level Patriot with a 2.4 litre engine. While this trim level didn't match the Escape , fit and finish was similar. I actually felt more at home in the Patriot compared to the Escape. The seats were more comfortable, while not sporty, the Patriot felt well planted on the road and had a very good turning circle, its "off road" capability should be reasonable given its 9"+ ground clearance. Its a practical car, the rear seats folding totally flat creating a smooth load space. Don't expect thrilling performance from its engine, the 2.4 litre in-line four is rough when revved, but it toes the body reasonably well. The 6 speed auto transmission is OK, smooth enough changes and ratios well spaced. I generally got the impression of a purposeful car, less frills but does the job. How would the Patriot stack up against a base 2.5 litre Forester? Difficult to say. I believe this particular spec Jeep Patriot can be bought for around US$25,000, the base Forester with CVT is around US$29,000 (priced in Canada). Both specs appear broadly similar so can the Suub justify the extra 4 grand? Not sure on this as we didn't get to drive a base Forester while in Canada.

As for the Escape, as previously reported in earlier posts, the turbo'd 2.0 litre Titanium model doesn't match the new new XT. Given their similar prices, the Suub wins by quite a margin.

There is one idea that I'd love Suub to take on board. I wish they'd build stripped out "no frills" versions of both base and XT Foresters. The big advantage of the Patriot is its simplicity, having enough gear to to the job, making it easy to live with. PG 150 is a nice car but I don't need/use all its gizmos.

Cheers
Mark.
 

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Just thought I'd share with everyone since I did the conversion. 10.77L/100km is equivalent to 21.84mpg.
 
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