Good morning, you probably didn’t realize when you woke up that you were intensely curious about the next-generation Ford Escape. Who wouldn’t be? This is a crossover that enthusiasts have obsessed over for years. Some even say, “It’s sort of like a Jeep Wrangler, but.” For those, Ford has answered your prayers.
Just kidding, the new Ford Escape will debut in New York next week and join a Ford lineup of SUVs and crossovers (but no cars, except the Mustang) that are so perfectly bland I can’t imagine a company going blander. Ford’s crossovers and SUVs are the corporate rock of cars. I mean just look at this:
The Flex, it can be said, is slightly interesting, but it has been in production largely unchanged for a staggering 11 years now. The Edge’s own name is almost artistically inapt. Ford also sells a car called the “EcoSport” with a straight face. And I doubt anyone who buys a new Explorer is exploring shit. Certainly few Expedition drivers are going on expeditions. The Escape might have the best name, in fact, since if I bought an Escape, yes, I would want very much to escape.
All of which is a shame because the first-generation Ford Escape, debuting in 2000, was genuinely pretty interesting. A collaboration with Mazda, the original escape was made in the U.S. and came with either a Mazda-built inline four cylinder or a Ford-built V6. The second generation also looked good, and came in a super-pleasing green as well.
The new Ford Escape probably won’t be nearly as cool, and really just checks a box off for Ford in this modern world, as every big car company needs to check the same box. It’s a crossover that is small-ish, made by Ford because they have to make a crossover that is small-ish, along with crossovers that are medium-ish, and SUVs that are effin’ huge.
I don’t despair much, though, because I remember circa 2008, when people couldn’t run from SUVs fast enough. These markets go in cycles, and, the Ford Escape will be at its whims, like every other car on offer. Will it still be with us in five years? Who can say.