In late August some local bloggers & media folks were invited to come test drive the 2013 Ford Escape on Ford’s cross-Canada promotional tour, “Escape for the Day with Ford”.
Note: Ford didn’t pay me to attend the event. They did provide a light lunch, fruit, pop and an interesting mashed potato martini bar supper. So take that for what you will while you read my account of the day. Mashed. Potato. Martini. Bar.
I had the opportunity to take a 2013 Ford Escape for a quick tour of the city on our way to Praireland Park for a vehicle road test. Using the pre-programmed GPS was unique as up to this point I've only ever used my iPhone for any sort of driving directions. The built-in GPS is certainly easier to use over all - though Apple's new Maps system in iOS 6 could change that once it gets up to speed.
With a course setup designed to show off the braking and maneuverability of the new Escape - particularly when it comes to avoiding hitting pylons and interns holding up flags that are meant to simulate little puppies and small children running out onto the road.
I’ve never driven a car the way we were pushed to on that course. Accelerating as fast as you can and then slamming on the brakes as hard as you can. Turning at the last possible second before hitting a pylon isn’t something I’m going to allow myself to do with our minivan. 1 I’ll leave that for my son when he turns 16 in 11 years.
One particularly neat feature of the Escape is the foot activated gate/rear hatch. Basically you do a kicking motion (motion being the key word - you don’t need to actually kick your vehicle) and it triggers the hatch to open. They had us do a race between the various groups to see who could get a vintage box into the back of their Escape the quickest using the foot activated gate.
One important security detail that Ford thought of with the foot activated gate is that you need to have the key within a few feet of the rear of the vehicle in order to active it. So that it’s not like anybody can just come up behind your car and open the gate. Or if you’re involved in a race and you forget to get the key from the previous team, you probably won’t be able to complete the race. 2
As Tenille over at FeistyFrugalandFabulous.com said, it’s great how Ford is taking the time to show off their vehicles and bring out local bloggers, tweeters and other social media folk to chat about their products. No other vehicle manufacturer is doing that to the best of my knowledge.