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2006 Compact SUV : FORD Escape
Ford’s first car-based sport utility vehicle debuted for the 2001 model year as a result of Ford’s controlling interest in Mazda, which produces the similar Tribute SUV. Given a fresh look inside and out for 2005, the Escape got a new 2.3-liter Duratec four-cylinder that develops 153 horsepower. For the first time, four-cylinder models were available with an optional automatic transmission.
A new intelligent automatic four-wheel-drive system became available. Antilock brakes are standard, and Safety Canopy rollover protection is optional. XLS, XLT, XLT Sport and Limited trim levels are available. Each Escape seats five people on two front bucket seats and folding rear bench with enough cargo space. Standard equipment includes a CD player, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, and power windows, locks and mirrors.
The Limited has leather seating surfaces. A Luxury Comfort Package for the Limited includes a 320-watt Audiophile stereo and a Reverse Sensing System. Antilock brakes are standard and have Quick Brake Assist. A Safety Canopy side curtain-type airbag system with rollover protection is optional. All Escapes are available with front-wheel drive or with all-wheel drive that lacks low-range gearing. Competitors include Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. All are considerably smaller than traditional truck-based SUVs. They promise car-like ride and handling.
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