So where would you go if you were given an SUV and a gift card and tasked with getting outta dodge? Naturally you go to the lake!
I’ve worked a lot with Ford Canada lately in trying out their new cars and when they asked me to give the 2017 Ford Escape a shot, along with a prepaid Visa to escape and discover Manitoba, I jumped at the chance. My boyfriend and I hit up Gimli, Manitoba, a lakeside town located about an hour north of Winnipeg, for the August long weekend, which is also their most popular weekend in town as it’s the Icelandic Festival.
The Ford Escape is a crossover vehicle large enough to hold a bike, a dog, and multiple suitcases, but still compact enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a huge truck (it’s definitely not as large as the Ford Flex, that thing was a monster). Although Ford offers tons of SUVs to choose from, the Escape has been re-engineered with driver feedback in mind. Along with the two new EcoBoost engines and the fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop technology (more on that later), the Escape offers tons of driver-assist technologies to enable safer driving.
We hit the road around noon on the Saturday and got to Gimli in a flash thanks to the 245HP 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged EcoBoost engine. Usually I don’t care much about horsepower, but – and I’m going to get really automotive here – ever since I moved into my condo, which is located along a parkway that has an 80 KM speed limit, accelerating fast and quickly is top of mind. My Honda Civic just doesn’t cut it anymore, I need to get that speed up fast. In fact, the horsepower was probably my favourite feature on this car (no, for once it wasn’t the heated steering wheel).
Since Gimli is quite small and walkable, we did park the vehicle for the entire weekend. With that being said, since the hotel was booked, I had to squeeze this thing into the tiniest of spots. Thanks to the available enhanced active park assist, the car told me via its sensors to watch my back, front and sides just in case I came too close to the cars beside me. I love having this feature as I often get paranoid that I’m going to hit someone, especially when trying to get out of a tight parallel parking spot.
We stayed at the Gimli Lakeview, which is located right on the beach, and since it was the Icelandic Festival, there were tons of people and lots of things to do. From the street festival and the Icelandic village to reading on the beach and walking the boardwalk, we never ran out of things to do. I think my favourite part of the trip though was just sitting back and relaxing. It’s been a very busy summer so some much-needed R&R was certainly welcomed.
When it came time to leave, we packed up the truck and hit the road. The Ford Escape is a comfortable ride and offers so many cool features. I didn’t actually use this one, but if you download the SYNC Connect app, it allows you to remotely lock, unlock, locate, and, when properly equipped, start the vehicle. I just stayed with the standard Bluetooth for connecting my audio, but I would love if my car had an app for that.
Since we were highway driving (which is so boring on the Prairies), the car does offer adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning. In cruise control mode, the Escape can slow to keep a consistent following distance from the car ahead based on the preset distance gap. The forward collision warning triggers visual and audio alerts if the system detects that a collision may occur. As a result, it will pre-charge the brakes if the vehicle needs to stop suddenly.
Since we were mainly driving this guy on the highway, we didn’t do a ton of city driving, but it acts sort of like a hybrid at stop signs and red lights. The auto start-stop technology senses when the vehicle is idle and shuts off the engine, meaning that the vehicle burns no gas and emits no tailpipe emissions. And, speaking of gas, when it came time to fill this guy up, I was surprised at the amount of fuel I got for the price I paid. I didn’t want to fill it up all the way since it was my last day with it, so I only put in $20, thinking that would give us enough to get back to Winnipeg. I had about 150 kilometres left on the vehicle before the tank was empty and after I filled it up for 20 bucks I had over 400 KMs! For an SUV, this is amazing gas mileage.
The 2017 Ford Escape has so many cool features, many of which I didn’t even get the chance to experience. Since I’m a lifestyle/beauty blogger, I keep it pretty chill with what I look for in a car. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does it go fast? What are the audio features? Does it have a heated steering wheel? Granted that last feature isn’t really necessary in the summertime..
The 2017 Ford Escape starts at C$23,765, and if you’re in need of a weekend escape soon, I would look into giving this guy a shot. It’s a great car, especially if you’re looking to get away.
Huge thanks to Ford Canada for letting me drive this guy around for the week. Ford Canada also provided me with a prepaid VISA gift card to escape & discover.
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