As with the Mazda Tribute, Ford has taken its popular Escape softroader
out back and given it a bit of rhinoplasty inside n' out. Debuting alongside its platform-mate at this week's Melbourne International Motor Show, the reworked SUV presents a new front and rear for 2007, along with some drivetrain and interior fettling. And though the update isn't confirmed for Stateside Escapes, it figures as a good bet to reinvigorate what is essentially an older offering.
The AU Escape loses its Jay Leno proboscis in favor of a more restrained and upscale nose, featuring a riff on the Blue Oval's signature three-bar grille. A new hood and revamped bumper, along with chrome-ringed four-element headlamps are also featured. Uplevel XLT Sport and Limited trim levels benefit from reworked circular fogs and a restyled front skid plate, the latter of which receives turn-signal side mirrors.
(Hit the jump for rear-end, driveline and interior details)
At the rear, new LED taillamps take up residence over a new bumper (again, with skid plate on XLT Sport and Limited) and a "new lift gate garnish" completes the revised rump. 2007 Escapes will roll on one of three new wheel designs, including seven and three spoke alloys (XLT V6 Sport and XLT, respectively) or six-spoke steels (base XLS).
Underhood, both the 2.3-liter four and 3.0-liter six have been brought into compliance with Euro III emissions regulations, with the former gaining variable-valve timing (Ford remains mum on power increases). Rear disc brakes will now be fitted across the range, all featuring Emergency Brake Assist.
The Blue Oval also promises an all-new interior (to be revealed later, but likely closely mirroring that of the 2007 Tribute), which should help its fortunes in the growing small SUV fray. Either way, beats traveling in a fried-out Combi.
[Source: The Ford Motor Company]