Just a year after its launch in Malaysia, the Ford Escape has received a minor model update with the addition of a front-wheel drive variant and revised looks for the four-wheel drive variant. There is no change in pricing for the latter, but the front-wheel drive model is offered with an attractive-looking price tag of RM118,888 inclusive of insurance.
Powertrain offering is unchanged, so the 2.3-litre Duratec four-pot twin-cam with VVT soldiers on with the 4-speed automatic transmission for both models. Compatible with E20 bio-ethanol fuel, the engine produces 154hp @ 6,000rpm and 200Nm @ 4,000rpm. The 4WD variant gets the Control Trac II on-demand 4WD which allows for a 50:50 front/rear torque split for light off-road usage.
Ford also claims that the Escape has been revised with a new and sporty-look incorporating the company’s trademark kinetic design cues. In all honesty, however, these differences are difficult to spot even when the old and new are parked side-by-side.
The most obvious styling change comes at the front grille, where the three chromed bars are replaced by one with a honey comb design. Fog lamp slots are now body coloured instead of black. Between the old and current model, the entire front bumper assemblies are interchangeable, allowing owners to instantly transform their Escapes from one to the other.
Safety wise, both variants come standard with ABS, EBD and dual front airbags. As before, the 4WD model continues to receive side airbags for driver and front passenger. Equipment thrown in include cruise control, automatic climate control, six-CD changer with six speakers, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, rear parking sensor, and power adjustable exterior mirror for all series (with an additional power foldable feature for the 4WD XLT model).
Additional features on the 4WD XLT variant include a sunroof, five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/70R 16″ tires, as well as leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Ford Escape 2WD XLS variant will be available in Ford showrooms from September 2010 onwards while the 4WD XLT variant is now available for viewing at all Ford showrooms nationwide. As mentioned earlier, the Ford Escape 2.3L 2WD XLS is sold at RM118,888.00 on-the-road with insurance in Peninsula Malaysia. The 2.3L 4WD XLT variant sells for RM139,888 under the same terms.
The 2010 Ford Escape is fully imported from the Philippines and is available in Panther Black, Moondust Silver, Infra Red and Diamond White. All Ford Escapes come with a 3-year free maintenance and 3-year warranty (with terms and conditions attached).
Pictures: Official Ford release