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Sunday
Oct192014

#MyWeekend as a Ford Family Car Driver

#MyWeekend of Test Driving The 2014 Ford Escape with My Family

When Ford Canada asked if I wanted to test out one of their cars over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I could hardly say no. I had always heard Ford had a lot of fun gadgets in their cars so I thought it would be fun to test-drive one for a few days. And, well, the fact they were willing to throw in A FREE tank of gas and some money for expenses made it an offer I couldn't refuse.

The task: take the car out for the weekend and do all the things I normally do, and then report back and tell them all the ways that having access to a family car makes my life easier, especially on weekends. Well, I don't want to say I'm a car snob, but I've been in a lot of family cars over my lifetime. From the old Woody and Volvo station wagons my mom drove when I was a kid, to the Big Buicks my grandparents piled me and my four brothers in to, to the Cadillacs my dad drove us to Sunday brunch in, to the Hyundai Sante Fe my wife has been driving around for the last few years, I've done my fair share of travelling in "family" cars. But I had a buddy who drove a Ford Explorer and I was certainly a fan. So when a Ford Escape SE (Cobalt Blue) showed up at my door, I thought it seemed a little small for our needs, but I certainly put it through its paces.

I'll be the first to say, it was a little cramped; not for the average family, but when you still have two kids under 5 in car seats, it takes away some of the leg room up front. However, that's not to say it was uncomfortable, but I usually like to put my seat back a bit more than I was able to in the Escape. The head room was good. At 6 feet tall, I had lots of room to spare. The seats were comfortable. Everything was easy to reach, and read, on the dash (except for the weird location of the tuning button for the stereo), and all the gadgets were there. I kicked the tires. I checked out the trunk. And all in all it was a great little compact SUV, or hybrid, or whatever you want to call it.

Note: Blue is not my first choice of car, but beggars cant be choosers.

So maybe I wasn't so keen on the design -I liked the older look of the Escape - but I have to say it was a nice ride. It passed my test, especially after I took my daughter to a drive-thru to get coffee (and Tim Bits) and put it through its paces by driving over several speed bumps to see how many drops I could spill in to the drink holder. I spilled none. Then I took two kids in car seats half way across town to a birthday party, and had more than enough room in the back for their bags and a big ass present. And enough room to pack in a bunch of blown up balloons when we left.

Then I put it to the real test - parking it in a packed lot to take the whole family grocery shopping. I got it to a cramped spot, no problem, and then filled it full of enough groceries for a family of 4 for the week (including diapers, bottled water and a bean bag chair my daughter wanted). If that wasn't enough of a test, I drove the family to my mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner and had enough room to load up all the leftovers.

It was a fun ride. my little 2014 Ford Escape SE, 4 door, 4 wheel drive Sports Edition with the convenience package. It had all the bells and whistles - perimeter alarm, rear parking sensors, voice activated bluetooth, chrome, cargo area protector, roof rails, and an awesome stereo for blasting my favorite soundtrack, FROZEN.

If I had older kids, out of car seats, it would be the perfect car for toiling around the city. And barring a few small issues - the leg room, and that weird tuning knob - I think its a pretty awesome car, in any color but blue. Oh, and it was great on gas, especially for me because it was free.

I highly recommend taking one for a test drive. Here is a link for the 2015 model:

http://www.ford.ca/suvs/escape/

Let me know what you think.

 

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