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Tri-County news • Fall Auto Guide • Thursday, October 27, 2016

More people than ever look to Escape By Mark Sherry The Ford Escape continues to be sold in big numbers, and it is easy to see why. First introduced in 2000, the Escape has had its best years in each of the last two. More than 306,000 vehicles were sold in both 2014 and 2015, the first time the Escape topped the 300,000 mark. Given the continued improvements Ford has made to the Escape—including some new styling for the 2017 model—expect those numbers to continue to be up there. Mike Burkart Ford of Plymouth has 2017 Ford Escapes on the lot now, and Tom Blagoue set me up to drive one in the SE package. That is the middle package between the S and the Titanium in the Ford Escape. Given that the Escape is in the same crossover class as the vehicle I currently drive on a daily basis, I knew it would be roomy and comfortable but still handle well—and the Escape did not disappoint. Almost a decade newer than the vehicle I drive, the 2017 Ford Escape has all the improved comforts and features which have swept the vehicle industry in recent years. With so many new vehicles offering the same or similar features these days, I tend to notice the little things which I have not seen before or which set a vehicle apart from others I have driven. In the 2017 Ford Escape, those things include the metallic bar-type inside door handles, the huge inside air vents both front and rear, deep storage wells between the front seats, a capless fuel filler, and blind spot mirrors. Those are minor things which probably would not determine whether or not a person buys a vehicle, but they all add up to providing even more style to a vehicle which is also long on functionality. One of those functions which Blagoue told me to keep an eye out for is the auto start-stop technology in the 2017 Ford Escape. It is standard on models with the EcoBoost engine. It

The 2017 Ford Escape actually shuts the engine off when you come to a complete stop—at a stop sign or light, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or when picking someone up— and then seamlessly restarts the engine when you release the brake pedal. This helps to both optimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions. The 2017 Ford Escape I drove is rated at 24 mpg (22 city, 28 highway) but could do better than that with the start-stop technology. The technology offers continue inside the vehicle. People can recharge their phones and tablets with up to to two smart charging USB ports. They can power laptops and other small electronics with a covered 110-volt power outlet which accepts a household-style plug. Sync 3 is available which offers

the ability to place and answer calls and control music from other devices. An available eight-inch color LCD screen in the dashboard has swipe and pinch-to-zoom functionality within the navigation app. The Escape I drove only had the 4.2-inch screen, but there also was a wealth of vehicle and performance information available on the screen between the speedometer and tachometer. The Sync Connect feature allows the person to remotely start, lock, and unlock their vehicle using their phone. Sync AppLink allows for voice control of some mobile apps. Comfort feautures include the options of a heated steering wheel and 10-way power, heated, leather-trimmed front seats. In the way of convenience is the foot-activated rear liftgate which

opens to up to 68 cubic feet of cargo space. The Escape also can handle some light towing (up to 3,500 pounds) with the right engine and tow packages. The Ford Escape also will get you to where you are going safely with features such as adaptive cruise control, the new lane-keeping system, the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), and a rear-view camera. Four-wheel drive systems are available as well, and a park assist system is available in the Titanium package. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $28,255 and a list of features a mile long, it is easy to see why the Ford Escape is more popular than ever.

Parents play key role in teaching children to drive Parents do not prepare their teens to drive as well as they did a decade ago. According to a new AAA survey of 142 driving instructors across America, 65 percent said the decline in quality parental involvement has added to the challenges facing young drivers. They also reported that parents often set a bad example through their own behaviors. “With all the other challenges teens face learning to drive, it is critical for parents to re-engage in the process,” said Nick Jarmusz, Wisconsin director of public affairs for AAA—The Auto Club Group. “Teens can’t succeed on the road unless those closest to them make proper training a priority and set a good example behind the wheel.” In the survey Skills of Novice Teen Drivers, driving instructors also revealed the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive: n Speeding—traveling over posted speed limits or too fast for road conditions; n Distraction—interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle; n Poor visual scanning—driving with tunnel vision and not properly scanning the road for risks or hazards. Past research shows that teens with

parents who impose stricter driving limits reported fewer crashes and traffic violations. AAA recommends parents stay actively involved in coaching their teens through the learning-to-drive process by: n having conversations early and often about the dangers of speeding and distraction; n taking the time to practice driving with their teens in varying conditions; n adopting a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that takes the learning to drive process in stages and sets family rules for the road; n setting a good example by minimizing distractions and speeding when driving. AAA also recommends that teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills. Resources to help parents choose a class and coach their teen through the learning-to-drive process can be found on AAA’s award-winning Web site TeenDriving.AAA.com. The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million

members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion

of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 55 million members in the U.S. and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

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Fall Auto Guide 2016  

Enjoy reading our Fall Auto Guide 2016.

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