When Ford Philippines launched the all-new Ford Escape and the more powerful Ford Explorer Sport last October, we were quite excited. Both came with the power of the company's award winning EcoBoost turbo engines and both had plenty to offer the market.
To further drive the point about what the 2015 Explorer Sport and Escape are all about, Ford invited some members of the media to drive the two new crossovers all the way to Anilao, Batangas.
Dubbed as “Explore Your Limits, Redefine Your Escape,” the participants of the drive were instructed to meet at the company’s dealership along Chino Roces in Makati City get a quick overview of the destination drive and to get our vehicle assignments.
On the way to Batangas, we hopped on board the 2015 Explorer Sport; the most powerful car in the group and the most powerful in Ford's line up... barring the Mustang, of course. Equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, the Explorer Sport has 365 PS and 475 Nm of torque on tap for our scenic drive.
The power and acceleration was instantly felt as we made our way into the South Luzon Expressway all the way to the STAR Tollway up to the first pit stop at Taal Basilica, the largest Catholic Church in the Philippines and Asia. After a brief tour inside the Basilica, participants went to Villa Tortuga, an ancestral house located on the banks of Pansipit river to have some snacks and a quick photo op.
The Explorer Sport's EcoBoost engine further showcased its power as we weaved through rural traffic and made passing slower vehicles a cinch. A thing of note is how the Explorer Sport churns out power as soon as you step on the gas pedal. Tackling uphill roads are just a piece of cake. In case you’re wondering, the engine is mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that sends power to an all-wheel drive system.
In terms of handling, the Explorer Sport's steering wheel is light which would be beneficial if you're driving through the busy streets of the metro. The ride comfort is also good as the Explorer Sport can take a hit from the dilapidated roads common in rural (and urban) areas.
The Explorer Sport can accommodate up to seven passengers with ample leg and head room. It also comes with features such as MyFord Touch, Ford SYNC, DVD with headrest monitors, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Blind Spot Information System, Terrain Management System, among others.
Upon arrival, participants took a break and some R&R at the Le Chevrerie resort in Anilao, Batangas. While everyone was relaxing, we took some time to check out our steed for the route back to Manila: the 2015 Ford Escape Titanium.
The Escape is the smaller EcoBoost-powered sibling of the Explorer Sport. The styling is more youthful given its target market compared to the more mature Explorer.
In terms of powerplants, the 2015 Escape Titanium is equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four EcoBoost engine that produces 240 PS and 366 Nm of torque. Similar to the Explorer Sport, the Escape churns out power as soon as you step on the gas pedal with relatively minimal turbo lag. Ford’s compact crossover is also agile as it handles nicely around tight turns and bends. In addition, it has a light steering feel that allows the vehicle to change from one lane to another with ease. When it comes to roads less travelled, the Escape can competently tackle the surface within reason, though the ride does get a little bumpy.
The 2015 Escape features Active Park Assist (an automated parallel parking system), Ford SYNC, MyFord Touch, six airbags, Blind Spot Information System, among others.
Ford definitely has power on their side thanks to their EcoBoost engines as evidenced by the 2015 Ford Explorer Sport and Ford Escape. The Ford EcoBoost powerplants are so successful that Ford saw fit to equip most of their cars with EcoBoost including the time-honored American pony car: the Mustang.
Don't get me wrong, it's not all about great engines. The great features, the design, the quality and technology are all strong suits of the 2015 Explorer Sport and 2015 Escape for the Blue Oval, two new crossovers that are strong contenders in the local crossover and SUV market.