LA LIVE: 2017 Ford Escape

The redesigned Escape is now consistent with the Edge\'s design language.

Ford has previewed the 2017 Escape ahead of an official unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The redesigned crossover departs from the current model's design language, instead adopting a new look that is much closer to the Edge and, to a lesser extent, the latest Explorer. Notable changes include a larger hexagonal upper grille, smaller lower grille and new LED taillights.

Most of the powertrain options carry over from the existing model, but Ford has added two new EcoBoost engine choices. The smaller 1.5-liter mill is expected to deliver 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant promises 245 ponies and 275 lb-ft of twist. Paddle-shifters for the standard six-speed automatic transmission are also now available on the SE and Titanium trim levels.

The Escape is said to be Ford's first vehicle with auto-start/stop as a standard feature with either of the EcoBoost engines that are new to the model, improving fuel efficiency by up to six percent in stop-and-go traffic.

Ford's announcement focuses on driver-assistance features and mobile connectivity as highlights for the 2017 model year. Buyers will benefit from adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, a lane-holding system and active park assist.

The crossover also features Ford's most advanced Sync Connect implementation, allowing owners to remotely access a wide range of features via smartphone apps. The system provides the expected industry-standard features, along with more innovative tools such as scheduled future starts to warm up the vehicle every workday at the same time in the morning.

The company's Sync 3 infotainment system is said to feature faster performance and 'conversational' voice recognition. It is presented via a smartphone-inspired touchscreen interface, with a simpler and "easier to understand" layout than previous Sync generations.

Ford claims to have sold more than three million Escapes since the crossover was introduced in 2000. The model hit a record 306,000 units last year, and the company expects to set a new benchmark in 2015.

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