Escaping Winter With a 2018 Ford Escape March 27, 2018 · 11 min. readDisclaimer: While the thoughts and opinions are my own, this article was brought to you by a third party. Also, this article may contain affiliate links.
Although I try my best to embrace winter, this winter has been difficult. First it was extremely cold for weeks on end, and then we have been hit by blizzard after blizzard. My Dodge Avenger handles snow about as good as Spiderman handles Thanos, so I've had my fair share of snow-bank sleepovers, tow truck pickups and early morning public transit excursions. I don't mind the snow, but I mind it when it gets in the way of my car.
When I was asked to test drive a 2018 Ford Escape Titamium, I was relieved to give my little Dodge a break. The weather forecast predicted the "storm of the year" to be approaching, so it gave me the chance to see how a new vehicle handles storms compared to my current one, and maybe actually not get snowed in for the weekend.
If I was to compare last year's Ford Explorer to this year's Ford Escape, the biggest difference would be the size. The Explorer was large and bulky, and I felt like I was driving a Megazord. The Escape is a little smaller, a little more compact and a lot friendlier. I can sneak around vehicles more easily, instead of sitting behind cars like a giant, red mammoth waiting for them to move.
Another difference would be the colour. The Explorer was red, while the Escape was blue. I felt other vehicles were a lot less aggressive to drive around when I drove the Escape. When I drove the Explorer, I felt vehicles gave me a wider berth. Maybe it was something subconscious, but I felt less intimidating in the Escape.
Handling the Elements
When the "storm of the year" finally arrived, it wasn't that bad. Perhaps it was because I was driving a vehicle made for winter conditions (unlike my car), but it might have also been because the storm was more puff than snow. I drove around the city a bit and then decided to hit the highway, even though the RCMP had recommended no highway driving due to jackknifed semis and multi car collisions. Because of this, I only went about 5 minutes outside the city and pulled off into a gravel road before turning back.
The Escape handled the ice-covered streets flawlessly and wasn't bothered at all by the hurricane force winds. Only once did I feel a minor tug from the wheels as I plowed through an adolescent snow drift, but it was nothing compared to what my Dodge would have done (it probably would have gotten stuck).
I was very impressed by how it handled the snow and ice, so after a few days of warming, I decided to take it for another test. Once the highways were cleared, I headed out to the biggest, muddiest place I could find, the aptly named "Big Muddy" area.
I've only ever seen pictures of the massive geological formations so not only was I in awe as I approached them for the first time, I was in awe by how easily the Escape handled the three-inch-deep mud. Much like the ice and snow before, only once did the vehicle give me trouble, but it never got stuck. My Dodge, on the other hand, probably wouldn't have even come close to making it up the hill.
What I Liked About the Ford Escape
All in all, the Ford Escape was a really nice vehicle. It handled itself very well in the ice and snow, and then again in the immediate mud. The backup camera and collision sensors were great to have as well. It drove very smoothly and easily handled the various "sink-hole" like pot-holes that have opened around the city. After getting stuck various times in my car this winter, having a vehicle that could handle winter conditions was by far my favourite thing about it.
I also really liked the size of the vehicle. Although it was bigger than my car, it wasn't as massive as the Explorer and I felt a lot more comfortable in it. It was a nice upgrade from my car, and would be perfect for a family of four or five. It also has more than enough truck space for groceries, luggage or sporting equipment.
What I Didn't Like About the Ford Escape
Like the Explorer I had last year, I still feel Ford's collision sensor system is impressive, but could use some work. Last year my issue was grass causing the sensors to freak out, but this year my issue was ice. The storm had covered the vehicle in a thin layer of ice so whenever I turned my steering column left, the sensors on the left side of the car would light up as if I was about to hit something. The first few times I thought there was something there, but it also happened out in the country and there was nobody around. It was at that point I realized it was just the sensor was detecting ice on the vehicle.
I also wasn't a huge fan of the radio station dial controls. At first glance it looked like one of those old 1980s ashtrays. I didn't like the idea of a grooved interface to just change the station and I found it very clunky to use. Unfortunately, the station change on the steering wheel just jumps to pre-set favourites and doesn't go through all the channels, so I found myself forced to use the awkward ashtray radio station.
Like the Ford Explorer before, the Escape also had those bright blue headlights. I don't like having those lights behind me and I know other drivers don't either, but I admit they did help when driving out in the country at night. They may be the way of the future, but I still don't care for them.
This time Ford asked me to do something different while testing their vehicle. Although they still wanted me to drive it around, they also asked I do something positive with it and "pay it forward". I was struggling to think about what do when my sister texted me. Following the "storm of the century" her sidewalks had huge snow drifts covering them, and as a mother of two she couldn't go out and shovel. Her husband was out of the province for the weekend too, so she was alone with the kids. She asked me to come and help shovel her walk and in return she would order us a pizza.
Although I didn't really want to drive across the city to shovel somebody's walk, in the spirit of "paying it forward" I did anyway, and I know she really appreciated it.
The Escape was a good-sized vehicle for a family, and even works well for one person. I could fill its tank for less than $50 and it ran around 12 liters per 100 kilometers. It handled the winter and spring conditions flawlessly and even managed to make the pot holes less awful than usual. At around $40,000, this vehicle is a great option for somebody looking for a new ride.
I found the hands-free calling, collision sensors and GPS system very useful and, unlike the Explorer, it never blanked out on me while I was out in the country.
If I was looking for a new vehicle, either for city or country driving, I would consider the Ford Escape. It was a pleasant change from my current car, and it was a vast improvement over the Ford Explorer I drove last year. If I didn't have five years left to pay for my current car, the Escape would be on my radar as a potential alternative vehicle.
What do you think of the Ford Escape? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
I have been told my entire life that Winnipeg was just like Regina, but slightly larger. This gave the impression that there wasn't much to see in Winnipeg and that it, along with Regina, were more-or-less "fly over destinations". Since starting my blog, I've learned Regina is an absolutely incredible city so I imagined Winnipeg was the same. I then proceeded to contact Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba to find out the true Winnipeg, and ended up going on a multi-day excursion of their city.
Since a lot of my readers are from Regina and they almost all know somebody heading there for the Banjo Bowl in a couple of days, I thought I'd put this list together. There's a lot more to see there than just Investors Group Field, and the city's history is incredibly fascinating, so I hope you enjoy this list of 100 things about "Canada's Gateway to the West".
Several of these facts are taken from Frank Albo's tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building, but there are many I didn't mention. If you enjoyed them, I encourage buying his book: "The Hermetic Code"
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Unfortunately, I haven't done as much travelling around Saskatchewan as I'd like, so I wasn't sure what the best places to visit were. There were of course the obvious choices such as Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, but I wanted someplace remote, yet somewhat close. For this project I approached some of my fellow travel bloggers and I got some ideas of what to go do and see for a weekend. I went through their ideas and came up with this short list of 5 weekend destinations in Saskatchewan.
Thanks to TELUS' incredible network, sections of Saskatchewan that once never had coverage can now be fully explored while still being connected to your mobile device. No matter where you travel in Saskatchewan -- or even in Canada -- this summer, you can rely on TELUS' mobile network to keep you connected.