Refreshes for 2017 are upon us and we now find that some vehicles can already begin to be compared on equal footing. Two really popular crossovers, the Subaru Outback and Ford Escape, have offered us their renewed specs and enough time to form some impressions.
There isn’t any big changes happening for the Outback, as the vehicle still uses a 2.5L flat-four engine worth 175hp and 174lb-ft torque for its base model.
The other option is the 3.6L flat-six that burns out 256hp and 247lb-ft torque. Both engines are mated to a CVT, but thankfully that has been much improved for the 2017, being closer than ever to the experience of driving a six-speed auto.
As a great off-roader, the AWD system used by the Outback is a highlight, especially how fuel economy numbers have gotten better. Although official EPA figures haven’t been released, the base model should manage at last 28mpg combined. The flat-six model, on the other hand, returns 22mpg combined.
The Ford Escape will continue to be powered by either a 2.5L four-cylinder unit with 168hp and 170lb-ft torque or a 1.5L EcoBoost four-pot worth 178hp and 184lb-ft torque that replaces the old 1.6L EcoBoost block.
There is a third option just added in for next year, a 2.0L EcoBoost turbo-four pilfered from the Ford Edge that delivers 245hp and 275lb-ft torque. Fuel economy for the 2.5L base model is rated at 27mpg combined.
Coming with a FWD setup, the Escape isn’t an off-road prince but has always been known for its sharp handling. However, Blue Oval has this time switched up its springs to increase the ride comfort for a better balance in occupant experience.