The first generation Ford Escape is totally fine. My mother-in-law had one and it was a completely functional vehicle with an aesthetic that was just rugged enough without promising more than the little crossover could deliver. There’s nothing wrong with a first gen Escape until you see the bonkers Ford Alpe Concept put together by Ghia.
There are almost no similarities between the Alpe Concept and the Escape that Ford ended up building other than the grey body plastic cladding. I feel like the c-pillar that extends up into the roof rack is inspired and the chrome strip that runs from the front fender and across the greenhouse is an idea that needs to be realized.
The wheel covers that seem to turn with the wheels themselves and are separated from the body? Wild and not practical. Still, I wish Ford had tried. Here’s a bit of explanation from an article about the concept from the Chicago Tribune:
The intent with Alpe is to provide a low-priced, sporty four-wheeler with 25-to 30-mile-per-gallon fuel economy along the same line as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Wrangler or Chevrolet Tracker.
“We’re trying to move as fast as we can to get a small sport-utility out in the market as quick as we can. We’re two to three years away,” said Ross Roberts, Ford division general manager.
I love a future past where this was Ford’s new design language, even if it would have never worked.
Photo Credit: Ford