How One SUV Accommodates a Growing Segment of Buyers
The sport utility vehicle (SUV) market remains one of the most exciting in an industry where change and new ideas are always welcome. So much variety now exists in this particular segment that buyers can easily sort themselves into any of several different categories while still having dozens of choices each. As manufacturers have sought to even better serve the demand for vehicles that are taller and more spacious than traditional cars, but not overly lumbering and overbearing, they have found excellent ways of catering to a whole range of relatively novel desires. As ideas about what an SUV is capable of offering have become even better developed and more refined, newer models have addressed these aspirations in surprising and effective ways.
Ford’s Escape SUV is an excellent example of this phenomenon. While some SUV buyers insist very clearly on off-road performance and a corresponding degree of built-in ruggedness, many today are seeking other kinds of character entirely. The right SUV can be an admirable companion in city-focused life, with rough roads and uneven terrain always remaining far away. The Escape targets buyers who see this is an appealing option and does so very well.
For one thing, the Escape makes good use of an underlying platform that also supports a number of popular sedans and even hatchbacks. Just about every manufacturer today adopts this approach as often as possible, with some sub-frames being found in common across five models or more. Like many of the other most popular SUV models on the market today, the Escape’s foundations help endow it with a pleasantly tractable, comfortable feel that might not come so easily to drivers of significantly larger vehicles.
Ford has taken this dedication to refinement and the driving experience much farther, as well. While buyers of off-road focused SUV vehicles will sometimes accept a certain level of roughness in their purchases, city-based drivers tend to be much less forgiving. The fit and finish of the Escape is such that it would stand out even in a smaller car at the same price, making the SUV seem like an even better value to many buyers. As a result, the Escape has largely been judged an appealing, successful addition to the company’s line by a kind of buyer who is increasingly influential.