The kick-to-open rear liftgate on the next Ford Escape is already showing some popularity in early ordering for the new model, which Ford has now priced.
About three out of four of people ordering the deluxe SEL version of the compact crossover are taking it with the option, in which you can wave an ankle under the rear bumper to get the liftgate to lift, Ford's Angie Kozleski tells Drive On. The "open sesame" maneuver is designed to help people balancing grocery bags or kids -- or both -- in their arms.
The base model of the new Escape will start at $23,295, including $895 in delivery charges, which will be $200 less than the outgoing model. The next trim level up, the SE, will go for $25,895. That's about $200 more than the comparable, but the new one will include the turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which will save about five miles a gallon more on the highway. That, and other goodies, mean it has $1,100 in extra value over today's Escape, she said.
Next comes the SEL version at $28,695 with even more stuff, like the MyFord Touch infotainment system, front and back temperature controls and a 10-way power drivers seat. And highest, with a 2-liter EcoBoost engine and standard hands-free liftgate, is the Titanium version.
Ford has received about 8,000 early orders, Kozleski says. Of those, about half are taking the $1,000 self-parking option and four wheel drive. That kick-to-open liftgate that three out of four are ordering doesn't come cheap: It's part of a $1,895 package that also includes MyFord Touch, Sony Audio, HD Radio, reverse sensing, remote start and a cargo-management package.