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Howdy, folks. I'm a new member from Denver, and currently I'm running a pair of C-Maxes for my family fleet. The C-Max drew me back into the Ford fold after a 45 year absence, going back to my Mom's first-Gen Mustang that arrived in time with my learner's permit. I'm thoroughly happy with the C-Max for 90% of daily tasks, but there are times when it just can't hack the steep and snowy stiff. My own driveway demands momentum to get up when it's snowy. Probably there's another Ford in my future, one with AWD and clearance. The 3rd Gen Escape looks like a likely choice, since it's on a C-Max platform and this car, a Hybrid, isn't piling up commuting miles anymore.

My question, though, is about the new Escape. Is it as capable on steep roads and loose surfaces as a gas model? I've gotten my C-Max in situations where it's bogging down to a walking pace, either because of traction control or because it was moving too slow for the gas engine to kick in. An Escape AWD would provide more traction and clearance, but would it have that same torque limitation at low speeds?

Not interested in serious four-wheeling, but how much better would the Escape Hybrid AWD be on sloppy forest roads?
 

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Welcome to the forum from a fellow 3rd gen owner. We put 60K miles on a C-Max before getting the new Escape. I'm familiar with your C-Max bogging issues. The Escape's fix is 5 driving modes: the one for deep snow turns traction control and ABS off. We have a friend in the Bristol Hills of NY who needs studded snows on her Subaru to get up her driveway.
  • on 216/69-16 Michelin X-Ice3, the C-max made it up all but once, but that was a warm day driving on wet ice at the top.
  • on OEM tires, the Escape is making it up with no problem through several inches unplowed snow.

This is my first AWD car, and I'm taking back everything I ever said about not wanting AWD. Decades of RWD Volvos made me a "1-wheel drive, 2-wheel steer, 4-wheel brake" winter driver, albeit on good snow tires. Braking and cornering remain weaknesses of the OEM tires, even if AWD motive traction seems excellent.
 

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Sunset 2014 Escape Ti 2.0 Persian Green 2020 Escape Ti Hybrid
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Here in Cinci we got 12" of snow over the last week and the FWD Hybrid had no problem getting around with the transmission mode set to "Slippery/Snow".
 

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Welcome to the forum from a fellow 3rd gen owner. We put 60K miles on a C-Max before getting the new Escape. I'm familiar with your C-Max bogging issues. The Escape's fix is 5 driving modes: the one for deep snow turns traction control and ABS off. We have a friend in the Bristol Hills of NY who needs studded snows on her Subaru to get up her driveway.
  • on 216/69-16 Michelin X-Ice3, the C-max made it up all but once, but that was a warm day driving on wet ice at the top.
  • on OEM tires, the Escape is making it up with no problem through several inches unplowed snow.

This is my first AWD car, and I'm taking back everything I ever said about not wanting AWD. Decades of RWD Volvos made me a "1-wheel drive, 2-wheel steer, 4-wheel brake" winter driver, albeit on good snow tires. Braking and cornering remain weaknesses of the OEM tires, even if AWD motive traction seems excellent.
Good info on the Escape with the OEM tires. The only car I was every stuck in was my 2008 Focus, at the bottom of any icy driveway. I have been using FWD for 30 years and this is my first AWD. I was concerned mostly about the OEM tires, as I favor great all season tires when I buy them for my cars. That Focus came with Pirellis, which handled nice, but didn't like ice. Your comment about the Escape and OEM tires making up that driveway is good to know!
 
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