I’ll admit, when I received the invite for Ford Escape For A Day, I was kind of hesitant on going. It’s not so much that it was a weekday event, but it was an all-day thing from 11am-9:30pm. That’s an entire day. Thinking back on it now, May and I are so glad that we went. In all, about a dozen people were invited to take part in this.
Our day started with lunch at the Delta Burnaby Hotel, where we were briefed on the all-new 2013 Ford Escape as well as the agenda for the day. With the 2013 model being based off of the new Ford Focus platform, the newly redesigned and reinvented Escape is a huge departure from the old crossover SUV that it replaces. The new Escape is sportier, more aggressive, has more features, and uses more expensive feeling cabin materials. I would say the interior is very much like what you would find in an European SUV. The Escape also comes fully equipped with a plethora of active and passive safety features, including blind spot alert system, brake assist, and side impact bars, just to name a few. Interior space is generous in both the front and back seats. Three four-cylinder engines are available, and each comes connected to a conventional six-speed automatic. The price has gone up by about $1,000 compared to the 2012 Escape, with MSRP’s ranging from $20,504 to $33,814. Okay, enough car talk. Let’s talk about the event.
After learning more about the car, it was finally time to get behind the wheel. With all our destinations already preloaded into our vehicle’s GPS, there wasn’t a whole lot of thinking required on our part. Our first stop was Coquitlam Centre Mall. The routes were carefully thought out by the organizers, who wanted us to experience the Escape on open, scenic roads. Taking the Barnet Highway through Burnaby and Port Moody really allowed us to stretch the Escape’s legs. To be honest, the vehicle drives a lot like a car. Not a big surprise considering it’s based off of the Focus platform. Once we arrived at Coquitlam Centre, we had the opportunity to take part in a variety of fun activities. We split up into groups and took turns stacking foam blocks inside the cargo area, experiencing the hands-free parking assist feature, filming an interactive video in front of a green screen, and playing with a cool augmented reality iPad app.
And then it got fun…
Our next stop was the British Columbia Driving Centre in Pitt Meadows, where we got to really experience the Escape. On a closed course, we were able to test out the vehicle’s braking, cornering, accident avoidance, and slalom abilities. We were encouraged to really push our vehicles to the limit. And believe me, I did. May, on the other hand, was a little bit more reserved. Screeching tires and burnt rubber was the name of the game, and there was plenty of that going on. For me, it was being able to do everything to a car that I never had the chance to do on an ordinary city road. All kidding aside, it was really great to see how well the vehicle handles. With all its active safety features, you really feel safe and in control at all times. It really gives you that peace of mind knowing that your car will bail you out if and when you need it to.
After spending an hour or so there, it was on to our next stop, Buntzen Lake, for some canoeing with Takaya Tours. After a day of driving, it was a nice change of pace, not to mention a beautiful sunny day to be out on the lake. We split up into 2 canoes, and set adrift. The guys at Takaya Tours gave us a little history lesson about Buntzen Lake and educated us on their aboriginal roots. After about an hour of paddling, many of us were pretty exhausted and hungry. Our canoeing was actually cut short because we spent a bit too long at the closed driving course. I wasn’t about to complain.
So after docking, we headed back to the Grand Villa Casino, where we would have dinner and debrief at EBO Restaurant.
We were very well fed, and I had some of the most amazing and succulent roast beef ever, and housemade roti cani that rivalled what we had in Singapore. We made new friends and shared some laughs as they rolled video footage captured from the day’s events. And they even brought out a cake for the birthday boy, Raj, who decided to spent his special day at the event.
All in all, it was an awesome day. The good folks of High View Communications and Ford Canada deserve some serious credit for putting on an amazing event. And if you’re looking for a crossover SUV, you should probably also consider getting the 2013 Ford Escape. Not going to lie, never thought I’d hear myself recommending a Ford vehicle. But they’ve certainly opened my eyes with this this particular vehicle. *applause*
Oh, and here’s a video of me skydiving 😉