Escape & Discover: 2017 Ford Escape x Shangri-la Staycation

We recently had the opportunity to take the 2017 Ford Escape out for a week-long extended test drive. Having just recently purchased a 2016 Audi Q3 a few months ago, we were eager to try the Escape to see how it stacked up. They both compete in the compact crossover/SUV segment, although the base model Q3 has a starting price of around $8,000 more than the base Escape. The Escape model that we tested was the 4WD Titanium, which is around $5,000 less than our Q3 Premium AWD Quattro so price-wise, they’re actually quite comparable. There are a number of key areas in which the Escape outshines the Q3 though, and I think some of them might surprise you. I know the results even surprised us!

Fuel economy is pretty equal, with the Escape having a slight 2 MPG edge on the Q3. The big difference here is the Escape takes regular gas, while the Q3 takes 91 octane premium gas. So you’ll be saving money with the Escape. Even though the Escape has a inline-four 1.5L compared to the inline-four 2.0L found in the Q3, the Escape has nearly 40 more horsepower and 63 ft-lbs of torque. It definitely has more zip than the Q3, although I have to say the Q3 handles much better with its Quattro AWD system.

In terms of space, the Escape is slightly roomier and larger than the Q3. But where the big difference lies is in the cargo capacity. The Escape has nearly 20 cubic feet more cargo space compared to the Q3. In our Audi, with a stroller in the back, there isn’t much more room for anything else. This is one of our biggest pain points with our vehicle, and the extra cargo space in the Ford makes a big difference.

Perhaps another big surprise is the infotainment system. The latest generation of Ford’s Sync Connect technology is introduced in the 2017 Escape. More than just an upgrade, the new system allows owners to communicate with their Escape via a smartphone app, performing locking/unlocking and remote start operations. The app also permits owners to remotely check the amount of fuel left in the tank, as well as receive vehicle reports concerning future service appointments such as oil changes. The infotainment system found in the Escape is very intuitive and its interface is well designed. In contrast, the once advanced infotainment system found in the Audi seems quite dated now as it’s quite an old system and hasn’t innovated much since it was introduced in 2008.

Overall, we were both quite impressed by the Ford Escape, especially having tested the previous generation Escape a few years ago. In 4 short years, they have been able to make dramatic improvements on an already strong contender in its class.

Ford Escape Audi Q3
Fuel Economy ✔︎
Interior Dimensions ✔︎
Exterior Dimensions ✔︎
Cargo Capacity ✔︎
Engine Performance ✔︎
Infotainment System ✔︎
Handling ✔︎
Exterior Styling ✔︎
Interior Refinement ✔︎
Audio/Stereo System ✔︎
Ride Comfort ✔︎

Shangri-la Hotel Vancouver

The places that you could go with an SUV are almost endless. We could have opted for a weekend getaway on the island, and even considered heading to the Okanagan. While our daughter loves car rides and generally does well on road trips, we opted for something closer to home. We decided play tourists in our own city, and stayed at the Shangri-la Hotel Vancouver. We had a busy few weeks leading up to this staycation, and didn’t feel like packing all our things with us. Plus, we had missed celebrating our anniversary so we wanted this trip to be fairly stress-free.

We were greeted by friendly staff upon arrival, and Jasmine was given a signature stuffed animal. They had a crib for her in our room so we didn’t have to share our king sized bed with her. She did very well in her crib at night, but in the morning, she joined us in the large bed for some cuddling action. Sleeping in an unfamiliar place can be stressful for some adults, so I can imagine how frightened a young child can be in a new bed and room. Luckily, we were in the same room so she knew we were close by. We also brought along some of her favourite bed time books, a warm blanket and her beloved stuffed bunny. With a couple of outfits, diapers and wipes, bottles and some formula, our daughter was set for her downtown hotel adventure. Although this isn’t her first hotel experience, it is the first five star hotel she’s stayed at. What a lucky kid!

We stayed in an Executive Balcony King Room with a luxurious marble bathroom that is larger than our own bedroom at home. The bathroom features a double sink granite vanity, separate toilet, separate glass-enclosed shower, deep-soaking tub, and L’Occitane bathroom amenities. There was also a 50 sq-ft enclosed balcony to hang out in. Our 600 sq-ft room was large enough for the 3 of us to move around comfortably. You’d be surprised how much room a 16-month old child needs. We especially liked that there was a big closet room that kept our bags and jackets out of the way.
The floor to ceiling windows just made the space feel even larger, and we were able to spend our morning quietly watching the weekend traffic and early shoppers along Alberni Street. We took full advantage of their room service and ordered breakfast for the family. We enjoyed a breakfast menu which included Bacon French Toast, and Beef Congee with Dim Sum. With fresh fruit for Jasmine, and coffee and juice for us, we couldn’t be happier. It was a much needed break from our regular weekend morning routine. The night before, we also enjoyed a nice dinner at MARKET by Jean-Georges, where we were treated to a delicious meal prepared by Chef Ken Nakano and his team.


chi-spaBecause we were tourists in our own city, finding a babysitter was easy, so we were able to relax and enjoy our treatments without a worry. We both went with one of their signature massages, the CHI Aroma Vitality.

It begins with a tea service and a foot soak while sporting one of their luxurious bath robes, followed by a timed steam in our personal steam shower. Before I continue, you have to read about their treatment suites. Each suite is equipped with it’s own treatment bed, bathtub, steam shower, dressing room with vanity, washroom, fireplace, and lounge area. While I’ve visited other spas that had some of these pieces, they didn’t have all, and none of them felt as inviting as CHI. We could have stayed here for several hours, but sadly, our treatment was only 80 minutes. These are individual treatment suites, but CHI also has suites for couples. We go a chance to enjoy the couple suite for a nice couples massage last week. It was a great way to kickoff the new year!

Now, back to the massage. After the steam, the pores were now open to absorbing their high quality products. The aromatic essential oils made it so easy to relax, and eventually fell asleep during the massage. We woke up feeling revitalized, and ended our treatment with a nice shower and got dressed, all without leaving the suite. Amazeballs.

Thoroughly refreshed from our relaxing staycation, we hopped into our Ford Escape and headed back to reality. Thanks Ford Canada!


Disclaimer: We were comp’ed for our accommodations and activities by Ford Canada. All thoughts and opinions are our own, and we were not compensated for this post.

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I am the CEO & Marketing Strategist for Motive8 Media Inc. and Popcorn. This is my personal blog, which contains highlights of my personal life. I'm into all things food, wine, and travel related.

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