Ford’s newly revised Escape SUV, which will be sold here as the updated 2017 Ford Kuga, is the first model to feature the company’s new FordPass system, which allows drivers to remotely unlock, locate and start their vehicle via a smartphone app.
The ‘FordPass with Sync Connect’ system hooks up to the Escape’s new SYNC 3 infotainment system, which also adds support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
When it arrives in US showrooms next month, the Escape will be the first model available from Ford to offer the new Sync 3 infotainment system, along with the FordPass remote access technology.
Using the new Sync Connect technology, owners will be able to remotely start, lock, unlock, locate and check the fuel levels of their Escape remotely through a smartphone app.
Don Butler, executive director of Ford connected vehicle and services, said “Sync connect provides the convenience customers want”.
“It was designed with the customer as the focus - everything the technology does is intended to improve the vehicle-owning experience.”
Along with Sync 3 and FordPass, the 2017 Ford Escape brings new front and rear ends, a lightly-refreshed interior, along with an updated range of engines.
It’s unknown whether FordPass will be made available on the Kuga in Europe and Australia, however.
In the US, the new Escape is available with 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre Ecoboost turbocharged petrol engines, while in Europe the Kuga is currently offered with the 1.5-litre Ecoboost petrol and 2.0-litre diesel powerplant, with the 2017 update to add a new 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine.
In Australia the Kuga is available with both the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre Ecoboost turbo petrols, along with with the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.
Ford Australia has confirmed with CarAdvice that local timing for the facelifted Kuga is unlikely to be confirmed until later this year, but there is no word yet on FordPass.
Communications manager Wes Sherwood said: "we do not have any news yet on when the new Kuga or FordPass will be available locally".
"In fact, [we'll] continue upgrading the current Kuga and will have more news on that model in the next week or so."
Sherwood would not confirm specifics on that upgrade, however it is likely that we can expect Ford Australia to announce availability of the Sync 3 infotainment system that was recently confirmed for the Focus range and the Mustang.
For international details on the 2017 Ford Kuga update, revealed in Geneva earlier this year, see our links below.