Situation Report 3

One summer, one fall and 37,968 kilometers (23,592 miles) since my last update, it’s been quite a while since my last post so I have a few interesting things to talk about.

First let’s go over fuel efficiency figures, in Situation Report 2: Spring Time I had written the following:

Since my last report I’ve done 7,224 kilometers or 4489 miles and over that period my fuel efficiency numbers have been 8.5 L / 100 km or around 28 mpg. This represents a drastic improvement since my last report where after 10,658 kilometers or 6623 miles I was averaging 9.7 L / 100 km or around 24 mpg. It’s difficult to assess the exact reason for this, but my assumptions are that I did much more highway driving over this period and also due to the warming weather I probably reduced my idling time quite a bit.

These numbers were all achieved using winter tires, so now that I’ve switched to four season tires, I’m expecting even better numbers.

This unfortunately didn’t happen, on summer tires, my number seemed to usually level off at around 8.9 L / 100 km (26 mpg). This average sometimes went down to around 8.4 L / 100 km (28 mpg) during long road trips, but eventually came back up slowly as I resumed my habitual driving. But this isn’t the whole story, as mentioned in my most recent post, during the summer I moved to another city. I used to live in the suburbs, with easy access to the highway, but now I have moved to an inner city apartment and this has had an atrocious effect on my fuel efficiency numbers.  My current average of the 37,968 kilometers is 10.7 L / 100 km (23 mpg) and it’s still going up! My guess is it will level off around 12 L / 100 km (19.5 mpg). Yes, you read that correctly, how can a crossover with a 1.6 turbo drink that much fuel?! A far cry from what Ford advertises as the city only fuel efficiency number of 8.9 L / km (26mpg).

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Fall road trip – Cape Breton Island

Over this period, a few things have happened to the car that really shouldn’t happen to a car with so few clicks on it…

First, at around 45,000 kilometers, my battery died, not dead as in I left my lights on overnight and needed a boost. Dead dead, as in even once I fully charged it, it was dead within an hour. I had it replaced at the dealership, apparently two of the battery’s cells were toast. The dealership told me this was my fault as I had too many things plugged into the car’s outlets, an iPhone charger in the 12v charger, an iPhone wire in the USB plug and a laptop charger in the 110v outlet (my car is my office). My two cents, if the battery wasn’t made to handle all these outlets, Ford shouldn’t have put them in.

Cost to me: Only time as it was still guaranteed.

Second, when I jump into the car, I sometimes close the door by placing my fingers between the window and the door panel. I’ve had to stop doing this as the panel partly rips off when I do so. I can easily pop it back it, but it’s quite lose.

Cost to me: nothing, I probably won’t get it fixed.

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Diver’s side door – Interior panel

Third, I’ve only noticed this issue two weeks ago, two of the rear window defrost strips no longer work so there is a section of the window that doesn’t defrost and stays fogged up. Right in the middle!

Cost to me: I don’t know as I haven’t taken it to the dealership yet, but probably still guaranteed.

Finally, I wasn’t planning on mentioning the following issue until I read this article on the new Honda Pilot as I am aware that I’m not driving a sports car and I don’t think the average driver would encounter this issue, but it really is a daily annoyance for me so it bears mentioning. When pushed, usually during city driving, the transmission doesn’t seem to know which gear it should be in and it usually takes quite some time to figure it out, that combined with a slight amount of turbo lag and you end up some herky jerky movements.

Does anybody else think that my car may have been built on a Friday afternoon?!

Now I’m trying to find something good about the car, something it does extra well or reasons why I would recommend it at this point and it isn’t easy. There is one thing though, recently I test drove the Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5 for a friend and if I were to compare the Escape solely in the driving comfort department, with regards to its drivability, driving position, cabin room, the Escape wins hands down. It handles like a car, the driving position is super comfortable and the slanted windshield makes you feel like you’re in a extra roomy vehicle. Maybe that’s why there are so many on the road… Is Ford building cars based only on passing the test drive?!?

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