What is it? Inspired by the European Ford Kuga, this compact SUV is likely an indication of what the replacement for the aging Ford Escape might look like. With an interior volume comparable to the current Escape but wrapped in more contemporary styling, the stylish Vertrek is about four inches longer and slightly wider and lower than the Escape, and rides on a wheelbase almost seven inches longer. The airy interior includes a full-length panoramic sunroof.
Designed to be a "world car", Vertrek variants will see duty in global markets. To that end, Vertrek will accommodate a variety of engines, including both gasoline and diesel powertrains. Ford says four-cylinder gasoline engines are most likely for U.S. models, with displacements of 1.6, 2.0, and 2.5-liters.
What is new or notable? Fuel-saving technologies include automatic engine start/stop at traffic lights and regenerative braking.
CR's take: This stylish SUV borrows its shape from the small European-market Ford Kuga. Shown as a concept, the Vertrek gives a glimpse to what the Escape successor might look like. Too bad it's still two years away, because the Escape is long in the tooth.
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