Following the polar vortexes of winters 2013 and 2014, Ford Motor Co. set out to boost the available comfort features it offers for cold weather driving, including adding heated seats and steering wheels, improved remote start, and pre-conditioning capabilities.
Based on consumer requests, the automaker launched a 5-year-old Extreme Climate Team so that its line of cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles are more suitable for extreme weather of all types.
After several record-setting winters, Ford set up a customer clinic in Alberta, Canada to get feedback from drivers who regularly endure harsh temperatures and road conditions.
“What our customers in Canada told us is simple – ‘Heat everything!’” says Nicole Mazur, product development quality supervisor for Ford Canada and export markets. “They wanted better access to some of the cold weather features Ford was already offering on its higher-series vehicles.”
Mazur also says she understands these features promote safety just as much as comfort, as exceptionally cold weather brought temperatures of minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit to parts of the northern U.S. and Canada.
The result is a suite of cold weather technology on the 2017 Ford Escape that provides solutions to better equip drivers in harsh conditions, including a heated windshield wiper de-icer that removes light snow and ice from wiper blades in under 10 minutes at minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other features include: all-weather mats to protect vehicle carpeting, heated side mirrors for improved visibility, heated seats, and an optional heated steering wheel. The Ford Escape also delivers available remote start capability via SYNC* Connect, and allows drivers to start their vehicles from anywhere using FordPass, which is compatible with most smartphones.