Caldwell expects the Escape to lower sales of the Ford Edge, which also seats five and is built on a car platform. The Edge is a little plusher — and costs $5,000 more to start than the new Escape — but the dimensions, cargo space, towing capability and fuel economy are nearly the same. Already, Escape shoppers are among the most likely to consider the Edge and vice versa, she says.
But Ford's Merkle says the segment is so large there's room for both vehicles. He pointed out that Edge sales rose last year even though the Escape and the redesigned Explorer midsize SUV saw huge gains.
"Everyone has a little different need," he says. "You have to pick your flavor, and we think we've got a pretty good lineup of flavors."
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