My wife’s family owns a cottage on Lake Nipissing, which is about a six-hour trip from our home in Burlington. For the last leg of the trip we have to travel for an hour on a logging road that is not maintained.

With my family in tow, I recently made the trek up North to close the cottage for the season. This was a perfect opportunity to put the 2013 Escape’s Intelligent 4WD to the test to see if it has what it takes to handle one of Ontario’s worst roads. 

About the Intelligent 4WD

Intelligent 4WD takes the previous generation Escape’s all-wheel-drive system to a whole new level. Using advanced software and sensors, it constantly reassesses driving conditions, taking into account factors like wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle. The speed at which the Intelligent 4WD calculates conditions is 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.

The Intelligent 4WD system helps drivers turn their vehicle in the direction they want to go, without having to fight the all-wheel-drive system. To give you a real-world example of how it works, consider this: If the front of your Escape is on ice and the rear on pavement, this system can send all available torque to the rear, positioning the power exactly where the driver needs it.

My experience with the system

It rained the day before we arrived at the cottage, which made the road more muddy than usual. However, the Escape’s Intelligent 4WD system was able to handle the road with ease. There were a few spots in the road that were absolutely horrible, yet the Escape seemed to have no problem.

One important note to mention was that our Escape was equipped with city tires, not all-terrain. However, this wasn’t even a factor as the Escape moved through the mud, keeping my family safe in the process. The SUV handled like a dream. I couldn’t believe how nice the Escape was to drive on both the highway and the rough roads en route to the cottage. If you live close to a Ford dealer, I highly recommend you stop by and take the 2013 Escape out for a test drive. You’ll love it.