Compare SUVs : Pontiac Aztec vs. Ford Escape

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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I did not have the keys to my Pontiac Aztek, so I decided to drive my sister's new Ford Escape to the grocery store. As I drove, I noted a few similarities, aside from the obvious four wheels and a steering wheel. These two vehicles are equipped with anti-lock brakes and both are four-wheel drive. The fuel consumption of both is about the same during city driving. I also noted some differences in the interior, exterior and later while looking through the Ford Escape manual, even differences in safety. Based on the factors I compared; I decided my decision to purchase the Pontiac Aztek was a good one.

The interior and comfort of my Pontiac Aztek is better than that of my sister's Ford Escape. The Aztek has what is called a heads-up display; it displays the speed in the bottom left corner of the windshield. This display method is very convenient; I can check the speed and still keep my eye on the road.

I don't have to be distracted by looking down to the dial-type gage of the Escape's speedometer. There are three power outlets available in the Aztek. This feature makes it possible to plug in a cell phone, power inverter and even a small television, for those long boring trips. The radio controls for the Aztek are conveniently located on the steering wheel; making it much easier to change channels, switch compact disks or raise and lower the volume. My sister's Escape does not have this option. You have to lean forward and slightly to the right to bring the controls within reach; it doesn't even have a CD player. The Aztek's center console, between the two front seats, is a removable storage compartment that can be used as a cooler. This is great for storing ice cold Cherry Cokes to drink on hot summer days. The console of the Escape simply holds loose change and cups. The seats of my Aztek seem to wrap around me, offering comfortable support to my back and legs. A little yellow button on the dash indicates a seat heating option. The Escape seemed to have flat, stiff, uninviting seats, without much support for my back and legs. Nowhere did I see a button to activate heated seats for cold winter days.

The Pontiac Aztek exterior is much different from that of the Ford Escape. The Aztek's body design is of a new, cool, sleek design. The body is of a new generation-type body style. The edges blend into the contour of the vehicle. My sister's Ford Escape has a body style that appears to have the look of older SUVs; square and box-like. The tinted glass of the Aztek helps to keep the car cooler in the summer. The Escape has plain, clear windows that do not block out the sunlight. My Aztek's power side mirrors make for easy adjustment from inside while driving; you simply tilt the control knob in the direction you want the mirror to move. To adjust the mirrors on the Escape you must lean out the window and tilt them by hand. The dark blue color of my Aztek is more appealing than my sister's bright yellow Escape.

The safety of a vehicle is very important to me. I looked through my sister's owner's manual and found that her Escape has only front air bags. My Aztek have both front and side air bags. Inside the doors of the Aztek are three steel reinforced beams that run the width of the doors. This safety feature adds strength to resist side impacts much better than the Ford Escape. A safety feature I find beneficial on my Aztek is traction control. Traction control insures maximum contact between the road surface and my tires. This gives me a more relaxed feeling while driving in wet or icy conditions. This higher standard of safety is definitely worth having.

The feature that most impresses me about the Pontiac Aztek is the camping tent package. A tent, designed specifically for the Aztek, is attached to the open hatch and stretched downward to wrap around the rear finder. The cargo area is large enough to accommodate a full size blow-up mattress. This feature is very useful since I enjoy camping and the outdoor life.

During this comparison of the Pontiac Aztek and the Ford Escape I realized that I am completely satisfied with my vehicle. I appreciate my sister loaning me her keys to drive her Ford Escape. She will enjoy her vehicle and I will thoroughly enjoy mine.