Fleet buyers in the UAE now have a new fuel-friendly option after Al Tayer Motors, the official importer-dealer for Ford in the Emirates, formally launched the new Escort to customers during a special unveiling at its Sheikh Zayed Road showroom in Dubai on Thursday.

Built on Ford’s ‘renowned’ global small car platform, the new Escort is tailored for customers looking for great value, sophisticated design, interior roominess and superior safety features in a small car, claims the distributor.

“The new Ford Escort underlines our commitment to present UAE customers with a range of vehicles to meet all their transportation requirements,” said Ashok Khanna, CEO, Al Tayer Motors. “We are confident customers will enjoy the car’s unique blend of style, technology and safety features backed by our reliable and wide after-sales network across the country.”

During the event, Truck and Fleet Middle East magazine was told that the new vehicle replaces the venerable Focus in the range but maintains Ford’s Design DNA, featuring comfort, performance and looks – the High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamp design is straight out of the GT’s front-end, for example – “together in perfect ergonomic confluence”.

According to the distributor and Ford: “This delivers an exclusive image that considerably lifts the vehicle within the segment, with an overall harmony that expresses a successful lifestyle.”

Other features include a all-new 125 horsepower, 150Nm 1.5l engine. At 19.3 km/l, the Escort is one of the most efficient cars in its segment on combined cycle. The sedan also comes with a choice of three trims levels topped by the Titanium trim, which is available for under 90,000 aed. Other features include power memory seats and power folding memory mirrors, keyless entry with push button start, standard Electric Stability Control (ESC), side curtain airbags and a connectivity system with an 8-inch touchscreen.

Testing for the new Escort took place last year at the height of the Middle Eastern summer and was focused on engine and air-conditioning system performance.The test programme also covered ride and refinement, and performance in the city as well as on highways.

“The team here was very impressed with the way the Escort conducted itself throughout the tests,” said Ziyad Dallalah, chief engineer, Ford MEA product development. “It coped with the kinds of temperatures we get here at the height of summer extremely well, cooling the cabin quickly and efficiently.”