Heading to showrooms this spring, the facelifted 2017 Ford Escape will be the first SUV in the automaker’s lineup with a windshield wiper de-icer system as part of the Cold Weather Package standard on top-line Titanium models and optional on the SE. Ford says the new de-icer will melt light snow and ice from the wiper blades in less than 10 minutes at temperatures of -18 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Ford’s de-icer system uses the same principle as a rear-defroster setup, fitting a heating element at the base of the windshield where the wiper blades park. Owners of any Escape with SYNC Connect also can activate the system directly from their smartphone as part of the FordPass capability that allows the driver to schedule a remote start as well, so the vehicle is pre-warmed, de-iced and ready to roll when they walk up.

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“The windshield wiper de-icer is a great solution to one of the more nagging problems of winter,” noted Jennifer Gauthier, Ford fixed-glass engineer. “Escape drivers in the U.S. are going to wonder how they ever got along without it.” Other items in the 2017 Escape’s Cold Weather Package include heated seats/side mirrors, all-weather floor mats and a supplemental powertrain conditioning heater.

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