Ford's Control Trac II four-wheel-drive system in the Escape is operated by a switch on the instrument panel. In "auto" mode, engine power flows to the front wheels, and when the front wheels start to slip or spin, progressive amounts of torque are instantly redirected from the front to the rear until traction is regained. This allows the Escape to be a light off-roader. We've seen it hold up well in washouts and on minor sand hills. The "on" mode is comparable to the 4-Hi of a two-speed transfer case.