When the Escort Redline was rolled out in 2007 it claimed our record for the longest radar range—14-plus miles under perfect conditions. Not surprisingly, it quickly found a following among performance-minded drivers. Then it was replaced by the Redline EX.
Escort says the replacement is even better. To verify that claim we gathered up both models for a comparison. Here's what we found.
Like its forebear, the Redline EX is a large, heavy detector, a legacy of twin metal radar antennae. It has GPS, allowing it to lock out nuisance radar signals—automatic door openers, for instance—and mark GPS locations. It can also display your speed and warn of red light and speed cameras.
Like its predecessor, the EX has a matte-black case adorned on top with only a discreet Redline EX logo, making it much more resistant to annoying windshield reflections than many detectors. A mini-USB jack on the side of the case links the detector to a PC for Internet access and updates to its camera database and firmware.
The Redline EX windshield bracket has a large suction cup and attaches to the detector magnetically. Once installed, it grips the detector securely.
Also inherited from the Passport iX and Max 360 is the Overspeed Alert. Factory-set at 70 mph, every trip north of that speed elicits a verbal warning—Overspeed!—and the speed display turns red. Fortunately, this feature is adjustable or it can be disabled.
Most of the EX feature set likewise is borrowed from the Max 360 and Passport iX. Included is the Auto Learn feature that automatically locks out nuisance signals like radar-controlled automatic door openers. Drive past one a few times and it's automatically added to the memory. Next time you drive past, there's no alert.
Competing models require the user to press a button to lock out a door opener. They also limit the number of locked-out locations—200 maximum for the Radenso Pro M and XP, 100 for Unidens.
An IVT filter helps to recognize Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) radar and ignore it. Auto LoK chops K-band sensitivity by 65 percent and we found it more effective in reducing false alarms from BSM radar, also those from door openers.
K-band segmentation offers four segments and its default setting is Off. Three of the segments are used by police radar; shutting off the fourth probably isn't worth the bother.
The Redline EX detects four models of international K-band radar—Strelka, Multaradar CD/CT and Gatso. Aside from the Strelka, the others are FCC-approved for use in the U.S. and some are in service Stateside, also in Canada.
The Redline EX demonstrated somewhat uneven radar performance. In a recent comparison test, for instance, it trailed some of the lower-priced models, including one of the Escorts.
Compared to the original Redline, the EX had less range on both K band and Ka band. Two less expensive models from Radenso matched it in performance—the Radenso Pro M ($449) and Radenso XP ($349)—and offer similar features.
The original Redline was rightly considered the enthusiast driver's tool of choice, blessed with the world's best range and a terrific information-delivery system. The Redline EX exchanges some of that range for more-civilized behavior, especially in town.
The Escort Redline EX has some advantages over its predecessor—greater sophistication, fewer false alarms and red light camera protection chief among them. But although the EX retains most of the attributes that endeared the original Redline to enthusiasts, with its annoying Overspeed Alert and unexceptional performance, some may feel it's less capable than its predecessor at protecting from tickets.