The 2013 Ford Escape earns an above average Total Car Score for the Compact SUVs & Crossovers segment.
For more than a decade, the Escape has lived life like the Explorer’s little brother -- a diminutive, if old-fashioned, SUV. With this total redesign the Escape is now more like Ford’s popular Focus. Its sleek styling is car-like, yet it hasn’t given up its crossover chops, with seating for up to five, decent towing capacity, and ample room for gear under the back hatch.
Speaking of which, Ford has introduced a hands-free tailgate for Escape models equipped with keyless entry. Waving your foot under the rear bumper opens the hatch, a nice feature when your hands are full.
While base Escape S models get a carryover 2.5-liter engine, the powerplants of choice are the turbocharged EcoBoost engines. Both offer good power delivery -- great power delivery from the 2.0-liter version -- and return decent, if not outstanding, fuel economy. One drawback: They run best on premium fuel.
“Premium” also describes the new Escape’s price point, at least in higher-end models. While the base S model starts at just over $22,000, the Titanium version commands over $30,000 ($32,000 for AWD models), and it doesn’t take many checked boxes on the options list to get over $37,000.
Other gripes: The ride quality suffers when the 19-inch wheel option is chosen; and considering how well Ford has designed the Escape’s interior, there has to be a better way to manually select the transmission’s gears than via the tiny rocker switch on the lever. Paddles, anyone?
The 2013 Ford Escape is all new, so no major changes are expected in the near future.
The 2013 Ford Escape is a five-passenger compact crossover vehicle available in S, SE, SEL and Titanium trim levels.
The all-new Escape can be powered by one of three engines. Standard in the S model is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. SE and SEL models receive the new turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that produces 178 hp and 184 hp. The top-tier Titanium model is fitted with a 2.0-liter version of the EcoBoost turbo engine that makes 240 hp and 270 lb-ft. (Note that the power ratings for the EcoBoost engines were derived using premium fuel; the engines can run on regular, but output will drop somewhat.)
All three engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions; the 2.5 is fitted to a front-wheel-drive platform only, while the EcoBoost engines can be joined with front- or all-wheel-drive powertrains.
Besides the base engine, the Escape S is equipped with 17-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, power windows, a tilt/telescope steering column and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system.
Stepping up to the SE model brings the 1.6-liter engine, 17-inch painted alloy wheels, fog lamps, satellite radio and Ford’s Sync voice-activated infotainment system. The SEL model is further equipped with 18-inch painted alloy wheels, heated and leather-trimmed front seats, automatic dual-zone climate controls, and Sync with My Ford Touch and its 8-inch touch screen.
The Titanium model gets the 2.0-liter engine, rolls on 19-inch wheels, and features HID headlamps, a reverse-sensing system, remote start, premium heated and leather-upholstered front seats, an upgraded Sony sound system, and the hands-free tailgate.
The EPA has not yet rated the 2013 Ford Escape’s fuel economy, but Ford estimates the front-drive 1.6-liter EcoBoost will be the mileage champ at 23 city, 33 mpg highway. Bringing up the back of the pack, mileage wise, is the 2.0-liter AWD model, with 21 mpg city, 28 highway.
Properly equipped, the 2013 Ford Escape will tow up to 3,500 pounds.
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