3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Ford Escape

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Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 22 City / 31 Highway
Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Quiet and smooth ride
  • Many interior conveniences
Cons
  • Back seat not easy to fold down
  • Non-telescoping steering wheel
  • Interior lacks polish
, Automotive Editor -
The Ford Escape is totally new for 2013, ditching upright and boxy styling for something much more athletic-looking and in keeping with modern small crossovers. It's a radical departure for what has often been the best-selling vehicle in its class and is one of Ford's best-selling models. The new Escape also features a selection of three four-cylinder engines, two turbocharged ones - all mated to a six-speed automatic. In addition, the Escape can be loaded up with advanced safety and convenience features that would be more at home in a premium-branded vehicle. There's so much selection, the Escape can be a logical choice from buyers stepping up from a sedan or downsizing from a midsize crossover.

Introduction

The Escape S comes with front-wheel drive, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic with manually selectable gears, six-speaker audio system with AUX and 17-inch steel wheels. Also standard are a full brace of power accessories, air conditioning and front, side and curtain airbags, along with electronic stability control. Jumping to SE gets the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine with 180 horsepower.

In addition to SYNC, SE includes automatic headlamps, SiriusXM radio, more exterior chrome accents, fog lights, privacy glass and 17-inch alloy wheels. SEL adds MyFord Touch, heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror and 18-inch alloy wheels. The top Titanium model gets the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine standard (it's optional on SEL), along with Sony HD radio, remote start and entry, cargo cover, a 110-volt outlet and a power liftgate. All-wheel drive is available on SE and SEL, standard on Titanium and 2.0-liter SEs and SELs.

The Honda CR-V is has more rear seat and cargo room, but its engine is no match for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. The Chevrolet Equinox has an optional V6 but isn't as fun to drive. The Kia Sportage has a more powerful optional turbo engine, but has a harder ride. And the Volkswagen Tiguan has a nicer interior and more powerful standard engine, but is more expensive.

The Escape comes off well in the face of opposition because it combines the fun-to-drive attributes of a car with the versatility of a crossover. The EcoBoost engines are lively and fuel-efficient, while the available technology features will impress passengers. It's a package that's well-suited to a wide variety of buyers, and will likely continue to be a frequent sight on American roads as the most popular compact crossover.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Ford Escape
Starting price
$2,351

2013 Ford Escape S

Recommended for: Buyers looking for no-frills transportation for a small family

The S incorporates the must-have equipment that any shoppers in the compact crossover market are looking for today. Its position in the lineup is the entry-level buy that has everything you need. Standard features include the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with six-speed automatic, 17-inch steel wheels, six-speaker audio system with AUX input, air conditioning, trip computer, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and power windows, locks and mirrors. Options include Ford's SYNC voice recognition system with full iPod and phone integration and a compass.

2013 Ford Escape
Starting price
$2,351

2013 Ford Escape SE

Recommended for: Shoppers interested in a fuel-efficient crossover

The SE adds more comfort features and opens up available technology amenities. All SEs get the more fuel-efficient 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with either front wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Also included are 17-inch alloy wheels, SYNC, more chrome accents outside, automatic headlamps, foglights, privacy glass and Sirius satellite radio. The Cargo Management II Package adds an alarm, 110-volt outlet, cargo cover and roof rack. A panoramic Vista roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, 9-speaker audio system, MyFord Touch and navigation and a power liftgate are also options. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with 237 horsepower is optional on SEs equipped with all-wheel drive.

2013 Ford Escape
Starting price
$2,351

2013 Ford Escape SEL

Recommended for: Buyers looking for advanced luxury and technology features

The SEL builds on the SE's features and starts to transform the Escape into a more luxurious and powerful compact crossover. Standard on SEL are 18-inch alloy wheels, MyFord Touch, leather seats with heating elements in front, 10-way power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, memory functions for the driver's seat and outside mirrors, turn signals in the outside mirrors and alarm. Options include all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine in place of the 1.6. The Technology Package includes keyless start and entry, a foot-activated liftgate (one swipe of the foot under the bumper opens the tailgate), rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio and a remote starter. The Cargo Management III Package adds a cargo cover, 110-volt socket and roof rails. The Parking Technology Package also adds blind spot monitoring with a cross-path detection system, backup camera, front parking sensors and Ford's active parking system that can parallel park the car with minimal driver input.

2013 Ford Escape
Starting price
$2,351

2013 Ford Escape Titanium

Recommended for: Buyers who want features and power typical of an upscale crossover

The Titanium trim brings together Ford's most advanced features and makes the Escape begin to look like a rival for compact crossovers with Audi and BMW badges. Standard on the Titanium is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with all-wheel drive. Nineteen-inch wheels, Sony HD audio, premium leather seats, remote entry and start, a cargo cover, 110-volt outlet, foot-activated liftgate, HID headlamps and rear parking sensors. The Parking Technology Package also adds blind spot monitoring with a cross-path detection system, backup camera, front parking sensors and active parking system.

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