The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2013 Ford Escape Review By John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2013 Ford Escape

The Auto Page
2013 Ford Escape Review
By John Heilig
The Auto Channel

Reviewed Vehicle – 2013 Ford Escape

Model: 2013 Ford Escape
Engine: 1.6-liter Ecoboost I4
Horsepower/Torque: 178 up @ 5,700 rpm/ 184 lb.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 105.9 in.
L x W x H: 178.1 x 72.4 x 66.3 in.
Tires: P235/55R17
Cargo: 34.3 (behind 2nd row)/68.1 (behind 1st row)
Economy: 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway/26.1 mpg test
Fuel tank: 15.1 gal.
Curb wt. 3,502 lbs.
Sticker: $29,255 (includes $825 delivery, $3,405 in options)

Bottom line: if you're looking for a small SUV, you can't go wrong with the Ford Escape. It has all the attributes of an SUV, with good economy and a couple of neat features that set it apart from the competition.

Ford's Escape small SUV has been a winner for the Blue Oval company. Not only does it serve as a sport ute, with all the desirable attributes of the genre, but you can also see Escapes used as taxis in New York City.

Ford has redesigned the Escape for 2013, and the redesign is spot on. It's edgier with a more aggressive front end/face. The larger grille puts it squarely in the same family as the Fusion and other Ford sedans.

Among the escapes great new goodies is the hands-free power lift gate. This is enabled by motion technology, similar to that used in today's video game industry. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the lift gate when the driver has the Escape key fob. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys. The same process closes the hatch.

Now, the above information is from the Ford press kit; in a classic case of "oops," our tester didn't have this feature installed.

The Ecoboost 1.6-liter inline four engine has adequate power for Interstates and local driving. The engine is slightly noisy , though. It isn't offensive, and isn't bad for a four-cylinder, but it isn't quiet, either. On our Interstate run we had to use cruise control to maintain the legal speeds. The shifter is at the base of the center stack.

On the other side of the equation, we had very good economy during our test at 26.5 mpg on our highway run. The overall economy rating dropped during some local driving to observe Sandy damage in our neighborhood.

Ride quality is a little rough, more truck-like than sedan-like. The fairly long wheelbase should have helped, but the firm suspension might be set for the "utility" side of the definition. Visibility is goo all around. There's a large sunroof that extends all the way back to the rear seats.

SUVs should have one redeeming quality, and that is carrying capacity. With a base 34.3 cubic feet, the Escape's cargo area is very good for the size of the vehicle. Fold down the rear seats (they fold 60/40) and cargo capacity explodes to 68.1 cubic feet. Sadly, the rear seats don't fold flat, but there's still plenty of room there. Under the floor is a temporary spare, with shaped areas around it to use for concealed storage.

For driver amenities, the is a clear instrument panel with white-on-black dials and blue pointers. The smart wheel has cruise control, information, audio and phone switches. The navigation/audio screen clearly tells you where these systems are.

After the devastation of Sandy, we were without power and heat for five days. Fortunately, the heater I the Escape worked well, as did the power outlets, s we could charge our phones. Had we needed it, there was a 115-volt outlet in the rear so. Could have also charged our laptops.

While we had very good legroom in front, we did have a problem with e headrests. Mine got me in the head and forced my head forward. I had trouble adjusting it. I have had a similar problem with other FoMoCo vehicles, somI guess I could blame it on their headrest supplier.

The rear seats have OK leg and knee room. There's also a low center hump. The rear headrests are friendlier.

As I said above, the Ford Escape fills all the requirements of a small sport utility. I had some problems with our tester, but that doesn't diminish it's overall quality.

(C) 2012 The Auto Page Syndicate