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2013 Ford Escape Review By Larry Nutson

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2013 Ford Escape

2013 Ford Escape Review
by Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
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Ford Motor Company’s Ford Escape has been around for more than a dozen years, having made its debut in 2000 as a 2001 model year compact SUV priced below the Explorer. As a matter of fact, my younger daughter drove a Gen-1 Escape in her high school years. She liked it a lot and it got her around safely and comfortably. And we parents felt comfortable and confident with her driving it.

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So now here we are today with the Gen-3 Escape that came along in April 2012 as a 2013 model. Extensively redesigned, with more fuel efficient engines and lots of comfort and convenience features including a load of infotainment electronics.

Our millennial-generation older daughter and her husband needed to purchase their first vehicle together a few months back and the 2013 Ford Escape was on my short list of recommendations for them to consider. They chose otherwise.

Outside of some previous short drives in the 2013 Escape, this was my first opportunity to spend some time and live with it. At the start, I had a nice long nearly 100 mile drive from the Ford store in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, now today more usually referred to as the Clinton neighborhood, to my home in Philadelphia. I immediately got to experience highway fuel economy, wind noise, tire noise, and the interstate road manners of the Escape.

My Escape-for-a-week was the 2013 Titanium AWD model finished in a thirst-quenching Ginger Ale Metallic exterior color. On the inside the trim was charcoal black. Base price for this model is $32,120 and the standard equipment in the Titanium Technology package includes 19-inch alloys, fog lamps, HID projector headlights, and roof rack with cross bars. On the inside the very-cool ambient lighting lets you change the color of the interior illumination, perhaps depending on your mood. Leather trimmed seats and leather wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power seat, and heated front seats round out the standard stuff.

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The very slick power liftgate is hands-free actuated by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper, provided you have the key in your pocket or purse. The $995 Parking Technology package is, to me, a must-have if you live in or frequent a big city. It gives you a rear view camera, blind spot detection and active park assist to help squeeze into those tight in-city parking spaces. Parallel parking the Escape is a snap with active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into it. Drivers control only the gas and brake pedals.

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Coming back to my first drive home. I managed to set the destination on the MyFord Touch navigation system with ease. There was little to none in the way of both tire noise and wind noise on my drive south along the New Jersey Turnpike. I have found the open-ness of the large interior space in SUVs to sometimes be cavern-like when it comes to noise. This was not the case with the Escape. And tire noise often depends on both the tread pattern and the road surface. Ford did a good job here too with tire choice, in my opinion.

Now with a highway run, fuel economy measurement comes to mind. The 2013 Escape AWD with the 240HP 2.0-L 4-cylinder GTDI Ecoboost engine is fuel economy rated in EPA tests at 21 city mpg and 28 highway mpg. At the start of my trip leaving Manhattan I was seeing 21.4mpg. After resetting the fuel economy readout and with steady 65mph driving on the highway I was pleased to see 30.3mpg. Nicely above the EPA rating in the 100F heat with AC on.

While we are on the subject of fuel, Ford’s capless fuel filler…yes there is no fuel cap to fumble with in the pouring ran, is very slick. Just open the fuel filler door and insert the nozzle. I also noticed that Ford allows operation of the Escape on gasoline with up to 15% ethanol, that is, E15.

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All-in-all I was fairly well impressed by the 2013 Escape. It makes for a nice city-hauler. Has seating for five, and lots of cargo room behind the rear seat for weekend shopping trips or get-aways to the beach or country. Visibility out of the greenhouse is quite good. The windshield is steeply sloped and does allow lots of direct sun to fall on to your lap in the summer months when the mid-day sun is high in the sky. I would have liked a little more tinting along the top of the windshield…and that is easily added in the aftermarket.

The 2013 Ford Escape prices start at $23,365. There are four trim levels to choose from: S, SE, SEL, and Titanium. The S only comes with the 2.5L engine and front wheel drive. The three other trims can be had in front or all-wheel drive. The SE and SEL come standard with the 1.6L Turbo and the 2.0L Turbo is optional. The Titanium only has the 2.0L Turbo engine. All are mated to a six-speed automatic. As you can see, there is something for everyone.

Ford has announced the 2014 Escape with a few product improvements and equipment availability adjustments, discontinuing the SEL trim level, and making the 2.0L Turbo an option on the Titanium.

Ford Escape sales have been rocketing along very well. It’s a great vehicle suitable for a broad range of customers, from active-lifestyle empty nesters, to couples with young children, or the millennial who has a driver’s license and heads out of the city each weekend to the beach or camping.

If you want to shop other compact SUVs you can do that right here on For more detailed information and specs on the Escape or the complete Ford model range visit

In the end I reconfirmed that my recommendation to my daughter was a good one. And, if you have the mind: Escape in an Escape.

Larry Nutson