By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
All-new and totally rethought for 2013, Ford's compact crossover SUV is now one of the segment's style leaders, a fuel-efficiency expert and a total tech geek. Highlights include a choice of impressive engines, athletic suspension tuning and an updated version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system. But the first feature buyers will want to show their friends is a power liftgate they can open and close by waving a foot under the rear bumper. Compact SUV shoppers looking for maximum affordability or roominess will want to look elsewhere, but the 2013 Ford Escape is as a must-see for everyone else.
Standout styling, class-leading fuel economy and a robust technology package are three reasons to include the new Escape on your small-SUV shopping list.
If you and your passengers like to stretch out, or if you really need the utility of a compact SUV – not just the raised seating position or added bulk – you might find the Escape a bit tight for your liking.
Flaunting not just a new look but a complete character overhaul, the 2013 Ford Escape is even newer than most all-new cars.
Driving Impressions The new Ford Escape is the sporty compact car of compact SUVs – a title it shares with the new Mazda CX-5. Ford's recent cars have impressed...with European-like driving dynamics and feel, and the new Escape continues the trend. When outfitted with the 240-horsepower engine, there's not a competitor that could keep up. Fortunately, the characteristics that contribute to the high fun-factor also help make the Escape a pleasure to drive to the store and the office. The 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are terrific, both delivering smooth, ready power around town, effortless cruising on the highway and – especially the 2.0 engine – plenty of passing power. It isn't the softest-riding entry in the segment, but most will find it perfectly comfortable. The 2013 Ford Escape is arguably the best-driving compact SUV out there, but the styling, technology and fuel economy are what really set it apart.
When your hands are full of shopping bags, furniture or man things, you can just wave your foot under the rear bumper and the liftgate opens automatically. It's Escape sign language for "open sesame."
For teen drivers who always wanted a Big Brother, MyKey lets parents designate a key that will limit top speed, limit audio volume or even disable the audio system altogether until the seatbelts are buckled.
The inside of the 2013 Ford Escape boasts such an impressive collection of materials, design and available features that it can feel a class above. Don't try to pass it off as a mid-size SUV, though, because the Escape's interior is among the category's smaller cabins.Exterior
The compact SUV segment is definitely developing a greater sense of style, and the 2013 Ford Escape furthers the trend. Exterior highlights that distinguish upper-tier Escape models include HID headlamps, fog lights, body-color mirrors and trim, dual chrome exhaust tips and big 19-inch wheels (which will eventually need to be re-wrapped in expensive 19-inch tires).
At its base price of $23,295, the 2013 Ford Escape S features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux sound system, air conditioning, steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, the parent-friendly MyKey system, and a full complement of airbags and electronic safety features. Base model compromises include covered steel wheels and black plastic exterior trim elements.
A fully loaded 2013 Ford Escape Titanium can reach all the way past $37,000, but with enough cool features to embarrass many luxury cars. In addition to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel drive, leather seats and a panoramic moonroof, a top-tier Escape offers blind-spot warning, automatic parallel parking, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, Sync with MyFord Touch, and a liftgate that opens with a wave of your foot. You could get the new Acura RDX for the same money, but you wouldn't have as many cool features to play with.
The 2013 Ford Escape is the only compact SUV with a choice of three engines. It would be easier to recommend the excellent 240-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine if the 178-horsepower 1.6-liter version weren't more affordable, more efficient, just as smooth, and still plenty powerful for most. The base 2.5-liter engine is probably just fine – we haven't driven the latest iteration – but we'd buy a different compact SUV before buying the base Escape S with which that engine is paired. All three engines are paired with a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, driving either the front wheels (FWD) or all four (4WD). If you want 4WD you'll have to choose one of the EcoBoost engines. And if you want the Escape's full towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, you're into the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (and the towing package eliminates the hands-free liftgate option).
168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/31
1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
178 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 23/33 (FWD), 22/30 (AWD)
2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
240 @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway mpg: 22/30 (FWD), 21/28 (AWD)
By Charcoal on Thursday, January 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,069overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive and quiet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Some electrical problems with interior lights and hatchback lift won't open and has no key to open. no power going to it."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Alex on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking, handling, high feature content"
Cons: "Poor MPG for 2.4 L, priced close to bigger SUVs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have '13 Titanium, fully loaded. Besides few glitches with navigation, some ocasional rattles, intermitten function of hands-free tail gate operation it is a very nice vehicle. Small gas tank requires good planning for long trips. 20.2 MPG (computer readings) is not that great at all. But four people will be comfortable for 3-4 hours, enough space for luggage, good stereo, etc."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Flapking on Saturday, January 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Using screen to change and/or see things."
Cons: "Drives fine, good mileage, plenty of room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Could use some improvement on design of radio/screen and middle storage. But is a very good car to drive."
7 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Mrs. Carmona on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,005overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great MPG, clear visability, 2.0L EcoBoost Engine"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is great for smaller families. My husband and I were able to tow our 2012 Ford Focus, with the Escape packed to the brim with luggage, from central TX to the Frederick MD area without any issues. The gas mileage through out the trip exceeded what I though we were even gonna get (17mpg). On average I get anywhere between 23-28mpg and I drive about an even amount of city and highway. I do have the 2.0L Eco Boost engine with the turbo in it, so when it needs to move quickly the Escape will get up there with ease. The agility on it is great too."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By trp on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "interior and exterior lights do not shut off"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"1) interior and exterior lights do not shut off for 15 minutes after the car is turned off. expect to be lit up for long periods of time if you are sitting in the car with the engine turned off. forget tail gating or star gazing...the lights stay on for 15 minutes and if you make the mistake of touching one of the handles or opening a door, the 15 minutes starts all over again. 2) heater in auto mode comes mostly out of the upper registers and very little from the floor so your feet freeze; you have to switch to manual to adjust to the floor vents which are very small. 3) dashboard controls are hard to reach and visibility of the lower push button controls is blocked by the gear stick. 4) asked Ford about item 1 above and they said that the escape interior/exterior lights cannot be adjusted for safety reasons.....really??"
11 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By reo on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, fun to drive, nice looking"
Cons: "Smaller gas tank for a SUV"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love the Escape, inside and out. The only thing I would change is how small the gasoline tank is. And sometimes the InSync system doesn't recognize the voice commands which can get a bit annoying."
15 people out of 24 found this review helpful