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 NathanT87 on Friday, October 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, handles well in weather, nice power"
Cons: "Cabin space is small, electronics are weak."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 2013 2.0 liter turbo charged version of this car. The good: This car is a blast to drive. The first weekend I had it I woke up early Saturday morning just to drive it around for hours. Its been a year and I still love to drive it. It handles like a car and acceleration is not an issue thanks to the huge power boost the turbo provides. It gets around well in the snow (mine is 2WD) and is sturdy in heavy rain. The controls for the radio and cruise control are well placed. The bad: Seems small inside. My wife and I bump into each other getting drinks from the cup holder. The much talked about Ford Sync is not very impressive especially if you are used to an iPhone or Android device. In comparison the Sync is like going back to a flip phone. There is a USB slot near the charger but plugging anything into it other than their limited list of devices wreaks havoc on the computer. I plugged in a Galaxy tablet to charge and the entire car computer crashed. I had to shut the car off and restart it twice before it came back. Do I recommend this car? Absolutely. These little things are really nothing in the grand scheme of it all. This car is a winner."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By mcow on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas millage, very fun to drive, looks"
Cons: "NO WHERE FOR COINS, issues with some interior trim"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2013 Ford Escape SEL slightly used to replace a gas guzzler GMC Envoy. I have now owned pretty much every SUV/Crossover Ford makes Explorer, Excursion, Expedition, Edge and now the Escape. Out of all of them I place only the Edge above this one as far as being fun to drive. I originally was not shopping for this car I went to the dealership for a used Fusion. I test drove both and and in the end decided the Escape while not quite as efficient as the Fusion was a better driving experience for me at least I prefer sitting up a little. First thing I noticed was the 2.0 turbo 4 banger. It does not feel like a 4 cylinder at all. Great acceleration fells as powerful as the 6 cylinder I loved in my Edge but feel is a little sluggish in my 2013 Explorer. The interior is pretty comfortable nice leather seats and cushioned surfaces on the door panels. Lots of cup holders and cubbies. The AC is great much better than my previous Edge. It feels bigger to me on the inside than it looks on the outside granted the back seat does feel a little cramped but the front is fine for average height adults. I love the panoramic moon roof and the MyTouch Sync works great. I am getting an average of 24 MPG which is about what I was hoping for. No mechanical issues so far. Did I mention how much I love the 2.0 Turbo engine? It really is very fun to drive feels and handles almost like a small sports car. Ok for my complaints. First the center console is horrible. It is small and deep and there is no where for COINS! I plan on buying an insert to fix this I have seen online. I have two interior trim issues that I need to get fixed. One is a small piece of trim that holds the glove box closed one side broke off so my glove box is only held closed on one side. The other is something broke on the interior door panel of the back hatch it is only connected on one side. This was rattling driving me crazy until i figured out what it was and temporarily fixed it with the universal tool duct tape. Thank God I am getting decent gas millage because the tank is tiny! Not a huge deal for me but something I wished was improved. There is some minor rattles seems like it is mostly connected to the moon roof. Nothing that makes me want to max the stereo volume or anything. Overall I am happy with the escape. If I had it to do over I may go with the Edge again which has been the favorite of all my cars but the Escape does get a little better gas milage and that was my primary concern. Btw incase you couldn't tell I am a Ford guy through and through the GMC I bought that was replaced by this vehicle will be my last "cheat" on Ford."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Remlerman on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Amazingly convenient and useful electronics"
Cons: "A little buzzy inside (but not bad)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had a lot of higher-end cars recently but got this as a second car largely to be used to ferry our old dog and our teenage soccer playing son. I fell in love with this vehicle however! It's fun to drive and I've never had a car whose electronics do so much for you and so intuitively. One paddle activates the voice recognition (which works almost flawlessly), the Navi, the audio system, everything. You don't have to take your eyes off the road for anything. The touchscreen controls are very easy to understand (Miscrosoft designed the system I understand) and extremely useful. The car will literally park itself for you (it takes the wheel). OK: it's not a European touring sedan so it's not as quiet as a $60,000 car and you maybe get a little more 'road feel' to your backside then you might like if you're used to those cars. However, I AM used to those cars (and still own a 2014 Audi Q5) and prefer driving this little Ford."
9 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By notahappyfan on Thursday, October 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cost of the Car"
Cons: "Eveything else"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"When the Service Department tells you that it is standard for the hood of the vehicle to visually vibrate then there is a problem. When two dealership technician does not know the basic on how the SYNC system works and the system is blinking off then there is a problem. And when Ford agrees that this is how the vehicle is suppose to operate!!! Enough said!!!"
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Marvintu on Sunday, September 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Styling, interior."
Cons: "12+ recalls, difficult service."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This car has never let us down on the road; however, it has received 12+ recalls (#13 pending). It is light years ahead of the old model in style and interior. Engineers for this car should be spanked, though. Look under the hood in one; it is a nightmare and I'm sure the service techs cringe when one comes in. To change the battery, need to completely remove the air intake box and computer module; battery, along with other stuff, is tucked way back under the cowl. A service tech on Youtube rated this one of the most difficult to replace oil filter on. Cheap plastic connections. I really do not have confidence in long term for this car. Reluctantly, it will be traded when paid for. Too bad; I really liked the car and wanted to believe in Ford (my first new one)."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Billybob on Sunday, September 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort and reliability plus all the amenities!"
Cons: "Gas mileage could be better."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Handles and responds like a dream. Ford scored a home run on this vehicle! I would certainly buy another Escape."
12 people out of 21 found this review helpful