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 Jim Dandy on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"After having an issues with the Turbo Waste gate at 5ooo miles and 4 Recalls the transmission went out at 81000 miles I am the only driver and they were mostly highway miles I was told since I didn't spend 2ooo dollars on the extended warranty I should be glad they offered to pay 40% of the bill. After disassembly they stated the forward clutch seal was bad. I asked how that can be as I had a 2006 Escape with 169,000 miles and no issues a 2009 that I gave to my daughter with 195,000 miles and no seal issues but my 2013 with 81,500 does? They said it just happens LOL. Thank you Ford for chasing away a loyal Ford customer for over 36 years to looking to buy a Honda!"
By nimetz on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,800overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"My litigate on my 2013 ford escape opens all the way then drops down 6 to 10 inches I have took back Ford two times already be careful it will close down on you."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Hugosmom on Friday, December 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great car"
Cons: "none yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"So far, this is a great car. Much better than I anticipated before first driving it. It's very comfortable, handles well and has plenty of room. I gave it an 8 in reliability only because I just bought it 6 months ago, and need to drive it longer."
By LWS on Friday, December 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Cons: "multiple recalls, sync feature is hit or miss"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought my 2013 Ford Escape in October 2012. Since then, I have had it to the dealership for four (4) recalls, and I had to have a rental car for one (1) of the recalls due to the length of time for the repair. This past weekend, all of the lights flickered and the car would not start. Thanks to AAA (again!) for their assistance in getting the car to the dealership. Ultimately, the dealer determined a new battery was needed rather than an alternator as they first thought (a new battery after 25K miles?). I do not feel safe because I have zero confidence in the reliability of the vehicle. I called "the mother ship": i.e., Ford to register a formal complaint and perhaps have them buy back the vehicle. No luck. It does not meet the Colorado "lemon law" criteria, so I am unable to take that route. My intention was to trade it in for something else this week, but unfortunately, I have found that the trade-in value has taken a significant hit. I often see the message "displays in the vehicle may not be updated with the new language" when I turn on the car. The Sync feature in this Escape has been troublesome as well. It frequently will not find my phone. I have found that if I turn off the car and re-start it, the phone will magically be found. Same thing with the radio or other features: i.e., won't work, but I can "reboot" by restarting the car. Really????? Not exactly an action you can take while you are actively driving. Ridiculous. Save yourself from the worries of owning this vehicle and look for something else."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By lulu on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,447overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The interior is nice except for the door handles, which are tiny. The front exterior slants downward and I feel unsafe driving this vehicle. It is on it's 3rd recall and is a 2014. Getting rid of it by next week, devalued over $7,000.00 since purchased Nov. 29, 2013, that tells you something."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Cold in the North on Sunday, November 30, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Just too small for us.
Pros: "Love the sunroof for seeing the stars at night."
Cons: "It'seally just a tad tight, space-wise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Fun, responsive, back-up camera's really great for avoiding pedestrians o n dark nights in parking lots. Albeit hard rear seats,they do hold passengers into position, no slop about a flat rear bench seat. A bit of noise from roof, cannot figure out why. Long waisted spouse has 3 fingers of clearance from the roof if he sits in the most effective way for the auto. Good turning radius, good breaking, and I'd hoped to hand this down to our kid when entering college, but it's too small for us to keep in the meanwhile."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful