By Jason Allan
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)
The 2013 Ford Escape S starts at $23,295, but that's with the least desirable of its three engine choices, black plastic exterior trim and covered steel wheels. Stepping up to the Escape SE remedies those shortcomings and adds things like Sync infotainment, but now you're at $25,895 and two to three thousand higher than the better-outfitted Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 base models. At the other end of the price spectrum, a fully loaded Escape Titanium will top out at more than $37,000. While that's almost $7,000 more than a loaded CR-V, it also includes a lot more power and technology. Looking down the road, we expect the new Escape to perform significantly better than its predecessor in the resale market. In other words, you'll get more of your money back when it comes time to trade or sell.
By Roybus on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice Stereo"
Cons: "Extremely Poor Quality, MPG, Value and Safety"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Our 2013 Escape has had 7 recalls in the first year. We had an incident where all of the wiring burned out of the vehicle, requiring everything to be replaced, car still smells like burnt plastic. The Synch system works about 50% of the time and the GPS takes about 15 mins to start working. We've had a few different plastic pieces in the interior break off from normal use. Gas mileage is poor for a 4 cylinder at 21 mpg. We looked at trading the vehicle in to get rid of it, but its value has plummeted so low that we will be stuck with it for a while."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Randy on Monday, February 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks and fun to drive"
Cons: "Mechanically a flop with nothing but problems."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have owned two 2013 Escapes. The first one was the Titanium Sport Utility two wheel drive with the 1.6 engine engine. After being recalled and forced to park it, traded it in for the 2.0 engine. Requested that Ford help with this financially, since my first Escape was recalled after I had owned it for only 2 weeks. Ford refused. Second Escape is being traded off today after it quit on the highway with a warning to have engine serviced now. Ford service could not find any thing wrong. This vehicle at least three times, has made a very loud clunking sound and jerked driving on the highway as if AWD was either kicking in or out. Sync system is terrible to work with. As I summarized, this vehicle is fun to drive and look at, but mechanically, it was put on the road by Ford without being fully tested on the road."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Huey on Saturday, February 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,600overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas mileage, handling, styling, comfort."
Cons: "Undiming dash lights and Ford's callous attitude."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have a '14 Ford Escape SE with blinding dash lights. According to Ford technicians, they are suppose to automatically dim in conjunction with the ambient light. For example, if it is daytime and full sun, the dash lights are full bright. Then as it gets toward dusk, the lights dim somewhat. At full night, the dash lights dim more to avoid bright lights in one's eyes. An analogy to this would be like driving at night and an oncoming car has its lights on bright beam. Then as a courtesy, the person dims the lights to the low beam. This is why I am taking Ford to task for designing a car that will not dim its dash lights as specified. I have talked to a Ford representative and that person said, "nothing is perfect, deal with it". To translate, I feel this means, we don't know how to fix it or care, and you are stuck. I would think Ford would like to have repeat costomers, but that bridge is burned and there will be no further purchase, ever. I have taken my car into the shop for a correction of this problem. They are trying to sweep me under the rug just so I will go away. Finally, they checked their lot and all the '14 Escapes have this same problem. So, a redesign of the software or hardware needs to be made and a recall/advisory made. I do not know if this will affect me as I may not have the car by then. I do not tolerate broken, non working equipment. On the positive side, the car does get good gas mileage, handles well, and looks good. Why would Ford let such a minor item ruin a car such as this?"
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By loveescape on Friday, February 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, handles well, comfortable"
Cons: "Not big ones"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I absolutely love my escape. For those complaining about mileage, they really need to check how they drive because I avg 25 mpg just like I'm supposed to. I get 28-30 Hwy and 22-24 city. Extremely safe car! I hit a deer after owning it for six months. My friend and I walked away without any injuries and the side airbags did deploy (no marks from the seat belt, no whip lash, nothing). The car immediately killed the engine, turned on my hazards, and called 911 in the right county. Got it fixed up, good as new at the body shop. I've also never had problems with the snow. This winter has been terrible, but my car has handled it like a champ. Not as great as a 4x4 truck, but great for what it is. Only complaints are that the center console is super deep, the miles to empty warning is often off by quite a few miles (more than the usual vehicle), and it takes a few seconds for the vroom to kick in when I floor it (I have the 1.6L)."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By American car lover now on Saturday, February 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality and reliability"
Cons: "To perfect"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Good car very good quality and reliability we alway bought toyotas but they went down so we decided to try ford and we got fusion and an escape we love both but I drive the escape and I absulutely love it it drives good and looks great and very good build quility too better than toyota by a wide margen"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By kp2 on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,165overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice smart features"
Cons: "Bad Gas Mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I have had this car for about 13 months and cannot get it to ever get over 23 mpg...Ever. Mostly only averages 21 mpg. The "smart" system has a lot of quirks..GPS has you driving off of your actual path, makes high pitched sounds when you put the breaks on in the cold..sometimes the blind spot alert system works and sometimes it doesn't and sometimes the alert for being too close to something does alert you and sometimes it doesn't."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful