Ford popularized the pint-sized SUV 12 years ago, and it's had a strong foothold on the market ever since, with 2 million units sold since it rolled out of the plant in 2000. The 2013 iteration barely resembles its boxy predecessor and with little SUV competition in the market, that is a good thing.
The new Escape's foundation is the C-Car platform (same as the Focus). From there up it is very European in appearance. The lines are smooth and eye catching, which is a notable first for the Escape. The interior is revamped as well with slightly more room but the space still seems very limited, especially for backseat passengers.
With two EcoBoost engines offered, the Escape's MPG clocks in at 5mpg better than the 2012 and 2mpg more efficient than the 2012 Hybrid Escape. The power and handling are not sacrificed for the sake of better mileage, the 2.0L engine powered up the hills and hugged the curves of the challenging Northern Cali hills with the ease of a much shorter vehicle, especially in S-Shift mode.
Tech plays a big role in what makes the Escape a much cooler SUV than ever before. The 8-inch touch panel and voice control back is much improved as far as functionality. The park assist that was featured in last year's version is back as well. However, the dopest tech addition to the vehicle is the motion sensing lift gate. With the key in your pocket, all it takes is a simple kick motion under the bumper to open or close the lift gate.
The vast improvements in nearly every area also comes with a higher price tag. Ford has made major strides with the public perception of several of its vehicles, most notably the Taurus SHO, and the Escape is continuing the trend. Despite a price tag that rivals comparable luxury SUV's, the Escape has done major numbers and numbers don't lie.
2013 Ford Escape
Model Tested: Titanium 2.0L EcoBoost 4WD
Power 240hp, 270lb.-ft
0-60 7.0 sec.