Three engines are available in the 2013 Ford Escape, and they all award pretty impressive gas mileage. The most popular is going to be the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. While that doesn’t seem like much, it’s plenty of get-up-and-go for the average driver. It offers a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, and returns 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
A turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 is standard on the SE and SEL. This offers only a bit more power at 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Both of these trims have the option of upgrading to the most powerful engine, which is a 2.0-liter inline-4 that cranks out 270 pound-feet of torque and 240 horsepower. This also offers a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Although the base model is only available as a front-wheel drive, the other trims offer the option of all-wheel drive, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line.
The 2.0-liter delivers a nice punch when you need to pass, but the other two engines are a bit lazy. Body roll is controlled, the ride is smooth and the vehicle stays composed on turns.
Although crash and braking distance test results have yet to be released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one can only assume that they will fall in line with the 2012 model. After all, there have been no undercarriage changes so scoring should remain consistent. If this is the case, the 2012 model did score perfectly in side-impact and frontal-offset, but only earned a marginal in roof-strength. Braking distance for 2012 was also extremely poor, taking a significantly longer distance the average SUV in this segment to stop from 60 mph.
For 2013 though, the Escape is equipped with Curve Control to slow you down around curves, when needed, and an advance Roll Stability control; both to help avoid accidents. Other standard features include:
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Post-collision safety system
• Stability control
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Traction control
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Engine immobilizer
• Rear door safety locks
• 4-wheel ABS
• Front and side airbags
• Child seat anchors
When it comes to appearance, Escape is a winner all the way around. The platform remains the same, but a full makeover has finally arrived. It offers European lineage with a fierce front end. The hood and headlamps are streamlined while the grille and bumper steps away from traditional Ford styling and eliminates the abundance of chrome typically found there. Sport wheels, privacy glass and roof racks add the finishing touches.
A 2.8-inch longer wheel base has allowed for a lot more room inside the 2013 Escape. The vehicle is even 1.3 inches wider than the 2012 model, which may not seem like much, but it really makes a huge difference.
Seating for five is enjoyed in generously padded seats made of materials that offer an exquisite finish. Designers have managed to create a space that is roomy, sophisticated and contemporary. You can’t help but notice that a calming environment is awarded when you slip behind the wheel.
Gauges are fairly large and definitely easy to read, but it should be noted that the controls for the climate system are awkward and seem a bit misplaced.
The 2013 Escape excels when it comes to cargo space, with all seats in place. Even if you have rear passengers, you have 34.3 cubic feet to use. However, when you flip the seats down with a one-touch level, you are only awarded a total of 68.1 cubic feet, which isn’t much.