2013 Ford Escape Titanium AWD
2.0L L4 turbo DOHC 16-valve
237 @ 5500
250 @ 1750
9.8 / 6.9
971 - 1,928
When the time comes for a manufacturer to replace one of their best-selling vehicles, the greatest challenge is to improve the existing one without negatively altering its successful appeal. The all-new 3rd generation 2013 Ford Escape is essentially the 2nd generation European Kuga, which shares its platform with the Focus. So based on the European C platform, the 2013 Escape is not a true successor to the old one but seems to be a wise move on behalf of Ford.
It is available with either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive and three different gas engines. The base model is powered by a 2.5lt 4-cylinder Duratec engine while the other two are members of the new downsized EcoBoost family. Ford claims that the 1.6lt 4-cylinder Ecoboost is as fuel efficient as the outgoing hybrid model and the new 2.0lt 4-cylinder EcoBoost is more powerful than the old V6. Consequently, there is no Hybrid available this time and guess what? There is no V6 either.
Prices start at $21,499 and go all the way up to $37,499, while our 2.0lt EcoBoost Titanium AWD was priced at $42,329 which is in one word, insane.
A bunch of Kinetic Design lines is what you get on the exterior and the result is rather modern and attractive. An aggressive look is achieved with dual exhausts at the rear, 19” rims and sporty bumpers. Ground clearance looks adequate for some off-roading but the approach angles tell the true story, that this is an urban vehicle that likes to think of its self as a crossover.
The interior design is eye catching as multiple angles and shapes have been used to create a collage of elements that all together look like a piece of art. It is really modern and rather busy and at first seems a bit complicated to figure out. The instrument cluster is well sized and very informative, while on the centre console there are no touch buttons like the Fusion or Flex. Normal buttons and round dials are in place to help balance practicality with design.
The upper part of the dash is well put together and soft to the touch material has been used, but for the lower parts and centre console, hard plastics have been used and occasionally the joints squeak a bit. Fit and finish could be a lot better since the materials used do not indicate cost cutting practices. Ergonomically it will take you a little while to find where everything is located and the only annoying thing is that when in park (P), accessing the climate control can be a bit hard as the gear lever is in the way.
The driver’s seat is the best in the house, as the seat is very comfortable and supportive and while sitting in it the interior view is very pleasant. The steering wheel is thick and is wrapped in soft leather which gives a firm grip sensation. Adjustments possible are plenty enabling the driver to find their ideal posture with ease. The rear bench offers good headroom but only average legroom, while the width is enough to accommodate three adults without them complaining too much. The cargo area is also within class standards, offering 971lt with the rear seats up and 1928lt with them stowed away.
Visibility is great and the Escape is definitely a very nice vehicle for people that require an SUV for visibility purposes. The blind spot monitoring system also works very effectively and the warning lights integrated in the side mirrors are visible even under direct sunlight. When backing up, the rear view camera does a good job assisting and predicting where you are heading but if you are trying to park in a narrow area, leave it to the automatic park-assist to do it for you.
The Titanium trim level comes packed with power moon roof, leather seats, cruise control, blind spot monitoring system, rear view camera, Ford MyTouch infotainment system with navigation and voice control, Bluetooth connectivity, dual zone climate control, remote starter, heated seats, auto-park assist, stability control, antilock brakes, plenty of airbags and much more.
The new 2.0lt DOHC 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine is rated at 237bhp and 250lb-ft of torque and pulls well throughout the rev band. Near the reds, it does get a bit rough but at the same time performance is blistering. The Escape can hit 100km/h in 7.1 seconds which is just a tiny bit slower than a Focus ST. During our test, we sure did experience the “Boost” part of the engine’s family name but the “Eco” was nowhere to be found. On a combined circle, we averaged 13.1lt/100km which was worse than what we were expecting. On the highway with the assistance of the cruise control, 8.9lt/100km was the best we could get. Thankfully, these are litters of regular unleaded. The gearbox mated to the engine is a 6-speed automatic that given the choice I would avoid. It seems to have a severe case of narcolepsy as it falls asleep the moment you lift off and then to get it back to work you need to submit a “request for action” application.
Ford is well known as a manufacturer of vehicles that handle really well and the 2013 Ford Escape is no exception. The independent front and rear suspension is tuned to make this SUV handle like a boy racer. An awkward decision if you ask me, as the Escape is meant to carry families around rather than getting thrashed along back twisty roads. It does turn in sharp and holds the road impressively well for an SUV while in slippery conditions the intelligent AWD system does a great job keeping traction as high as possible. The handling really is five star but the ride comfort pays the price. Especially in the Titanium trim level with the 19” rims, you can feel every single pebble you drive over which kind of defeats the purpose of an SUV. The steering is sharp and feedback is great while the brakes are very strong and can bring the Escape to a complete stop from 100km/h in just 45m. It’s just too sporty, which is not a bad thing if you are still single and enjoy a sporty ride.
The 2013 Ford Escape is a very appealing small SUV but can get very pricey once you start adding options. The price of our tester is money I would rather spend to get myself into an Infiniti EX37 or BMW X1. Where the Escape makes perfect sense is at $29,099, which will get you behind the wheel of the 1.6lt EcoBoost SE AWD. It is equally fun, it is better on gas, you have the option to skip the narcoleptic and having 17” rims makes it a more suitable ride for your little ones.
Fit and Finish issues
Body Panel Alignment Issues