Used 2013 Ford Escape SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Ford Escape SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Ford Escape SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Ford Escape is a winner in the segment of small crossover utility vehicles thanks to athletic driving dynamics, an inviting cabin and plenty of useful high-tech features.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Good performance and fuel efficiency; many high-tech features; agile handling; high-quality cabin; comfortable seating.

  • Cons

    Gets a little pricey when loaded with options; slightly awkward climate controls.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the Ford Escape is completely redesigned.

Full 2013 Ford Escape Review

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Ford Escape is completely redesigned.


After years of soldiering on with the same basic platform, Ford's little crossover has finally received a major makeover. Judging by our experience with the 2013 Ford Escape, it looks as if it was worth the wait. The new Escape stands as one of the top entries in a segment that's already packed with excellent choices.

The 2013 Escape has some international lineage, as it is based on the Ford Kuga, a European compact crossover that in turn shares its platform with the Ford Focus. Its gene pool has graced it with handsomely sculpted styling and an athletic chassis. Compared to the outgoing Escape, the new one has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase and is 1.3 inches wider. Together, these dimensions provide more room inside, while this model's shorter height (by 1.6 inch) contributes to the sleeker look outside. Other interior changes include higher-quality materials, a second-row seat that's much easier to fold down, a "hands-free" power liftgate and the addition of the MyFord Touch electronics interface.

A trio of four-cylinder engine choices comprise the Escape's power lineup, and all run through a six-speed automatic. One is a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter engine carried over from last year, but it's only offered on the base model. The mainstream choice is a new turbocharged 1.6-liter. It puts out 178 hp and returns an EPA-estimated 33 mpg on the highway. Drivers who want quicker acceleration can opt for the 240-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, which effectively replaces the V6 in the old Escape. A hybrid variant of the Ford Escape is no longer offered, however.

The 2013 Ford Escape is better in every way relative to its precursor. Its primary competitors -- the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 -- can't match its engine choices, while the Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester can't match its interior refinement.

One possible downside is price -- once you load up an Escape with all of its nifty options, it ends up being one of the most expensive models in its class. But if you're OK with that, the 2013 Ford Escape should be an excellent choice for a small crossover.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Ford Escape is a compact crossover SUV that comes in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL and Titanium.

The S comes with 17-inch steel wheels, an integrated blind-spot mirror, MyKey parental controls, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

Options for the S are few but include the Sync voice-command electronics interface (includes iPod interface and Bluetooth) and steering-wheel audio controls.

Upgrading to the SE brings a turbocharged engine, color-keyed mirrors/door handles, foglamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry keypad, privacy tinted glass, a four-inch multifunction screen, the Sync system, reclining rear seats, satellite radio and steering-wheel audio controls.

Option highlights for the SE include 18-inch wheels, a power panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control and a navigation system.

The SEL adds heated sideview mirrors, one-touch up/down for all windows, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, the MyFord Touch electronics interface, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, interior ambient lighting, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), heated front seats and an upgraded, nine-speaker sound system.

Options for the SEL include a Cargo Management System (roof rack, interior tonneau cover, power liftgate), a Technology package (keyless ignition/entry, remote start, hands-free liftgate, reverse park assist and a Sony audio system with 10 speakers and HD radio), a Parking Technology package (automated parallel parking assist, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot monitor), a panoramic sunroof and a navigation system.

Sitting at the top of the line, the Titanium adds a more powerful engine, 19-inch wheels, remote start, keyless ignition/entry, ambient lighting, upgraded leather upholstery and the Sony audio system.

Options include a Titanium Technology package (roof rack, xenon headlights, interior tonneau cover, hands-free liftgate, reverse park assist), the Parking Technology package, full leather upholstery, a power panoramic sunroof and a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard and only available on the S is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 168 hp and 167 pound-feet of torque. The SE and SEL come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 that makes 178 hp and 184 lb-ft. Optional on these two trims and standard on the Titanium is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that pumps out 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all but the S are available in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration (the S is front-wheel drive only). Properly equipped, an Escape with the 2.0-liter turbo engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Fuel economy estimates for the 2.5 are 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. The 1.6 EcoBoost with front-wheel drive earns 23 city/33 highway, while the 2.0 EcoBoost with front-wheel drive rates 22/30/25. All-wheel-drive versions rate 1-2 mpg less.


Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag and full-length curtain-type airbags are all standard on the 2013 Ford Escape.

Interior Design and Special Features

Up front in the cabin the Escape provides a pair of well-shaped, generously padded seats that ensure proper comfort and support. Materials and overall fit and finish are excellent. The gauges are large and easily read. But while most controls are intuitive, those for the climate system are awkwardly located, down low and in front of the gear selector. The Sync system works well for both cell phone and audio/iPod integration. Ford has also worked to improve the latest version of MyFord Touch -- it works well, though there's still a learning curve involved.

As before, there's plenty of room inside the Escape, even in the rear seat, which has plenty of head- and legroom. The wide front seats are generously padded, with good bolstering for the seatback. Like the Focus, the Escape has a steering wheel with a sporty, thick rim that enhances this crossover's carlike image. Cargo space behind the rear seats measures 34.3 cubic feet. Flipping the rear seats down via a one-touch lever opens capacity up to 68.1 cubes, about average for the segment. One interesting feature is the optional hands-free power liftgate; as long as the key fob is within close proximity (i.e., in your pocket or purse), kicking or waving your foot under the rear bumper will open the liftgate.

Driving Impressions

Performance ranges from average with the 2.5 and 1.6 engines to downright spirited with the 2.0 turbo. In uphill situations in which the 1.6 needs either extra throttle or a downshift (or both), the brawny torque of the 2.0 pulls the Escape through without a thought. The 2.0 turbo is also quieter and smoother, and offers good punch when you boot it to swiftly pass or merge.

Blessed with the competent Focus platform, the 2013 Ford Escape handles itself well in the curves. Mind you, with its greater weight and higher center of gravity you won't exactly mistake the Escape for a Focus, but it's willing enough when the road begins to twist. The steering doesn't have the spot-on feel of the Focus, but body roll is controlled reasonably well. Things improve further in the Titanium model, as the extra grip from the high-performance 19-inch tires allows more aggressive cornering. Ride in the latter is taut but still supple enough.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 108 reviews) Write a Review

2013 ford escape 2.0 titanium

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

We traded in our 2007 MDX for a 2013 Ford Escape 2.0 Titanium in October of 2012. It had a lot of neat features and my wife and I liked the styling. Surprisingly this car has been headache free. It's the car we use to haul around our 2 year and dog and it's been perfect for that. Yes the fuel economy has been a bit disappointing and the Sync system at times can be sensitive and moody but overall this has been a good car.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Love it!

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape SEL 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I love my Escape! It's quick and fast. It doesn't get the fuel mileage they advertise though, nearly 25mpg on the highway, I travel 1100 miles, one way, twice a year. On level ground, I am getting 23.5 mpg, when I'm at my home in the mountains, I get about 22. My only real disappointment is that I didn't get the Ford My Touch! The young salesman never mentioned it to me but it does add about $5000 to the total cost. Yes, it's had several recall's but to me that means that Ford is on the ball and not ignoring my safety.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A sporty little suv, packed with amenities!

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape SEL 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

We bought a 2013 Escape SEL, that had about 12,000 miles on it and so far have had no problems. 26MPG all around milegage is pretty nice for such a sporty, fun to drive vehicle of this size. The interior is very nice with leather heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors, various colors of interior lighting to choose from and a very comfortable climate control system. We have had two re-call notices (of no consequence) which is a little inconvenient.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Handles nice, poor mpg and broken things

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape SE 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I purchased this car after seeing a lot of good performance reviews and seeing an impressive 22/30 MPG sticker. I go off road, camping, and projects regularly so I wanted the AWD and the space that a small SUV provides. As of 30,000 miles - It handles well, dirt, water, snow. It is a nice ride and very comfortable. The bad: 17.5/22 MPG in PA, 19.5/24 MPG MD, all year round (and I tested it the old fashioned way of miles driven/fuel consumed, NOT the lying computer read out). 3 plastic parts including a handle broke within a year. 3 recall parts within the first year including overheating engine cylinders and a bad water pump. SYNC has never worked properly in this vehicle.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Love my suv

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape SEL 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I have owned my Escape SEL almost a year. Yes I have had recalls, 4 in fact. But recalls are not unusual in the industry. Toyota Honda GM Hyundai etc have all had recalls. I love my SUV and the service Department at my Ford dealership is fantastic. Most of the gas mileage complaints seem to be coming from AWD models as I have read thru the reviews. My SUV is FWD and I have gotten over 30mpg with cruise control set on a highway ride. for the price of my SEL model that is really loaded I think it is a great choice for a smaller SUV. Power and handling with exceptional style.

3 of 17 people found this review helpful

Nice to look at, but that's it.

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Vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Bought this car in Oct '13. Very beautiful and a little out of my price range, but I decided to get it since it had every possible option on it. That was a mistake! This car has been out of service almost 2 weeks total and started having issues at 1,100 miles. Rattling in the front, wheel thumping and loud noise in strut sounds like it's coming off after a sharp turn, hatch won't shut correctly, sync system randomly shuts off, blind spot monitoring system doesn't work sometimes or it's incorrect. I have to second guess it constantly. The only nice thing is the way it looks inside and out. Interior storage space is virtually nonexistent and legroom up front isn't great.

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Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Ford Escape Suv in VA is:

$142.00 per month*

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