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.

  • 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 114 reviews) Write a Review

The worst vehicle ever, glad i escaped from escape

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

Oil Burning Odor being drawn into the cabin from the engine compartment, FORD NEVER figured out the problem. Hood seal was bad and something was letting off a burning oil smell, smoke under the hood. Transmission Failed and was rebuilt, rear differential was rebuilt. All of this happened before 3 years 36,000 miles. Safety restraint computer needed to be replaced under recall... It took Ford almost a year from announcing the recall to actually have the part available. FORD Seems to put their sales before taking care of their current customers... They got your money, now you don't matter to them...

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

Worst suv on the planet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Worst SUV ever!!!!!!!!!!! Bought my Escape SEL/AWD brand new push start technology package, rear hatch release sensor, auto start, ambient lighting, heated front seats pretty loaded. Let?s start with the obvious issue 1st it stalls when you are driving it. This happened 5 times in 2 years once pulling into the driveway (husband was driving) ok let?s chalk that up to a fluke. The 2nd time it stalled I was pulling into my work parking lot so far each time it was taken right back to dealership and left there for them to FIX every time within hours I was called to say they could not duplicate the problem so hence no found issue nothing done.. The 3rd time it stalled was on Highway Route 1 in stop and go traffic I almost got back ended so again right back to the dealership mind you this is all in the first year and a half of owning it. This time it stayed there for almost a week and the dealer said it had a recall so they would update the electronics (still however not able to duplicate the problem) and asked me if I was sure I was not turning it off while driving it??? REALLY??? REALLY??? YES I AM POSITIVE I AM NOT TURNING OFF MY CAR WHILE IN THE MIDDLE OF DRIVING IT !!!!!!!!!!! Received the call it was ready and to come get it. Ok off I go back to the dealership hopeful all will be fixed and I will have no more issues. Oh was I mistaken I left the dealership and headed down Route 295 to pick up a friend HUGE MISTAKE !!!!!! about 5 miles into my drive in stop and go traffic yep you guessed it STALLED AGAIN!!!!!!! At this point I am losing my mind and call to have them come pick up the death trap on the side of the road. Again no problem when they get it back to the dealership. Now I am still shaken up but willing to take it again. This time for a few months its ok I am optimistic that all is better and the issue is resolved. Oh how wrong I was??. The last time it decided it didn?t want to continue driving it stalled while I was making a left hand turn into a shopping center in the middle of a very busy 4 lane road I almost caused a several car accident thank goodness I was used to the stalling and threw it in neutral started in and floored it into the lot just missed getting t-boned but a second. This was it for me it took me over an hour to stop shaking, crying and being able to breathe again. The escape was traded by the end of the week. Since getting rid of it I have found out a lot of other people have had the same issue with accidents due to their escape stalling while driving it. I will never own another Ford product as long as I live. Ford is aware of the Issue and is being charged by the NHSA for not warning consumers of this huge problem with the Escape & Focus. There is a class action Law Suit also due to Ford not taking responsibility. So if you are looking into this SUV please do a lot of home work. I feel truly lucky that this suv did not kill me while I owned it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Big mistake!

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

I traded in my 2012 ford escape for the 2013. When I got my 2013 ford escape sel I loved all the luxury items it's loaded. I bought it used with 17,100 miles. From the first month I owned it until now (I only had the car 7 months so far) it's been into 3 different garages 7 times due to a big list of problems. Now again it's in the garage they informed me that the turbo needs replaced thank goodness I got an extended warranty or this car would be gone. And also 11 recalls have been done to this car. I use to love ford.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Stranded twice and recalls galore

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

My 2013 Escape was purchased brand new. As the sole owner for 30 months and 107,000 miles I was extremely disappointed with the this car. I have owned a Ford car for 17 of my 27 years as a driver. This Escape left me stranded twice due to phantom overheating alarms that were part of numerous recalls. The car was at the dealer for service more than 12 days of those 18 months. All for recall issues. Don't buy a Ford on their first model year.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great vehicle until the turbo died

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

After the initial recalls in 2013, my 2013 Escape SEL was very reliable. I had it in the shop three times in 3 years (78K miles). Ironically, all three times were because the cluster communicated that Engine Coolant was low and the engine needed to be serviced. The first two times, the local Ford dealer ran a pressure test and it passed with no leaks. The dealer informed me that sometimes the coolant just leaves the system and they can't find the reason for it. The third time, they advised me that it was still holding pressure, but the turbo was leaking oil (causing a fire hazard), so it needed to be replaced. After seeing the $3,000 estimate to replace the turbo and comparing it to a resale value of $12K, I elected to sell the vehicle at auction without performing the repairs. At auction, with the necessary repair disclosed, I was able to get $9,600 for it, so it worked out in my favor. The only other issues I had were Ford Sync related. The radio and blue tooth connection would stop all sound through the vehicle speakers. The Ford Sync people walked me through the process for fixing it the first couple of times. I had to perform a master reset on the electronic system. This is like restoring an Iphone to original condition and erasing all added data. Lastly, as far as mileage, I averaged 26K miles/year. My combined average fuel economy came out to 21.2 MPG. Not bad mileage, but not what I expected for a 4 cylinder motor with an "Eco-boost" performance enhancer. I even adjusted the performance of the motor to be as economical as possible. I really did like my 2013 Ford Escape SEL and was sad to leave it at the dealer and send it to auction. It was a pretty comfortable ride on trips. I took a 5 day trip from NW Arkansas to Washington DC and back, and I was pretty comfortable the entire trip. Unfortunately, the cost of replacing the turbo was roughly 25% of the entire vehicle, and with the motor/transmission and electronics being 3 years old with 78K miles, I could not justify that significant of an expense. If I had picked the 6 cylinder option without the turbo, I would never have let it go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


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

We wanted a reliable, safe car for our 17 year old and I know we have found it. The all wheel drive will keep her on the road and IF something happens to run her off the road she will be in one of the safest vehicles in its class. Amazingly it is comfortable even for my 6' 2" frame - Wow! And the panoramic sun roof almost makes you feel like you are in a convertible. My only humble issues with the Escape is that the Nav is not as intuitive as a Garmin Device and the Climate controls are a bit too complicated. But these are small matters compared to the overall Five Star nature of this great car!

Talk About The 2013 Escape

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:

$76.83 per month*

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