2013 Ford Escape SUV (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-speed Automatic)
Driven On 6/26/2012
This rating has been carried forward from a prior year because the newer model has no substantial differences.
The all-new 2013 Escape is a big move in the right direction for Ford. One of the Escape's main strengths is a choice of powertrains. But it also scores high marks for its sporty handling manners, well-crafted interior and some cool tech features.
PerformanceThe turbo four-cylinder gives the Escape rapid acceleration. Unlike many competitors, it never lacks for power. The transmission is a smooth operator, and the manual mode gives easy-to-access engine braking and rev-matched downshifts.
The 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine is genuinely powerful. You'll pay at the pump, though. We recorded 20.5 mpg in testing during mixed driving.
Solid, consistent brake performance. The Escape was very stable during our panic-simulation ABS stops.
Typical electric-assist, artificial steering feel, which is the norm these days. Still, there's enough information here to make prudent decisions.
AWD Escapes benefit from a torque-splitting center differential and active torque biasing, which make the Escape a capable handler as well as a solid all-weather choice.
No problems here. Smooth throttle delivery, relatively supple automatic transmission. Intuitive and lacking any obvious deficiencies.
ComfortOverall comfort is good in the Escape. Its ride is amply compliant even though it's one of the better-handling SUVs in the segment.
We like the Escape's seats, as they provide all-day comfort. Heating (optional on some trim levels) is a nice touch.
The Escape has a surprisingly comfy ride. Surprising because it trades off very little in the way of ride quality in return for its excellent handling.
The Escape's turbo four-cylinder is much quieter than some competitors, especially at wide-open throttle.
InteriorFor the most part the interior makes sense and is easy to use. It's loaded with features (on the Titanium trim level). Good material and assembly quality.
Ford has made it a point to place commonly used controls in reach and in sight, and it shows in the Escape just like it does in the Focus.
The seat height in the Escape is just right. Like most minivans, there's no bending down to get in.
We had no fitment problems within either the front or back seats, but there isn't a sense of spaciousness in the Escape like there is in the roomier Honda CR-V.
Front and rear visibility are only average. The Escape is definitely not as airy or as easy to see out of as some of its competitors.
The fold-flat 60/40-split rear seats enhance cargo area. But the Escape doesn't have a cargo-mounted seatback release.
ValueFully loaded, the EcoBoost Escape is over $30,000, but is packed with features you'd expect at that price, including AWD.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Build quality is as good as one can expect in a vehicle in this price range. Materials appear durable and well put together.
You'll pay for them, but safety and technology features are available and abundant on the new Escape.
Be careful when checking option boxes on the Escape. You can quickly run up the bill. Still, it's a lot of (small) SUV for the money.
All that power and torque means the Escape's fuel economy suffers relative to less powerful competitors.
The Escape offers average warranty coverage: 3 years/36,000 miles basic, 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain.
Owners will appreciate the roadside assistance coverage of 5 years/60,000 miles.
Fun To DriveIf there's any such thing as a fun-to-drive crossover, this is it. Ample power, a real transmission and good handling.
Quick, grippy, well-mannered and reasonably practical. Hard to beat that.
Attractive styling, good power and practical as a family car, there are lots of reasons to like the new Escape.