All photos by Ford
Ford road the last Escape as hard as you’ll see a current design go and made over 2.5 million sales along the way. As good as the last Escape was to so many customers, it was clearly time for something new, and Ford obviously did their homework before building the all new 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD. “Impressive” is just one of the words that we’ll use to describe the new CUV from Ford that should regain her sales crown for the Blue Oval.
There is no mistaking when you see this sleek and small SUV cruising down the road. The muscular, athletic exterior of the all-new Ford Escape is outright genius, and when you add the 19-inch painted aluminum wheels and Kodiak brown metallic paint on our test model, the competition has to be nervous right now! The look is a far cry from the past model and is somewhat softer and gentler, but there is plenty of appeal here for different tastes and what folks are looking for in design cues.
Like an athlete poised in starting blocks, Ford’s all-new Escape is set to spring beyond previous ideas of what an SUV looks like to create a sleek utility vehicle, visually communicating improved efficiency in fuel consumption and cargo stowage. The fast windshield angle and dynamic roofline define the new innovative and efficient silhouette, while the slim upper grille opening emphasizes Escape width. (Three-dimensional hood focuses on and highlights the Ford oval.) The smart design lines emphasize a sleek, lean and athletic feel, and when teamed with the strong shoulder forms, pronounced wheel arches and a rising beltline, they combine to define Escape muscularity and confidence. Although we were huge fans of the outgoing Escape, the bottom line is that this a design that will win in the marketplace!
In recent years, Ford has made huge strides in interior design and quality, so it wasn’t a big surprise when we saw what was accomplished in the cabin of the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD. In addition to more cargo volume behind the first and second rows than the current vehicle, the new Escape includes SYNC with MyFord Touch, which offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control information through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs. The upgraded system includes a new look, making phone, navigation, entertainment and climate controls even easier to use.
Need more room in your crossover? No problem here as the new Escape’s rear seats have been designed to fold flat easily. With the touch of a button, the head restraint folds down and with the lift of a handle on the seat, the seatback folds and dives as the seat folds flat and clicks into position. The Escape also features an available two-position load floor, which can be configured to allow the customer to choose among maximum luggage volume or flat load floor. Also noticeable is that all main surfaces are soft to the touch; the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD has exquisitely detailed switches, instruments and control surfaces that were clearly enhanced by electroplated metal finishes. The soft-touch instrument panel, together with improved fit and finish, emphasized quality craftsmanship, and one can’t forget the strongly contoured sport seats with contrast stitching to complete the top-notch cabin.
Escape now offers Ford’s broadest nameplate range of EcoBoost engine choices yet. Strong fuel economy comes from either the available 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine or 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which made its American debut in the new Escape. Our test model sported the 2.0 Ecoboost and it’s as impressive as one could imagine. Both new engines combine EcoBoost’s core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better miles per gallon and save customers money on fuel. The 2.0-liter offers 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 1.6-liter provides 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The power in the 2.0 we tested was better than some sport sedans we have tested, and the Escape keeps fuel efficiency in mind as well.
In Escape, EcoBoost engines are mated to a specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmissions, which is standard and allow drivers who want more hands-on experiences to manually control gear selection from a switch on the left-hand side of the shifter. The gearbox features a new torque converter for improved driving feel, silky smooth shifts and even better fuel economy. Engineers also installed revised gear ratios for a balanced driving feel in all situations. The standard engine in North America is an updated 2.5-liter (with 168 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque), giving the new Escape a comprehensive lineup of four-cylinder offerings. It also is matched to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission.
Also aiding fuel economy is Escape’s sleeker design. The new model is nearly 10 percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model. Plus, the new Escape’s active grille shutter system, which is on all models with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, reduces wind resistance. Grille slats stay open when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
The all-new Ford Escape is the first Ford SUV to combine class-exclusive technology to automatically slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast (Curve Control) or help accelerate through a turn (Torque Vectoring Control); a new Intelligent 4WD System helps deliver outstanding handling on pristine pavement and in adverse conditions as well, along with excellent traction off-road. You can appreciate the handling when taking sharp turns or navigating through heavy traffic as the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD is one confident crossover.
This is a great new vehicle from Ford, and they will sell millions, but the Escape we tested came in with a sticker of $34,735, which might seem high for past Escape buyers. You can get a new 2013 Escape in the mid 20s without all the bells and whistles, but my guess is that when buyers see all that is available, Ford will sell their share of the Titanium package Escape for both looks and practical reasons. As tested, the 2.0 liter EcoBoost averages 24mpg, which is decent, but we all know sometimes there is a tradeoff for more power. Ford has raised the bar even higher with the all-new 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD, and after a week behind the wheel, we’re going to miss this car!
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