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2013 Ford Escape Overview
The Ford Escape, long one of the most popular small crossover SUVs on the market, finally gets its close-up. Thoroughly redesigned for the 2013 model year, the Escape appears to have a curvaceous silhouette more in tune with that of the Focus. Some hail this as a welcome change from the old boxy Escape of yore; others complain this further homogenizes the brand.
Three engines with 4 levels of trim will be available for the car. The base S trim has a 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 168 hp engine with 171 lb-ft of torque—the only carryover from the previous Escape. The next levels, SE and SEL, are also 4-cylinder, but they use a 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine with 173 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The top trim is the Titanium, which has a 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost with at least 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque (actual specs have not been released). The V6 option, as well as the hybrid engine line, have been discontinued.
Mileage has also not been released for the model yet, but Ford estimates a 5-mpg increase. (For reference, the 2012 Escape 2.5-liter gets 21 mpg city/28 hwy.) All trims have a 6-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift, allowing you, with the flick of a switch on the transmission lever, to change gears as if it were a manual. With the exception of the S, 4WD is available for all trim levels.
Inside will be nice and roomy, with 34.3 cubic feet in the rear and 69.1 when the second row is folded back—now much easier with the new design. Also on deck is a handy hands-free liftgate, which opens automatically when you move your foot under the rear bumper. Ford also goes green—or at least a shade of it—by using polyurethane foam in the seats created from soybean oil and carpet fibers formed from recycled plastic bottles.
Handling and performance for the revamped Escape are not in yet, but, with the new engines and a body shape that’s 10% more aerodynamic, it’s likely to be a fun drive. With an optional tow package, all trim levels can add a trailer, and the 2.0-liter is rated strong enough to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
There is a large market in America for small crossovers, and with this redesign, Ford hopes to stimulate interest in its already-popular Escape.
by Stephen Moramarco
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