By on November 7, 2012

The VW Tiguan is strong but soft. The Mazda CX-5 is firm but weak. Might the new Ford Escape combine their strengths while avoiding their weaknesses?

To my eye, the Escape’s exterior is the most attractive of the three, as up-to-date as the Mazda but more coherent (if long in the nose and overly busy at the other end). Its interior is a fine place to be, at least in the top-level Titanium trim with its vibrant displays, upscale materials (though these seem decidedly less special in a $35,000 Escape than in a $23,000 Focus), and attractive cloth+leather upholstery. (The center stack in Escapes without the controversial MyFord Touch interface is both unattractive and unintuitive.) The front seats are comfortable and supportive. The view forward from them could be better. A steeply raked fishbowl of a windshield makes for an exceedingly deep instrument panel with upturned corners. The view to the rear is even worse, but there’s tech to help with that. As in the Focus, the design of the instrument panel and console prioritizes sportiness over space.

Based on the brochure, the Escape offers nearly as much combined legroom as the CX-5, 79.9 inches to 80.3. But climb into the Ford’s back seat and the shins of a man of middling height will graze the front seatback. How can this be? Well, Ford cheated the specs. They put the front seat all the way back when measuring front legroom. Then they shifted it forward about 2.7 inches before measuring rear legroom. Viola, nearly three more inches of combined legroom, enough to move the Escape from the bottom of the pack to near the top! I’ve never encountered this trick before. If it spreads, legroom specs will become as useless as cargo volume specs, where multiple legitimate methods of measurement make for specs that cannot be reliably compared. Beyond legroom, the Ford’s undersized rear seat isn’t as comfortable as the others, but unlike in the Mazda rear air vents are included in the upper trim levels.

Cargo volume is more competitive, and swinging a foot beneath the rear bumper opens the tailgate when the crossover is equipped with passive entry. A folding front passenger seat like the one in the Tiguan would be a plus, but one is not offered.

The Escape is quieter inside than the VW or the Mazda (though wind and road noise intrude at highway speeds; a Focus is quieter still). The compact crossover feels solid and firmly damped in the European way. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: the new Escape was developed primarily by Ford of Europe and will be sold in much the same form in Europe. Opt for the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, and it’s also the most powerful vehicle in this threesome. Yet it doesn’t feel much stronger than the Tiguan. According to some reviewers, the 2.0T also doesn’t feel much more powerful than the 178-horsepower 1.6T. (A 168-horsepower 2.5-liter is also offered, but only with front-wheel-drive and only in the base model.) The seat of my pants and stopwatches beg to differ, with the 2.0T about two seconds quicker to sixty (figure seven vs. nine).

With so much packed into the vehicle, something had to give, and that something is curb weight. With the top engine and AWD, the Escape tips the scale to the tune of 3,732 pounds, over 300 more than the CX-5 and over 140 more than the Tiguan. This poundage comes through in the Escape’s handling. In casual driving the Ford feels heavy and even a little sloppy, as if too much weight is shifting about too high off the ground (which it is). With the other, lighter engines, the crossover feels a little more agile. The Escape’s rear suspension could use some firming up, as the tail initially rolls a bit much in moderately hard turns, except that ride quality, already a little touchy at times, would suffer. The related Focus hatchback traverses patchy pavement with more polish, no doubt aided by its lower center of gravity.

The CX-5 feels tighter and more precise. BUT, unlike the Mazda, the Ford packs enough power to exploit its chassis. Not only this, but the harder you push the crossover the better it behaves, that hint of sloppiness giving way to well-controlled, thoroughly predictable responses. Torque vectoring works the brakes to counteract understeer. Dive hard into a tight curve, and the rear tires actually slip first, but within safe limits set by the non-defeatable electronics, helping the crossover rotate. Plant your right foot approaching a corner exit, and the all-wheel-drive system does its job, distributing 270 pound-feet of torque to the appropriate contact patches without fuss. Unfortunately, all is not so good with the powertrain. The six-speed automatic can become indecisive and even hesitate for a crucial heartbeat or two when you get jiggy with the pedals. If only Ford could get their dual-clutch automated manual to live up to its potential…

Rear seat room isn’t the only area where the Escape doesn’t live up to its specs. The EPA rates the 2.0T with AWD at 21 mpg city, 28 highway, a bit better than the Tiguan’s 21/27. In practice it tracked two or three mpg below the Tiguan, with the trip computer often reporting numbers in the low 20s. Keep the engine on a continuous boil, and the numbers plummet. Drive the most powerful Escape like you would a Prius, and 27 can happen, but that’s about as good as it’ll get off the highway. For competitive fuel economy, you need to drop down to the 1.6T, which is EPA rated just a little better, 22/30, but in practice roughly ties the Tiguan, with a suburban trip computer average of 26. The Mazda is the clear champ in this area.

Like other recent Fords, the new Escape has a semi-premium price to match its semi-premium materials and content. The tested “Titanium 4WD” listed for $34,735. This is with nav ($795) and a “parking technology package” ($995, value dependent on how often you parallel park) but without full leather ($895) or a panoramic sunroof ($1,395). You’ll pay considerably less for a Mazda CX-5. Even stepping down to the 1.6T for more comparable thrust, an Escape with leather, sunroof, and nav lists for $4,115 more than the Mazda. Adjust for feature differences using TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool, and the Ford’s disadvantage remains over $2,000. Compared to the Tiguan, though, even the Titanium costs $1,615 less before adjusting for feature differences and about $2,900 less afterwards.

So, which of the three driver-oriented sub-premium trucklets is best? Well, it depends. My wife most liked driving the Tiguan thanks to its superior forward visibility and lighter steering. The CX-5 handles the best, has the roomiest interior, goes the farthest on a gallon of gas, and costs the least. So, if you’re not feeling the need for speed, it’s the one to get. And the Escape? Its build quality and refinement are, for some reason, not quite up to those in the related Focus despite a higher price. Better packaging would benefit both forward visibility and rear seat room. But for crossover buyers who want some horsepower with their handling, or who must have the latest gadgetry, but who cannot afford a BMW X3, the new Ford is the best of the bunch.

Ford provided an insured Escape Titanium 2.0T with a tank of gas. Frank Cianciolo of Avis Ford in Southfield, MI, provided two other cars, with the 2.5 and 1.6T engines. Frank can be reached at 248-226-2555.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability and pricing information.

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81 Comments on “Review: 2013 Ford Escape Titanium...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Dear Ford:

    Stop letting Hyundai measure your MPG and legroom specs.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No kidding. Anyone planning on buying a turbo Ford would be wise to first rent one and see if the MPG they achieve with their driving style is acceptable to them.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This Escape even looks like the newer Hyundai Tuscon. Stop imitating Dearborn, be original!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        So, 35,000 dollars for a Hyundai look alike CUV with about as much rear legroom and space as a Focus?

        Ford has gone mad.

        I’m sure the fanboys of Ford will chime in soon and tell me how a) this is the best vehicle ever, b) these can be had for as LITTLE as 23k or 24k, c) it’s a Titanium trim with uber build quality and amazing ride quality,

        to which I say,

        a) no it’s not, and it’s not even the best vehicle in its class, b) A CX-5 can be had for 20k and a CRV can be had for 21k, both of which have an actually usable back seat (in terms of seating adults, if you need to), not to mention the Subaru Forester OR Outback OR Equinox, c) no it doesn’t, its build quality is on par with the Focus, in and out, and the ride is choppy and busy, and I know this because I drove one for an entire weekend about 7 weeks ago.

        People that buy these should rebadge them with Audi emblems. Ford would probably approve. But they won’t even be getting what is overpriced for what it is Audi quality in terms of fit/finish, ride quality or various other attributes.

        Ford has gone mad and it’s only a matter of time until it catches up with them.

        Notice that I didn’t even get into the despicable act of pushing the seats forward and backward when measuring and reporting interior specs? Nice. That’s the way to really try & screw over the buyer, Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      And styling your vehicles!

  • avatar

    With a boiling point of 5948.6 °F, the Escape Titanium is less likely to become the Fire Escape Titanium?

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    Really? Reporting the legroom specs of front and rear passengers at separate optimal conditions? An extremely small part of me can *kind of* see their reasoning at doing that but…

    … no. Just no.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      +1 – this is fraudulent and Ford along with all auto makers should ensure their legroom and interior dimension specs are comparable. Lying about 3 inches does you no good when the customer comes in the showroom expecting great legroom only to find out you lied.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        Our car has a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds! (… of course we ripped out the passenger seat, rear bench, sound proofing and infotainment system to lighten it enough, but really, the power train configuration can do that time!)

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        If you’re tall enough to worry about legroom you’ll find that the published numbers are essentially meaningless even when they aren’t lying. The required fore-aft legroom is a function of the never published height of the seat. Knee space is even more important and that isn’t measured either.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I actually agree with how Ford is measuring legroom but they should be clear about how it is measured. They should specifically state the specs as “maximum” front/rear legroom. The only problem with this is that all manufactures don’t do it this way so it makes it difficult for the consumer to do an apples to apples comparison based on paper specs.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        I was considering that whole “maximum” volume idea, but because the adjustment of the front seats directly and inversely affect the capacity of the rears, I feel that the current method of setting the front (probabaly to an average height person) and measuring the front and rear seat at that setting is still best.

        Offering multiple dimensions under minimum and maximum conditions muddies the waters making it even more difficult for the consumer as you said.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      This is a general malaise that is, sadly, across the board these days. Starting from the phony economic numbers reported each month by the BLS, down to the barely disguised bait-and-switch practiced by your local sandwich shop (when was the last time your sandwich actually looked like the picture in the ad?) — lying for profit seems to have become not just accepted, but even expected.

  • avatar
    86er

    “To my eye, the Escape’s exterior is the most attractive of the three, as up-to-date as the Mazda but more coherent (if long in the nose and overly busy at the other end).”

    I have another term for it: hot mess.

    I don’t know who finds these things good looking, but seriously, go see an optometrist.

    In Canada, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of the 2008-2012 Escapes. I don’t know how these ones, especially with their higher MSRP, will do sales-wise. I suppose Ford is less chasing the sales charts (although you need enough in this segment, and the Escape was always pretty high up there) and more into profit margin.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      so that’s what people do with dead cats. i’ve always wanted to know. thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I generally feel like styling is subjective and not worth commenting on, but… damn, calling the Escape’s exterior “more coherent” than the Mazda just makes no sense to me at all. It looks like they tried to graft a Hyundai Santa Fe skin onto a Saturn VUE, and the patient rejected the transplant.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Totally disagree with you on the styling. The 2008-2012 Escapes style of LEGO block edges and forced angles was atrocious. The new European style of the ’13 is so much better on the eyes.

      86ers, may want to get to the eye Doctor to check out that myopia there, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        I’m with dolorean. While I’m not a huge fan, the old Escape baically had all the style of a Bronco II. The new one more or less looks like a Focus on stilts, which is something that I can deal with.

        I rarely chose an old-style Escape as a rental car, but the new one is near the top of my list. (Sadly I picked a Genesis sedan this time, a bad choice in retrospect.)

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      “I don’t know who finds these things good looking”

      Middle-aged, middle and upper-middle class women. They snap these things up by the bushel, driving dynamics and fuel mileage be damned.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Agreed. And just as well, since they for the most part don’t know how to check their oil, let alone work on their vehicles’ motors, and if you look at that engine bay above, you’d need a a highly trained spider monkey to be able to work on that motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The original Escape was a coherent, and more importantly, recognizible, shape. This thing is an utterly generic mishmash of excessive styling cliches. Good design stands out. This thing blends in.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I want to be OK with the idea of replacing large displacement V6s with small turbo fours, but Ford’s in particular seem to have a hard time winning the fuel economy argument.

    It would be interesting to run acceleration and real-world fuel economy tests on this 2.0 turbo Escape and the last gen’s V6 to see how they compare. Throw in a V6 RAV4 for good measure.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      And as a foot note, throw in the case study of the previous-gen Acura RDX 4cyl Turbo engine, and how they conceded and replaced it with a V6 which got better performance and fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Depending on the size of the model, I would think a V6 would always win out in fuel economy and power over a Turbo I4.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        That wasn’t a concession to naturally aspirated benefits. It was a concession to availability.

        Honda’s economy oriented turbo isn’t ready and the V6 is. Give them one more generation and the J will go away too.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        @ Dan

        Regardless of the corporate decision, many auto reviewers found the real-world performance of the RDX Turbo to be the opposite of its intention, offering the power of a 4 cylinder with the fuel economy of a V6. The replacement V6 was commented to have remedied that conundrum.

        The J series motor may fade in short order, but it will be to the further development of the Honda Earth Dreams program, which (to my knowledge) does not indicate the development of any forced-induction engines.

      • 0 avatar
        phreshone

        The whole fuel efficiency benefit of a turbo is lost when the OEM tries to eliminate turbo-lag… You need the engine to perform more like a NA 4 cyl over a defined range of throttle travel when cruising on the highway… If it gets into the boost every time you hit a light grade, or gently pass another car at 70, you’re gonna burn a lot of fuel… The RDX was a classic example, especially at that weight…

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      That’s the thing about turbos… they can get you 4-cylinder MPG as long as you are making a conceited effort to stay out of boost. If you want to use that advertised power liberally, it then sucks gas WORSE than a V6.

      Going from a Mazdaspeed3 to a V6 Accord was quite a revelation. Not only did I lose the 1st and 2nd gear nannies, but I got better gas mileage in a heavier vehicle and only had to use 87 octane.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        This marked sensitivity to throttle use calls into question the point of even buying the powerful turbo in the first place. If you have to drive gingerly all the time, what is the point of having a powerful engine?

        FWIW, the VW 2.0 turbo seems to reliably provide decent fuel economy; I rarely hear complaints on these forums that drivers can’t get anywhere near the EPA ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        This turbo business is a puzzle to me. I have owned from new a Saab 9-5 Aero with the 250 hp turbo 4 and the 5-speed auto. I’ve never had a problem getting EPA-rated mileage out of that car. It reliably does 30 mpg on the highway at 65-70, with the A/C running and 3/4s of the load. With the standard (not “sport”) shift program, the strategy seems to keep engine speed down and use more boost to make the necessary power.

        But I believe people’s unsatisfactory fuel economy experience with the RDX turbo 4 and I note that MT is not getting anything like rated fuel economy out of the BMW turbo 4 in its long-term test, either.

        And, I would add that 90% of the time whatever turbo lag there is with the Saab is not noticeable. In fact, in my test driving of the RDX, the turbo lag from a dead stop was quite noticeable. Neither was as bad as the early turbos of the 1980s in Saabs, Volvos, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        I recently moved from a Prius to a 335i. I was worried about fuel economy, but am pleasantly surprised. Driven like a normal car (no hyper-miling), im regularly seeing over 30mpg on the freeway, and low to mid 20’s around town.

        Full disclosure: where I live it’s pretty rural, so I don’t spend a lot of time in traffic. The rest of my driving is heavy freeway travel at 70mph plus. And the 335 requres premium. But still, for the performance it offers, I’m pleased.

        I think the EcoBoost strategy is suffering from their decision to use such small displacement engines. These are great around town when a lot of idling is required. But when accelerating or on the freeway, a lot more boost/revs are required to compensate for the lack of torque the base powerplant offers.

        If these EcoBoost engines were diesel, they would be better balanced and offer far better economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The fuel economy test that counts most is the CAFE compliance number. Not the sticker number, the unadjusted, 10 seconds to 30 original from the 1970s.

      A small boosted motor is the obvious answer to that paper problem. The shortcomings on actual roads are somebody else’s problem.

    • 0 avatar

      Based on the Escape and the Fusion, I think Ford’s 1.6T engine is considerably more efficient than the 2.0T. Much lower specific torque output further suggests that economy was a higher priority with the smaller engine.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        To be honest, Michael, I’ve gotten the impression you’ve been giving way too many free passes to Ford in your reviews of their vehicles.

        As just one example, you pretty much gushed over the ride quality of the Focus ST, although in fairness, you acknowledged that you didn’t drive it over anything other than very good roads.

        I don’t see how it’s possible to reconcile those two statements, though.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I suspect that many would-be Escape buyers would ultimately be happier with a C-Max. The C-Max is similarly priced when similarly equipped. The C-Max gives up a few cubes of luggage space to the Escape but is very similar in inside measurements. The C-Max is roughly as quick as the 4-cylinder Turbo Escape, but the C-Max almost doubles the Escape’s city MPG and a delivers third more on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      This is what I did. The C-Max drives better, is quieter, less expensive, and gets way better fuel economy. My sister in-law has an Escape SE with the 1.6T. Our C-Max is getting almost 17 miles per gallon more than her Escape. It also costs less and has more options.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The rear seat doesn’t fold flat? Epic utility fail. The intellectual part of my brain says the turbo should last at least 150K miles. The Luddite in me says a whole lot less to break on 3.0 V6. Bad visibility? Visibility is a safety feature on all vehicles, not just this one. I’d never get one with Ford My Touch, I hate Microsoft. An Xterra is looking good to me.

    • 0 avatar
      AM

      The rear seat does fold flat. You can see it on one of the pictures.

      When the author says “A folding passenger seat like the one in the Tiguan would be a plus, but one is not offered.”, he meant the front passenger seat.

      • 0 avatar

        Added “front” to the sentence in question.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Not criticizing you or Michael, they just don’t look flat to me in the picture.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s been a few weeks since I had the car, but I vaguely recall the seat not folding quite flat. I see a pivot point beneath the front of the seat cushion in the photos, but if memory serves this only enables the seat bottom to slide forward a bit as the seat folds, not to pivot entirely out of the way.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Michael and AM, I should have clarified my question and made an edit. It still looks to me the rear seats don’t fold flat. The back left corner of the left rear seat is even with the floor (d’oh) and the front left corner of the left rear seat looks even with the the top of the wheel arch. Or the seatbelts could be holding them up. Just saying.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The rear seats fold flat, but there is a slight bump where the flap that covers the actual mechanical bits of the the folding mechanism sticks up a fraction of an inch above the flat load floor from the cargo area to the folded seatbacks.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I can’t believe how expensive Fords can get when you tack on all the options. A loaded Focus I saw at a dealer was $32K IIRC. As well, a “low 20s” figure is not great for something which is this size! A V6 powered AWD wagon would haul more, be more comfortable and practical, and have the same economy figures (not that these are popular).

    That being said, I’ve seen almost zero new Tiguans, a few CX-5s and MANY Escapes driving around SW Ohio.

  • avatar
    Thinx

    Just curious – are there ANY titanium bits in this vehicle? I know the name was picked by the marketing department – but I wonder if there is any ‘accidental truth’ to calling this the Titanium edition.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Yet another Ford that has styling that would make Stevie Wonder cringe.

    It’s clear that there were many different committees that designed the outside and none of them talked to eachother.

    And that’s what a “new” Escape looks like unburned. It’s actually worse!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The EPA rates the 2.0T with AWD at 21 mpg city, 28 highway, a bit better than the Tiguan’s 21/27.”

    I had a 2000 Taurus (Vulcan 3.0) for a while about five years ago, consistently did 20/27, and I mean exactly 20/27… despite all the highway miles I put on it never cracked 28. So twelve years later we have a four cylinder doing exactly the same?

    If we examine the criteria, Escape is roughly 500 lbs heavier than Taurus was, but in the 1.6T model returns roughly the same performance and fuel economy of the Taurus (to be fair the article specifies AWD for the 2.0T’s fuel economy, EPA rates FWD 2.0T at 22/30). Only the 2.0T stands out as s significant improvement in performance while still returning Vulcan fuel economy in AWD configuration, which is still a net improvement in drivetrain and power, while 1.6T fails to be as impressive.

    Curb weight:
    2000 Taurus: 3,316
    2013 Escape: 3,732

    Performance:
    Vulcan V6 3.0: 155bhp/186lb-ft (MY2000 engine revision)
    EcoBoost 1.6T: 180bhp/180lb-ft
    EcoBoost 2.0T: 237bhp/250lb-ft

    Economy:
    Vulcan V6 3.0: 20/27 (real world observed)
    EcoBoost 1.6T: 22/30 (article)
    EcoBoost 2.0T: 21/28 (AWD, article)

    Sources: Wikipedia, fuel economy.gov, and the above article

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Aside from a little DLO FAIL at the A-pillars, it’s a handsome tall wagon.

  • avatar
    redtruck

    Viola!

  • avatar
    carguy

    At first glance I thought the Escape Titanium might seem expensive but then I had BMW X3 loaner for a day and decided it was a bargain. To my eyes the Escape looked better but trailed slightly in interior quality. But as far as a driving experience goes, they were much the same. Considering the $15K difference, I would have a hard time choosing the X3 over the Escape.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    I crossed the Escape off my list for a few reasons:
    – If you want AWD, the Escape *starts* at $27.6k (SE 1.6L Ecoboost AWD). If you step up to the SEL, you’re already breaking $30k.
    – Fuel economy is good, improved over the old model, but even an Outback beats it by a bit (22/30 vs. 24/30).
    – I haven’t taken a test drive, but I did sit in one on a dealer lot. The interior felt a bit cheap, looked a bit overstyled.
    – I don’t have kids, and am not a frequent hauler, so Ford’s foot-waggle technology wasn’t a draw for me.
    – I test drove the CX-5, and while I did notice the power difference / engine noise in stop & go traffic, once up to speed, it didn’t really pose a problem. And it’s priced a bit better, too (even going up to mid-level Touring trim w/ AWD, it’s still $1300 cheaper than the comparable Escape).

    I also want to test drive Subaru’s XV Crosstrek (though it is significantly smaller than either the Escape or CX-5), and word on the ’14 Forester is that it’s estimated 32 mpg hwy, with the same 170hp it has for ’13 (moving from 4-speed to CVT). If that EPA rating shakes out, that puts it even above the CX-5.

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    My co-worker owns one of these and the MPG to be TERRIBLE for the first 5000 miles. Then the car went from 15mpg average to well into the 20’s. The dealership flat out told him that the engine needs to break in, and sure enough they were actually telling the truth. He sees approximately what the sticker says.

    My brother in an Equinox got well over the sticker… Another oddity.

    • 0 avatar

      As much as I love GM, the Equinox and Terrain underperform and are particularly skimpy on features if you don’t upgrade to one of the higher trim levels. Were I in the market for a compact CUV, I wouldn’t even consider the GM twins.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The dealership was telling the truth – there is a break in period where fuel economy will be worse than advertised. The manual states that most vehicles should be through the break-in cycle by 1,000 miles, but may take up to 3,000 miles for the fuel economy to jump up.

  • avatar
    kychungkevin

    “But for crossover buyers who want some horsepower with their handling, or who must have the latest gadgetry, but who cannot afford a BMW X3, the new Ford is the best of the bunch.”

    To me I went with the X1. Yes you won’t get the gadgets and also little smaller but it has a more sportier handling, 0-60 in 6.3 sec, and 33mpg on hwy. Yes it doesn’t really hit that but I have an average of 28mpg in winter gas and not break-in yet; which is better than Escape 2.0. Oh and free maintenance!

    I would love to see CX-5 diesel with 300+ lb-ft of torque! That would be the real winner!

  • avatar
    redav

    A lot of reviewers say they like the new Escape’s looks. While I like the Focus, this one doesn’t work for me at all, and none of my friends seem to like it, either.

  • avatar
    Turkina

    So, by your logic, a CX-5 with a 2.5 liter SkyActiv engine and rear ventilation would be the bee’s knees?

  • avatar
    th009

    Or if not the bee’s knees, at least the cat’s pyjamas?

  • avatar
    01 ZX3

    Just a small correction. The Escape and the Fusion use the Ford/GM developed trans not the Ford dual clutch.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    Turbo 4s can be extremey fuel efficient relative to output. The key is to put a small turbo on the engine, which also decreases lag. The net result of course is that you have the torque to turn 2k rpm at 75, and a car that doesn’t provide much push after 3k rpm. Chevy has figured this out in the Cruze and Sonic, but why not Ford?

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    I guess Ford thought Subaru was on to something with the Tribeca. This thing is ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Last night I saw a new Tribeca. Hard to recognize, because they’ve tamed the styling to the point that it’s actually almost clean and attractive! There’s just no way I can swallow Ford’s current styling, though. The Escape is so busy and fussy, with way too many redundant angles and edges. Looks like you’d risk cutting off a few fingers if you tried to wax one by hand. Who — over the age of 30, anyway — needs that much visual excitement?

  • avatar
    mjz

    I’m going to wait for the “Plutonium” trim level. Way over-priced and way over-styled (inside and out), like most recent Fords. Seriously, $35,000 and it doesn’t even have full leather seating standard in the top-of-the-line trim level? You have to pony up another $895 for full leather? Really?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      +1

      It’s incredible to think how much Ford is charging for this cute ute.

      I’d take a CX-5, CR-V or Equinox over it all day every day, for thousands less. And I’d also take a Subaru Outback over it, which has loads more interior space and gets better mileage, while being quieter with a better ride.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The trim one level down, the SEL, actually comes with full leather standard. The partial leather sport seats in the Titanium are supposed to be an upgrade to that, and an option for those who prefer cloth to leather due to the effect of the mandatory black interior of the Titanium on bare skin in hotter climates.

      The Equinox prices out just as high with similar options, the CR-V and CX-5 can’t be equipped with as much stuff, but are similarly priced when similarly equipped to lower trim Escapes.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    It is an affordable X3. Impressive little ute, and fun to drive. My wife has been driving a Titanium for 2 months, and its futuristic and not at all like a US Ford, more intricate. A Euro car that is not like a VW (except for the stiff heavy doors) or BMW either. It’s amazing really that a Ford plant here in the US (Kentucky) turns out such a well made piece. Fuel economy should improve, Fords are notorious during break in. My 335i gets better FE, although not as heavy or utility oriented. Only complaints are the stiff side wall 19″… the smaller wheel Escapes ride better.

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    I’m a fan of the styling (largely because I like the Focus, though Ford is running that design right into the ground in general).

    I find the styling rather honest given the audience for such a car. SUVs and CUVs have become the new “family car”… they’re no longer the domain for those who enjoy the great outdoors as much as they once were.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    This just makes me all the happier that I bought a 2012 Escape XLT back in the winter. It’s straightforward, honest and efficient.

    FWIW, I live in Michigan, and the 2008-12 Escapes are everywhere! In fact, my local Ford dealer couldn’t hardly keep ’12 Escapes in stock. I had to have mine brought in.

    Now, having said that, I have yet to meet a single person that finds the ’13 Escape attractive. Yesterday someone pulled up in front of my office in one, and several of the girls noticed and said, “What is THAT thing? It’s UGLY!” I told them it was the new Escape and they couldn’t believe their eyes. They all spoke up and said that they liked mine much better.


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