The 2013 Ford Escape is a total redesign that moves the top-selling compact SUV into the times, with high-tech small engines, a smooth 6-speed transmission, aerodynamic front styling, and electronic wizardry. Ford claims 11 features exclusive to the Escape in the compact SUV class, everything from a capless fuel nozzle to Torque Vectoring Control, which helps the Escape corner more securely.
Gas prices have fueled the compact SUV market (in Europe it’s quadrupled in the last decade), so this is a class that’s important to Ford’s ongoing rebound, and they’ve pulled out all the stops to make the Escape good.
Fuel mileage varies from an EPA-estimated 23 City/33 Highway mpg with the 1.6-liter front-wheel drive Escape to 21/28 mpg with the 2.0-liter all-wheel drive. We drove both versions and fell below those marks, however, averaging 22.7 mpg in the 1.6-liter and 19.7 mpg in the 2.0-liter, while driving them spiritedly. That’s still better than a comparably equipped Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, and good enough that the Escape Hybrid has been abandoned.
Escape SEL adds leather upholstery, 9-speaker audio system, chrome body trim, gloss black interior trim, leather shift knob, heated mirrors, puddle lamps, MyFordTouch, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and 18-inch painted alloy wheels.
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