Ford invited TFLCar.com to Dearborn, MI for a pre-L.A. Auto Show viewing of their all-new, rather clever 2013 Escape. When I first saw the thing, I pounded my chest and attempted to mate with it! Yes, it is that nice to look at. Fortunately, Ford was understanding and mildly restrained me with a host of stylized presentations.
Here are 5 facts you need to know about the 2013 Ford Escape:
5. It’s sexy. Yes – I said it again… it’s a sexy crossover. In many ways, this is a crossover version of the damn good looking Ford Focus. For me and my fetish with lusting after good looking doors (they are few and far between) the three ripple lines that form from a cosmetic vent on the front fenders gets me hot and bothered. Considering how complex it is, making a metal stamping that creates those character lines, I am very impressed with the beauty and intricacy of that design. As a whole, the little crossover is visually impressive.
4. The interior is friggin’ nice. Once again, Ford makes me eat my words. I reviewed the 2005 Escape years ago and thought the interior was painfully meek. I never thought Ford would get their act together and I made fun of them… and I was wrong. This new interior could easily be best in class. It depends on what changes Ford makes to the production version. The overall sophistication is impressive and it looks like an interior that would be at home in Stuttgart.
3. MUCH better engines. Okay, so the 168 horsepower base engine only makes 167 lbs-feet of torque and tows a maximum of 1,500 lbs. Fortunately, the 173 hp 1.6 liter EcoBoost turbo makes 177 lb-ft of torque and tows a maximum of 2,000 lbs. Step up to the 237 hp and a whopping 250 lb-ft of torque turbocharged 2.5 liter EcoBoost and you can tow a very competitive 3,500 lbs. All of these engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic and AWD/4WD is available.
2. More gizmos than you can shake a foot at. The famous (or: infamous) SYNC multimedia system, automatic parking, parking assist and – for those of you who need a leg up… kick-to-open-automatic-tailgate. Yup, you read that correctly; the tailgate has an “eye” that can distinguish between your leg and, say, a squirrel. Walk up to the new Escape with an arm full of whatever and wave your leg under the rear bumper. As long as you have the key-fob on your person, the hatch will unlock and automatically open in seconds. Great for families, not so good for one legged drivers.
1. Cheap is as cheap does. Ford had no problem reminding journalists that this vehicle competes directly with the Honda CR-V. So, despite Ford being mum on the pricing; it is easy to assume it will ape the CR-V. Expect prices to start in the low $20,000 range and peak in the mid $30,000 range.
You cam also check out our first drive video review of the new Range Rover Evoque below which shares the ecoboost engine with the escape.