- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Last year’s Ford Escape was a hit, outselling both the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Can its new model follow up with another big year?
For the past decade Ford has essentially made small changes every year to is crossover vehicle, dangerously pushing the limits of boredom. But 2013 features the biggest overhaul in its history, and we’re liking it.
Previous editions had a blocky design that was very 2001. The new Escape has a sleek sporty look that is both sophisticated and fun. The sport design leaks into the cabin. Gone are the squared edges and upright displays. The new interior is sexier and multi-faceted without sacrificing space making this a great car for running errands or going out for a night on the town.
The changes aren’t just aesthetic. Under the hood, Ford ditched the Mazda-based platform and switched it out for a Focus set-up on steroids. You can choose from a 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter engine. The 2.0-liter is the line’s workhorse, producing 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The three four-cylinder engines are all connected to an automatic transmission. Gone are the manual and hybrid options (Ford has dedicated its hybrid engines to the C-Max).
The new design and engine makes the Escape feel like a supersized Focus. The higher center of gravity aside, the Escape feels safe, handles well thanks to the electrically-assisted power steering and is actually fun to drive. The only bad thing I could think of about it is the road noise from driving on anything but a perfectly smooth surface.
The price tag also changed. The new Escape starts at about $1000 more than its predecessor, but this is a case in which the increase is fully justified.
Ford went big on change with the 2013 Escape, and in this case change is very good. I just wonder if it will be able to best the new CR-V and redesigned RAV4.