San Antonio.- Let me begin this column by letting you know that I have not had the chance to review any Ford products for about 7 years.
So when I climbed into the 2013 Ford Escape, I was blown away. You might imagine just how many changes have occurred in the brand in all those years. We have gone from analog displays to LCD screen all over the place, more computer driven capabilities than most households and a ride and performance that is also exceptional.
Seems like I picked a good time to jump back into the Ford line. This 2013 Escape is a complete departure from the previous year’s models. The exterior of the Escape is smooth, aero dynamic and looks so much more streamline than the Escapes of old. Even the shape of the grill was taken into account when trying to get the best fuel economy possible.
Its current EPA-estimated 23 city/33 hwy/26 combined mpg is impressive considering its size and capability. Under the hood the Escape is using a group of four-cylinders engines rather than the four- and six-cylinder engines that it has had for the bulk of its 11-year history.
The engine is a 178-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo four with straight-line acceleration that can keep up with the best of them. However if you are really looking for some get up and go, you can get a 2.0-liter turbo four with 240 hp, estimated at 0-60 mph in under 8.0 seconds. All versions of the Escape are offered with a six-speed automatic.
On the outside the Escape looks nothing like the old boxy, truck-like crossovers of years past. It is sporty, and looks fast just parked in my driveway. The windshield is tilted back, the roof is lower, and the front grill looks almost shark-like and certainly makes you feel like this crossover means business.
The inside has received the same sophisticated lines employing layers of textures, colors and materials that give it a very finished and expensive feel. The old days of square, rough and tough are gone. The display of colorful LED screens and sounds you hear as you turn the key reminds you of some starship testing out its star drive before you hit warp speed.
The amount of automation that has been put into the Ford Escape is impressive. SYNC with MyFord Touch lets you do literally do just about anything you want at the touch of your finger or with a voice command. It features an eight-inch LCD center touch screen, a four-inch LCD screen located on the instrument cluster for quick, easy viewing, dual USB ports and Wi-Fi capability.
Ok, so we have a great new look, plenty of power coming out of an engine that sips gasoline, and a sophisticated electronics package to help you navigate and listen to your favorite tunes, but have they improved the safety features?
The 2013 Ford Escape is equipped to help keep you out of harm’s way. It has control features such as standard Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control, and traction control. To help protect you in the event of a collision, Escape features the Personal Safety System, which is a next-generation dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and front seat mounted side airbags. Escape also features the Safety Canopy System with two-row side curtainairbags. All of that safety is a standard feature in the 2013 Escape.
If like me you have not been in a Ford Dealership in a while. You need to make the effort to see the “new Ford”. They have really turned the corner and are building some sophisticated, attractive, powerful and safe SUVs and Crossovers that are going to impress.