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Ford offers a more polished Escape for 2013
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR.
The Ford Escape, shown here in “ruby red tinted clearcoat metallic” paint, is totally redesigned for 2013.
For those who possess an all-American sense of adventure, stirring within them a spirit of going anywhere and doing anything while striving to live within a realistic budget, the 2013 Ford Escape might be your vehicle of choice.
What began in 2001 as Ford’s entry into the compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) market has now morphed into something much more refined. The American Escape, which according to Ford has its final assembly point in Louisville, Ky., shares an all-new chassis with the Ford Kuga, a compact SUV sold in Europe and China. This lines up with the automaker’s One Ford strategy, in which Ford has been developing common platforms for the vehicles it sells worldwide.
“[The 2013 Escape is] a new design that has brought the concept of ‘One Ford’ to the world,” said Brandon Wood, sales manager at Ancira Ford in Floresville. “This concept is to bring fresh design and innovation to a worldwide market. Ford has decided to be the benchmark in the automotive world.”
The new Escape already has captured the attention of Popular Mechanics, which named the vehicle as its 2013 Car of the Year.
A great Escape
Perhaps those who like the Escape are drawn to the compact SUV by its bold, aggressive look that commands at least a second glance. The Escape’s body is more sleek and aerodynamic than ever before, and it stands proud on standard 17-inch wheels. For those who believe that even an SUV of diminutive stature should “go big or go home,” 19-inch wheels are an available option.
Transferring the power to those wheels is a SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission, which is the only transmission available in both front- and four-wheel-drive models.
Buyers do, however, have options when it comes to the engine. There are three available inline four-cylinder engines, starting with the base 2.5 liter, and two EcoBoost engines with displacements of 1.6 liters and 2.0 liters. Both EcoBoost engines combine direct fuel-injection and turbocharging with twin independent variable camshaft timing, which means greater fuel economy.
Thanks to Ancira Ford in Floresville, the Wilson County News had the opportunity to test drive a new Escape Nov. 29. Our test vehicle came equipped with the 1.6-liter engine. But as Mark Twain said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog,” because the fuel-sipper boasts 178 horsepower at 5,700 rpm with premium fuel. Front-wheel drive Escapes with the 1.6-liter engine have a combined fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon (mpg) -- 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway -- according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is comparable to front-wheel-drive versions of both the Honda CR-V and the Chevrolet Equinox.
Inside, the five-passenger Escape also is brand new. The interior is sporty, ergonomic, and filled to the gills with technology that will make the experience more enjoyable for driver and passengers alike. A center-console-mounted shifter sits below a large video screen, from which the media system and the driver’s cellular telephone can be accessed with Microsoft SYNC technology. These features also can be accessed by controls mounted on the steering wheel.
Accessing the rear cargo area is a breeze, thanks to a power-assisted hatch with an adjustable liftover. Ford also offers an option for hands-free control of the liftgate -- an industry first -- that allows the hatch to open with a gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper. This same process closes the hatch.
Seating for passengers of all sizes is no problem for the Escape. Even rear-seat passengers are comfortable, with generous head, leg, and shoulder room and wide door openings. With the 60/40 split rear bench folded down, the Escape offers 68.1 cubic feet of cargo room.
But perhaps the best part of the 2013 Escape is driving it. Handling is worlds apart from the original truck-based Escapes, feeling almost like a sports car. The vehicle’s steering and suspension are responsive and its wider track hugs every curve and contour of the road surface.
The 1.6-liter motor is quiet and has a quick acceleration response. It does not possess the “whine” that comes with punching the accelerator of most four-cylinder vehicles. And thanks to the four-channel, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, the Escape stops as smoothly as she goes.
Overall, the 2013 Escape is a more civilized ride. Also civilized is the $22,470 manufacturer-suggested retail price. Our test vehicle had a sticker price of $29,345.
2013 Ford Escape
•Base price: $22,470
•Price as tested: $29,345, after discounts
•Available engines/EPA fuel economy:
•1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder; 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
•2.0-liter EcoBoost four cylinder; 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
•2.5-liter four-cylinder; 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
•Where to buy:
•Ancira Ford, 501 10th St. (U.S. 181), Floresville; www.fordfloresville.com; phone 866-460-5985.
•Caraway Ford, 100 U.S. 87, Nixon; www.carawayford.com; phone 800-650-5586.
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Section A: General News Archives
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