2013 Ford Escape: What a Difference $11,000 Makes

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It seems we may be having a love-hate relationship with Ford's redesigned Escape. Our first impressions were good, really good, in fact. "No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find anything significantly wrong with it," Managing Editor David Thomas said of the new compact crossover. Shortly after that review, the redesigned Escape flunked Cars.com's $25,000 Compact SUV Shootout, sulking in last place. What gives?

Well, for starters, there are a several versions of this vehicle — some we love and some we could live without. I drove both the base model evaluated in the Shootout and a loaded Titanium-trim test car, and let's just say our relationship status is "complicated."

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The 2013 Ford Escape is available in four trim levels with three engines. There's base S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Under the hood, there's the base 168-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two new turbocharged four-cylinders: a 173-hp, 1.6-liter and a 231-hp, 2.0- liter.

The base model's engine is a carryover four-cylinder from the outgoing Escape; the turbocharged 2.0-liter in the Titanium model is smooth and powerful, replacing the outgoing V-6.

The base model's cabin was a disappointment with large, uneven panel gaps, loads of hard plastic surfaces and chintzy seat fabric. The Titanium model's interior looked high class; it was comfortable and wrapped in soft-touch materials. The base model lacked many features similarly priced competitors offer, but the Titanium was stocked with comfort and technology features.

But there's a catch, and it's a big one: all that refinement and comfort costs money — a lot of it, actually. At $23,295, including an $825 destination charge, our two-wheel-drive Shootout test car fell well under the $25,000 mark and had no options. For this Shootout, vehicles needed to come in below $25,000, excluding destination charges, to qualify. To get more features in the 2013 Escape, we needed to jump to the SE model, which brought it just over $25,000 and disqualified it.

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The all-wheel-drive Titanium model starts at a pricey $32,945, including an $825 destination fee; after adding the MyFord Touch multimedia and navigation system and the Parking Technology Package, our test car's final sticker was an eye-opening $34,735. That's a lot of money for a compact crossover. Acura's new RDX with all-wheel drive is $36,615, including an $895 destination charge, and Audi's all-wheel-drive Q5 starts at $36,475 with an $875 destination charge. You'll need to pay more for navigation, but these luxury compact crossovers aren't far off the top Escape's mark.

Although I was quite impressed by the Escape in Titanium trim, I didn't love the extra $11,440. It seems the 1.6-liter SE model will be the bulk seller at $25,895 before adding all-wheel drive or MyFord Touch. We just haven't seen one yet.

Related
Research the 2013 Ford Escape
$25,000 Compact SUV Shootout
More Ford News on Cars.com 

Comments 

synchro.mesh

Any chance of some photos of the uneven gaps?

D. RIggs

I just purchased a 2013 Escape S (base model), with the 2.5 L.

I see nothing wrong with the fit of any of the interior panels. The seat fabric is basic, but I'll through covers on them anyway.

This vehicle was purchased to be a commuter car with enough utility to shuttle the family around to their activities. It fits the bill. Decent fuel economy with enough utility for some basic things.

One of the things I like about the car is that the transmission downshifts on the downhills to keep your speed constant. This is the first vehicle I have owned with this feature.

The Microsoft Sync system is very complicated and takes a while to get used to. So feature rich, I feel it is more distracting than less, as was intended.

My Escape, out the door was well under $25K, and is meeting all of my expectations.

T

I have ordered a 2013 Titanium. It still has not arrived but I anticipate being a big fan!

J

"Acura's new RDX with all-wheel drive is $36,615, including an $895 destination charge...", that's true but you fail to mention that adding the Technology Package to the Acura increses the price to over $40k. Another $1200 for roof rails and remote start, both standard on the Escape Titanium. To get the same trim level you'd have to shell out over $42,000 for the Acura. At $36,000 you've nearly maxed out the Escape. And the thing will park itself. Don't sound so bad now does it. Point is, if you're going to make a statement regarding value, you need to make sure all things are equal. Now if you want to comment that at $42k the Acura is a better value, then you are free to do so. Just be aware that value is highly subjective.

Peter

Comparing a premium brand Acura MDX to a Ford Escape is silly as they're not in the same league and that's why the Escape is overpriced.

For the record my daily driver is a Mustang so I'm not anti-Ford.

re

@Peter
Thet R compairing an Acura RDX with a Ford Escape
not a MDX

Dave

I just bought an escape s model which I wanted because of a bad experience with a turbo which is what the Eco boost is thst being said the car looks great good mileage fit of dash is great and I like the futuristic look car handles nicely and I like the 2.5 it has been around not only all of this I was able tongetvon my contract 100000 miles 6 years bumper to bumper to sum it up great job ford loving the mileage looks and performance

Your blog about Ford is nice. It has many nice features , good mileage, high quality driving etc . People love Ford and customer are getting many facility from Ford company . My uncle has given ford territory and we really enjoy to drive this car.

Ivan

I find it funny how people shop. I like features and performance, and with the proliferation of luxury features and relatively good performance to cheaper cars, I don't have to look so high to find them. So I prefer a cheaper car that is loaded over a stripper model of the more expensive car, just for the experience or the badge.

To give an example:
The 3 series is only 36 thousand, and it has awesome performance, good luxury and technology features. Then I go and price it online or even look through the used listings: Suddenly the features that I feel I cannot live without (figuratively) end up on the list and I end up with a summary of 45 thousand. Why not instead go for, say, the new Mazda 6, which was modeled from and tested against the 3 series. It will start below 20 thousand, and the most loaded model will still command a meager 30+ thousand amount compared to the 3 series. So unless you are comparing the cheapest models that a manufacturer offers, I suggest to look at a lower model with more features.

Granted, I would probably regret the purchase of the Mazda over the BMW in my example, because I will feel I could have gotten greater performance and luxury from it, plus the badge is pretty.

People need to stop buying on emotions, and research. And then again, I would probably go against my own advice in this example and get a used 3 series for the same price as the new Mazda, with no regrets.

Lynne

There was no mention in the review regarding the transmission of the Escape. I have had some trouble with it. In the MSN reviews of the 2013 Escape at least five or six owners are experiencing some trouble.

linda

i just bought a titianium 2013 ford escape LOVE IT BUT my navigation screen is blank what s wrong?

Hector

I purchased recently a 2013 Ford Escape S and I am pretty impressed and enchanted with it. It meets all my expectations for a medium size SUV,its making between 22 and 23 mpg in the city and around 29 to 30 in the road.
Price was right and I do feel very confident with it.

John

I would give anyboy 100.00 to get me out of my new 2013 Ford Escape, just can not compete with my old 2010 Equnoix, espscially since the navigation is horriable! and the gas tank is too small !

John

Linda, you need tomake sure you have a SD memory card installed in your rest arm glove box ! and then make sure you know how to do a total system rest ! It may or may not help .

Donald Sweeney

From the day we bought it, as soon as we signed the paperwork, the sales manager ran out and told us we couldn’t take it home, Of course he let us test drive it,
He told about the carpet recall issue, I BEGGED my Wife to leave and NOT BUY the thing.
But she really loved the vehicle , so we agreed to wait – it was 5-6 days .

Then sometime in October we took the vehicle in for an oil change, they also told us we could not take the vehicle home, they were very nice. Gave us rental – 6-7 days.
Problem is – WE NEVER GOT ANY NOTICE FROM FORD ABOUT IT.

The in sometime in Late November , Early December – we took the vehicle back in for an oil change – guess what – they told us we couldn’t take it home again. DÉJÀ VU
Once again NO NOTICE from FORD…

This time they did not know how long it would be , they said there WAS NO FIX, that Ford was trying figure it out , the dealer gave us a loaner again and was very nice, but it was something like 18 or 20 days .
It created a MAJOR inconvenience for me, because my son couldn’t drive the vehicle. The second recall wasn’t so bad – only a week or so ,
The problem is he is 17 , cant drive the loaner , try driving a 17 year old around for 20 days , to school, to workouts, to dances, games, etc , I probably spent about 20 or 30 hours and several hundred extra dollars in gas just doing that .

On Dec 24, that’s right Christmas EVE, I get a call from a Ford Rep, he tells me that Ford has a RECALL TRADE IN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM to help Escape owners who are dissatisfied.
He says I can go to any dealer, make sure I talk to the Sale Manager and he will take care of me. I told him that was great , because all I wanted at this point was TO GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE and somehow just come out “WHOLE” , not screwed or ripped off , like when the dealer typically does when you trade in a vehicle. He insinuated that that would be the case, He even gave me his name and number to give to the Sales Manager to call if there were any questions. At that point , I felt pretty good, thinking that maybe FORD CARES ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS AND WHAT THEY THINK. I didn’t expect any cash payout or any large advantage from the trade or swap and at that point would have been PERFECTLY HAPPY WITH ANOTHER FORD and 500$ Monthly payment, ALL GOOD.
I told him couldn’t do it right away – I guess I assumed he realized it WAS CHRISTMAS EVE.

So we went on Holiday – left the vehicle parked – 2 reasons, 1. We knew we were going to take to Pilsen Ford in Mattoon right after the Holidays , could go back to the dealer in Joliet after the B.S. at the time of purchase.. 2. My WIFE DIDN’T WANT TO DRIVE IT ANYMORE, she was worried about driving the grandkids around etc, we have , so we drove my 2004 vehicle all thru the holidays and LEFT A BRAND NEW FORD 2013 ESCAPE IN THE GARAGE BECAUSE MY WIFE WOULDN’T DRIVE IT… Thanks FORD

In any case , on JAN 2nd , 1 day after the NEW YEAR , You call me, and tell me the offer is no longer valid, that it EXPIRED ON 12/28 at Midnight. OF COURSE YOU HAVE MY FEELINGS AND COMMENST RECORDED.
Not happy with the way this has been handheld AT ALL. I called up the original FROD REP and asked him, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THE OFFER EXPIRED< I would have made arrangements to drive back to Mattoon get the car and work the deal. He said , because “I didn’t know” “Sorry”. So my disappointed, frustration , aggravation and inconvenience continues.

Ford has done way too much to DEVAULE the Vehicle and NAMPLATE , to me , other consumers, other dealers, NOBODY WANTS THIS VEHICLE – NOT EVEN FORD.

I am 53 years old , I figured the other day I have purchased 12 new vehicles in my lifetime, this is my first and last FORD. I am going to spend the rest of my days, telling anyone and everyone who asks me about this vehicle this story… I will tell my children and their grandchildren, friends and neighbors, strangers if they ask, . I will hit every internet blog and review, social , facebook, youtube and post this. I will soil as many people as I possibly can with truth and facts about my experience as a Ford Buyer. A buyer who did everything right , at in the end got vehicle that I have no confidence in, from a company I have lost confidence in.
Your goodwill gesture is B.S. – an 75000 mile 100$ deductible on a bunch of stuff that SHOULD NEVER FAIL WITHIN 75,000 miles and YOU KNOW IT and I know IT . But then I think maybe you know something I don’t know, maybe FORD Knows the vehicle REALLY IS A PIECE OF CRAP , so THEY BELIEVE the is good goodwill offer.

ohlab

Have a 2013 Escape Titanium 2 WD and gets only 21 mpg on highway Ford wants me to put 10000 miles on it before any improvment anyone else have this problem??

Timothy

We just purchased a used 2013 Escape SE with the 1.6 and we are only getting 18 MPG combined and averaging 250 miles range on a full tank. My 2012 Challenger SXT is getting 24 MPG and 420 range on a full tank. What gives here Ford? Ford service told us to put 7,500-10,000 to break in the engine to get optimum fuel economy. Lawsuit? I think Ford should buy back our Escape for false advertisement.

Craig

2013 ford escape se awd 1.6. With in 1000 miles was in the shop 3 times. For a total of 28 days. Replaced a fuel injector. Terrible gas mileage lucky if I avg 19 mpg. Total waste. Please do not buy one !

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