Used Car Review

2013 Ford Escape: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo October 2014

Ford completely remodeled the Escape for 2013, abandoning the boxy and bouncy model that Americans had known for over a decade and replacing it with a sleek, European-inspired design. The 2013 Ford Escape has universally won praise for its excellent handling, potent turbocharged and fuel-efficient engine choices and many high-tech options. The Escape can comfortably seat four passengers, but overall, its interior space is on the smaller side of the compact-SUV class. Both front-seat headroom and legroom are generous, but the narrow footwells might have larger drivers feeling cramped and confined. Numerous clever features, such as a foot-activated power rear hatch, panoramic glass Vista Roof and the ability to parallel park itself, make the Escape highly desirable to those who seek the latest in advanced technology. However, we should also mention that the 2013 Escape has had more recalls and problems than the majority of its competitors. These issues are mostly centered around the temperamental MyFord Touch infotainment system and the 1.6-liter engine.

What We Like

Excellent ride and handling; powerful turbocharged engines; good fuel economy; sleek styling; lots of clever features; upscale interior

What We Don't

Small cargo area; uncomfortable rear seat; poorly equipped base models; glitch-prone MyFord Touch; more expensive than comparably equipped competitors

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The base Escape S is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque and has a fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon city/31 mpg hwy. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission option, and all-wheel drive is not available.

Next up are the Escape SE and SEL, both of which employ a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine rated at 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this engine is an impressive 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Optional on the SE and SEL trims and standard on Titanium models is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an impressive 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Ford recommends but does not require premium fuel for the EcoBoost engines. Using regular fuel will slightly reduce power to compensate for the lower-octane mix.

Standard Features & Options

For 2013, the Escape offers four possible trims: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. All but the S trim can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

The S includes 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, a 6-speaker audio system with auxiliary input jack, MyKey programmable key fob (allows parents to set limits on top speed and radio volume), tilt-telescoping steering wheel and a rear wiper/washer.

The SE adds the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, 17-in alloy wheels, exterior keypads for the door locks, satellite radio, rear privacy glass, a multi-information screen, reclining rear seats, fog lights and automatic headlights.

The SEL adds heated side mirrors, leather seating surfaces, a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, and heated front seats. Options include the 2-liter EcoBoost engine, the technology package (keyless entry, push-button start, foot-activated rear door, backup sensors, Sony audio with 10 speakers and HD radio, and remote starting) and the parking package (self-parking system, blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers and a backup camera).

The Titanium adds the 240-hp 2-liter EcoBoost engine, 19-in wheels, high-intensity discharge headlamps and a lot of the equipment found in the SEL tech packages. Options for the Titanium trim include the parking package, navigation, panoramic Vista Roof and leather-trimmed seating.

Pricing

The Ford Escape holds a slightly lower-than-average resale value, which means you can probably get a nicely equipped SEL or Titanium model for about the same price as a midlevel trim Honda CR-V or Subaru Forester. To get a good idea of the Escape's price range, we suggest using the used car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2013 Ford Escape:

- Recalls were issued for a possible misalignment between the exterior door handle and the outer door panel that makes it difficult to close, for a possible software problem that could result in a delayed deployment of the side-curtain airbags and for a possible substandard weld in the front seatback assemblies.

- Recalls were issued for vehicles with the 1.6-liter engine due to possible overheating of the cylinder head, possible coolant leaks and the possibility of a fuel line that could split and leak.

- A recall was issued for a possible defect in the left rear door child lock.

- A recall was issued for a possible problem with the carpet padding. A misaligned pad could force the driver's foot to contact the side of the brake pedal when transferring the foot from the accelerator.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

In crash tests performed by NHTSA, the Escape did well, earning four out of five stars in the front-crash and rollover test, and five stars in the side-impact test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also scored the Escape well, rating it as Good in all but the small-overlap front-crash test, which earned a Poor rating.

The Escape made its debut in 2013 with a fully transferable 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Ford does offer extended warranties on its certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, which includes 7 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain from the date the car entered service and a 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive plan for cars no longer covered by the basic factory warranty. CPO cars also undergo a rigorous 172-point inspection to repair or replace any part that's not up to Ford standards.

Other Cars to Consider

Honda CR-V -- The CR-V costs less than a comparably equipped Escape and offers much better reliability and resale figures. The CR-V, however, is not as sporty or fun to drive, and it can't match the Escape's long list of available features.

Toyota RAV4 -- The RAV4 holds its value better than the Escape and offers more cargo room and a better repair history. However, the RAV4 only offers one engine option and feels rather sparse inside.

Mazda CX-5 -- The CX-5 is every bit as much fun to drive as the Escape is, plus it gets better fuel economy. The CX-5's interior is a bit plain and doesn't offer such features as the dual-panel Vista Roof or a power rear lift gate.

AutoTrader's Advice

We think the best choice is the SEL trim with the 2-liter EcoBoost engine. This version is nicely equipped and delivers great performance and good fuel economy. We also like the power and fuel economy of the 1.6-liter engine, but given its extensive recall history for 2013 models, we're hesitant to promote it over the 2-liter version.

Find a Ford Escape for sale

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Used 2013 Ford Escape 4WD SEL
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Used 2013 Ford Escape 4WD SEL
Used 2013 Ford Escape
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Used 2013 Ford Escape 4WD Titanium
Used 2013 Ford Escape
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Used 2013 Ford Escape 4WD SEL
Used 2013 Ford Escape
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Ford Escape: Used Car Review - Autotrader