There will be no confusing the all-new 2013 Ford Escape with its predecessor. Whereas the current Escape is boxy with squared-off styling that dates back a decade, the 2013 model is a sleek crossover with thoroughly modern lines. The Escape makes its public debut at the Los Angeles auto show, and will go on sale in spring 2012.
The rounded front end, neat roof spoiler, and other bodywork is about 10 percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing Escape. There also is all-new styling inside, with elements like the steering wheel and dashboard appearing similar to those in other recent Ford debuts like the Explorer and Focus. The new Escape offers more interior room, and the second-row seats now fold flat more easily.
Ford offers a choice of three engines under the hood, starting with a carryover 171-hp, 2.5-liter inline-four. The rest of the lineup is comprised of EcoBoost mills, which are turbocharged with direct fuel injection. A 1.6-liter EcoBoost mill offers 173 hp, and a 2.0-liter version produces 237 hp. The only transmission choice is a six-speed automatic, with a choice between both front- and all-wheel drive.
Tech highlights include a new kick-to-open liftgate; when owners wave their foot beneath the rear bumper, the power liftgate will open or close automatically. To prevent stray soccer balls triggering the hatch, the system works only when it detects the car’s key near the liftgate. The Escape also receives Active Park Assist, which can parallel-park the car automatically, and sundry safety systems including Torque Vectoring Control, Curve Control, and Torque Steer Compensation.
The Escape is another product of the One Ford strategy, which means it will be sold in some markets overseas as the Kuga. Here in the U.S., however, the Escape is enjoying strong sales and is on track for its best-selling year ever. It remains to be seen whether customers will be as enthusiast for the sleek new Escape as for the butch, boxy design that has been on sale since 2001.
For more on the 2013 Ford Escape, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2011 Los Angeles Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our L.A. Show homepage.