The 2013 Ford Escape may only have four-cylinder engines in its lineup, but that doesn't mean the new crossover isn't capable of pulling a sizable load. When fitted with the top-spec engine, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, the 2013 Ford Escape can tow up to 3500 pounds -- as much as the old Escape's 3.0-liter V-6 engine.
The EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine produces 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, up from the 240 hp and 223 lb-ft available in the 2012 Escape's 3.0-liter V-6. Ford also says the new EcoBoost engine will be more fuel efficient than the V-6, although final EPA testing hasn't been completed. With the tow rating for the new Escape, Ford says the crossover could transport two jetskis on a trailer.
Ford is especially proud of the fact that the tow rating for the 2013 Escape exceeds that of other small turbocharged crossovers. The Volkswagen Tiguan, for instance, can tow only 2200 pounds with its 2.0-liter turbo-four engine; the Acura RDX can haul just 1500 pounds with its 240-hp, 2.3-liter turbo-four; and the Kia Sportage SX is rated to tow just 2000 pounds with its 260hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
At the same time, it's important to note that the 2013 Ford Escape can tow 3500 pounds only if equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Models with the base, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I-4 can only tow 1500 pounds; those with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine are only rated for 2000 pounds. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission.
The 2013 Ford Escape was revealed at the Los Angeles auto show last fall, showcasing an all-new look and a variety of upgrades compared to the prior model. Tech highlights include the latest version of the MyFord Touch touch-screen interface, a new Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system, and a kick-to-open power liftgate. The new crossover goes on sale this spring.