A perennial best-seller in its current boxy SUV style, Ford has made a bold move, completely revamping the Escape crossover into a stylish urban machine, filled with high-tech features inside, and under the hood.
Part of the One Ford plan to offer global vehicles, this new sport ute replaces the current Escape in North America, as well as the Kuga in Europe and actually looks like a natural design progression from that model.
To help deliver a nice entry-level sticker price Ford will offer a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder model, only with front-wheel drive, making 168-hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. Ninety percent of the volume is, however, expected to be EcoBoost models with a new 1.6-liter EcoBoost making 173-hp and 177 lb-ft, while a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine replaced the V6 offering, delivering 237-hp and 250 lb-ft. And to help keep those V6 buyers, Ford has rated the 2.0-liter's towing at 3,500 lbs. EcoBoost models will be available as either front or all-wheel drive.
Ford has yet to announce official fuel economy numbers but says the new Escape should improve on the old model's rating by as much as 5-mpg.
Ford will offer an updated (and supposedly easier to use) MyFord Touch system, while a big selling feature will be the handsfree rear liftgate. A fancy option, with the key in your pocket, just use a kicking motion under the rear bumper and the hatch will swing open.
More: 2013 Ford Escape Gets High-Tech Engines, Features: 2011 LA Auto Show