LOS ANGELES--Ford's new Escape uses the company's latest tech, under the hood and in the cabin.
In the U.S., Ford has been selling the Escape for many years. In Europe, it sold another small SUV, the Kuga. Taking advantage of economies of scale, Ford has now combined the vehicles into one, launching an all-new, modern, small SUV designed to appeal to buyers around the world.
The new car will keep its Escape and Kuga names in different markets, but in most other regards will be identical. The 2013 Escape unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show benefits from Ford's new Ecoboost engines, giving buyers the choice of a 173 horsepower 1.6-liter or 237 horsepower 2-liter. Both engines use direct injection and turbocharging to give them plenty of power but good fuel economy. Ford expects the Escape with the 1.6-liter to get the best fuel economy among SUVs.
Other tech includes driver assistance systems such as automatic parallel parking and blind-spot detection. Ford also implemented a motion detection system for its power tailgate. Owners can activate the tailgate simply by waving a foot underneath the back of the car.
The best news, which will extend to other Ford vehicles, is that the new Escape features a vastly upgraded MyFord Touch system. While the previous system was plagued with poor performance and cluttered screens, Ford redesigned the look for better usability and made response times faster.
See all CNET's coverage from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.