Ford debuted its 2013 Escape small SUV at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, but this car is going global. Ford combined the Escape and another car, the Kuga, it sells in Europe, into a single vehicle. The model will still go by the name of Escape in the U.S. and Kuga in Europe, but will be mostly identical in other respects.
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Ford will sell the new Escape with three engine options. The base will be a 2.5-liter four cylinder making 168 horsepower. The most fuel efficient will be a direct-injection turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder, this one generating 173 horsepower. Buyers craving more power can look to the direct injection turbocharged 2-liter, with its 237 horsepower.
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Ford showed off some new, 19-inch wheels for the Escape, with a unique design.
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The available all-wheel-drive system for the Escape uses torque vectoring to improve cornering. Ford also says the car will have a system called Curve Control, which slows down the car if it is going too fast into a turn.
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Ford introduced its Titanium trim level with the new Focus, and uses that label with the new Escape, as well. Titanium means a top trim vehicle. Similar to the Focus, a Titanium trim Escape should come with automatic parallel parking.
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Ford kept protrusions and other interior elements from interfering with the cargo space, maintaining the utility of the Escape. The rear hatch also features a new technology that lets you wave your foot under the rear of the car to activate its power opener.
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Ford is making a lot of its new technologies available in the Escape. Sync should be standard on most trims, and the MyFord Touch system will also be available. Navigation is an option in MyFord Touch. The car can also be had with Ford's blind-spot detection system.
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The steering-wheel spokes hold buttons for controlling the single instrument cluster display and audio. Buttons between the spokes for voice command and other functions are a little bit cluttered.
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The Escape uses a six-speed automatic transmission. The shifter is placed high on the console. It has a rocker switch on the side for manual gear selection.
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This Titanium trim Escape comes equipped with a Sony audio system, featuring touch controls for its interface, and an LCD for the MyFord Touch system. Strangely, Ford put the CD slot above the LCD, but it will go largely unused, as Sync's USB port makes it much easier to play music off of an MP3 player.
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Ford vastly improved its MyFord Touch interface, giving it less cluttered graphics and making it respond faster to inputs. During a demonstration at the auto show it worked well. It preserves the four-quadrant paradigm, divided between navigation, audio, phone, and climate controls.
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The new system uses maps from NavTeq, with both 3D and 2D views. The maps also show some rendered buildings.
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The phone screen experienced the least amount of changes, although it did get brighter, has bigger fonts, and buttons organized along a grid.
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The audio screens show a marked improvement, with extraneous information and buttons removed, putting the most immediately useful buttons up front.
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