2013 Ford Escape Titanium review review: This Escape parks itself, opens its hatch for you

This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.1
  • Cabin tech: 8.0
  • Performance tech: 7.0
  • Design: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The 2013 Ford Escape Titanium features a variety of convenience features, such as the hands-free liftgate, that make owners' lives easier. Available Active Park Assist steers the car into parallel-parking spots automatically. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine delivers good power and efficiency.

The Bad The MyFord Touch system, while improved dramatically, still feels slow to respond and slightly cluttered.

The Bottom Line The 2013 Ford Escape Titanium is a whole new car, both inside and out, offering great tech where the rubber meets the road and unique automation technologies that make it an easy car to live with.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

When most people that I know are asked about the Ford Escape, they think of two things. First, they think, "Oh, the little boxy trucky Ford?" Next they ask, "It's a hybrid, right?" Well, the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape Titanium is no longer boxy nor a hybrid.

These days, the Escape is built on Ford's global C-Platform -- the very same platform that underpins the Ford Focus . The truckishness of the previous-generation Escape has been replaced with the carlike handling of a crossover. The vehicle looks smaller, handles better, and has had its boxy design replaced by Ford's new Kinetic design language.

There's also no hybrid variant of the Escape for this generation. Drivers who are interested in getting more miles per gallon than the Escape's three gasoline engine options should look to the new C-Max Hybrid and Energi to fill that need.

But enough about what the new 2013 Ford Escape isn't; let's get into what it is.

A door that opens itself
Our Escape Titanium was equipped with a few interesting convenience features. By far, the most interesting of the standard features is the hands-free liftgate.

For example, if you're approaching the rear of the vehicle and your hands are full -- maybe you're carrying bags of groceries, a bulky box, or an angry toddler -- you can open the rear power liftgate by simply kicking a foot under the rear bumper. There's no need to free a hand to fish keys out of your pocket or to pull a handle. This kicking motion also works to close the liftgate in the event that you're taking something bulky out of the Escape and need to lock the vehicle up. The hands-free liftgate works in tandem with the keyless entry system, so you'll need to have the smart-key transponder on your person, say in a pocket, to activate the system, which prevents strangers or passing cats from just kicking your rear hatch open.

Ford Escape Titanium, 2013
Owners can open the Escape's hands-free liftgate by simply kicking a foot beneath the rear bumper. Josh Miller/CNET

Other convenience features that come alongside the hands-free liftgate as part of the Titanium trim level's technology package include HID headlamps with automatic illumination when it gets dark, rear proximity sensors with audible obstruction alerts, a 110V power outlet, and a few other touches such as a roof rack with crossbars and a retractable and removable Tonneau cover for rear-storage-space privacy.

Automatic parking robot
Things really get interesting when you option the $995 Parking Technology package, which sort of turns the Escape's standard electronic power-steering system into an automatic parking robot. We've seen some bad automatic parking systems in our day (the recently discontinued Lexus system springs to mind), but Ford's system is remarkable in its simplicity. It works only for parallel parking and there's only one button to deal with.

Active Park Assist screen
The Active Park Assist system doesn't require any complicated inputs. Just tap one button and follow the onscreen instructions. Josh Miller/CNET

To use the system, simply push the Active Park Assist button on the dashboard and then drive down the street. Ultrasonic sensors located on the side of the vehicle will scan the roadside as you roll, looking for spaces that are long enough to accommodate the Escape. This takes all of the "Do you think it'll fit" guesswork out of looking for a parking space. When the system finds a spot that the vehicle will fit into, you'll receive a message on the vehicle's screen asking you to stop driving and shift into reverse. At this point, you can remove your hands from the wheel and ease off of the brakes and let the Escape handle the steering, guiding the vehicle perfectly into the parking space. Then, just shift into park and get on with your day.

The same ultrasonic sensors that are used to measure parking spaces during Active Park Assist come into play when reversing out of standard, perpendicular parking as part of the cross-traffic alert system, which notifies you of approaching vehicles that you may not be able to see, and the BLIS blind-spot detection system that notifies you of vehicles in the rear-quarter blind spots when changing lanes at highway speeds.

The Parking Technology Package rounds out its list of upgrades with a rearview camera that activates while reversing and features dynamic trajectory line overlay that swings left and right with the steering wheel.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

2013 Ford Escape Titanium

Part Number: 101420859
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Body style SUV
  • Available Engine Gas