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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.