2013 Ford Escape: More power. More efficient. More mojo?
2013 Ford Escape will dress up like a crossover this year. The auto company says that this new 2013 Ford Escape will appeal to a younger car shopper.
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Ford plans three engine options. It expects two turbocharged, four-cylinder engines to account for about 90 percent of sales. The smaller will be a 1.6-liter engine that will have about 170 horsepower and get more than 30 miles per gallon in highway driving. Ford will also offer a 2-liter four-banger that generates 240 horsepower, giving it the same output of many six-cylinder engines on the market. But the base model Escape will be a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that comes in the current model but with some improvements giving it slightly better fuel economy.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures LA Auto Show 2011
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Other options include a parallel-park-assistance system that automatically steers the vehicle into the space, a blind-spot alert system that lets drivers know when there is another vehicle close by but out of their field of view, and a hands-free lift-gate system that raises the rear gate with a wave of a foot beneath the bumper.
"One out of every six vehicles sold today is a small SUV, so the new Escape is an extremely important vehicle for us," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. "The nameplate has great consumer awareness, and we need to meet those expectations."
Ford has not talked about pricing except to say that it will be similar to that of the current model, which sells for about $25,000. The vehicle will be built in Louisville, Ky., and begin being sold in the spring.
The Escape will no longer have a hybrid version. The hybrid version has made up as much as 13 percent of the vehicle's annual sales, according to TrueCar data. The Escape has historically been the top-selling domestic hybrid.
Sprawka said that the fuel economy improvements in the new gasoline engines negated the efficiency advantage of the hybrid system without adding a hybrid premium to the price of the vehicle.
The new Escape will face stiff competition from Honda's CR-V sport utility vehicle, which also gets a remake for the new model year, and Toyota's small SUV, the RAV4, which the industry expects will also have major changes sometime during the model year.
"Ford has a lot riding on the redesigned Escape," said Ivan Drury, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com. "Consumers will be even more inclined to cross-shop Escape to CR-V and RAV4. If the new Escape follows in the footsteps of Ford's latest launches as expected, then both Honda and Toyota better keep an eye on the competition."