Love it or hate it, the 2013 Escape – previewed by the Vertrek concept from this year's Detroit Auto Show – takes much of its design inspiration from the 2012 Focus. The large, trapezoidal lower grille, the wraparound design of the taillamps and even the alloy wheels are further interpretations of the Focus formula. And while the sexy lead image you see above makes the Escape look all tough and handsome, truth be told, we're not sure if we love it. We've seen the new Escape in person and it still strikes us as a bit too... Focused. Call us old school, but there was something appealing about the mini-SUV styling of the old Escape.
What aren't old school, however, are the new suite of engines that Ford is offering in its compact CUV. The standard engine is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, which produces 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. Next up is an all-new 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 173 hp and 177 lb-ft on tap, and the range-topping engine is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost that boasts 237 hp and 250 lb-ft. All of these powerplants are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and with the 2.0-liter underhood, the Escape is capable of towing up to 1587 kg. Depending on the engine, Ford says that the new Escape is up to five miles per gallon more efficient than the outgoing model, though official EPA numbers (or estimates) have not been released at this time. Front-wheel drive is standard, but buyers can opt for a new intelligent all-wheel-drive system, as well.
Inside, there's a host of the latest Ford technology, including the newly revamped MyFord Touch infotainment system. As for design, there's a ton of Focus influence in the Escape's cabin, though the layout of the center stack is cleaner and better organized than the one in the smaller Focus. There are plenty of other convenience features on the new Escape, as well, including active park assist and a hands-free liftgate system.
There's a lot to like about the 2013 Ford Escape, and we'll be curious to see what the sales numbers look like when the crossover hits dealers early next year.