2013 Ford Escape vs. 2001-2012 Ford Escape Image Comparison

2013 Ford Escape Rear Three Quarter

When does a company need to replace their compact SUV? After four years; maybe five? What if the company’s compact SUV is the best-selling SUV in North America? In that case, are new engines, a revamped interior, and additional features enough to let it linger?

These are difficult questions to answer given that the Ford Escape is indeed the best-selling SUV in both the United States and Canada and therefore, in a manner of speaking, doesn’t need replacing. But in all honesty, the Escape is no longer competitive. Oh, it competes for sales rather well, but that’s mainly because of its low price point. Surely there hasn’t been a respectable comparison test in the last five or six years in which the Escape was at the top of the heap. After all, driving the 2012 Ford Escape is a lot like driving the 2001 Escape. Meanwhile, driving the 2013 Mazda CX-5 will not feel like driving a 2001 Ford Escape.

Regardless of the company’s reasons, Ford has finally decided to replace the first-generation Escape for model year 2013. Thankfully, the 2013 Ford Escape is all-new, and first impressions suggest the 2013 Ford Escape is all good.

The 2013 Ford Escape will be offered with a base 2.5L which generates 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the 1.6L EcoBoost turbo nets 173 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the fun will be in Escapes equipped with the 237-hp 2.0L EcoBoost turbo which twists out 250 lb-ft of torque. All three powerplants operate with four cylinders and six-speed automatic transmissions. Of course, all-wheel drive is optional. Images and more details are viewable after the jump.

2005 Ford Escape Front
In each of these image comparisons – front, rear, profile, interior,
and cargo area – the old Escape is on top. Click any image for a larger view.
2013 Ford Escape Front

Ford has been issuing press releases over the last few weeks detailing some of the 2013 Escape’s innovative features. The Escape can be outfitted with Ford’s park assist, which you’ve seen before on the Focus. The liftgate can also be (optionally) opened by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper. Safety features are built in which should stop your Schnauzer from perpetually opening your rear hatch when he’s out doing his business. Drivers and passengers who hate modern headrests may be happy to find that they’re adjustable in the new Escape, not just up and down but forward and back. On a more practical note, the cargo area has grown slightly, from 31.4 cubic feet to 34.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up and from 67.2 cubic feet to 68.1 cubic feet with the seats folded.

2008 Ford Escape Rear
2013 Ford Escape Rear

There’s a full gallery of photos below the comparison images of the first-gen Escape with this new 2013 model. You’ll likely agree that the 2013 Ford Escape isn’t as masculine as the Ford Vertrek concept which previewed the production model’s look. Though the 2012 Ford Escape’s design had long since grown dull, it was a true SUV shape. The 2013 Escape is more clearly a crossover, an effect which is particularly visible when looking at its profile view from a slightly elevated position. The 2013 Escape’s more aggressive stance should make for no mistakes in the real world, but there’s a hint of minivanishness visible from some angles, just as there is with the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. That’s partially the fault of the sloping hood.

2005 Ford Escape Profile
2013 Ford Escape Profile

Styling is patently subjective, but the 2013 Ford Escape is wonderfully cohesive, strikingly modern and as eye-catching as its best competitors. Yes, things get a bit funny where the body seems to narrow just as it rises to the rear windshield. On shinier wheels the 2013 Escape seems a little toy-like. The gaping grille is a bit much when viewing the 2013 Escape directly from the front. And the hood strakes are calling an awful lot of attention to the spray nozzles. 

2010 Ford Escape Interior
2013 Ford Escape Interior

All in all, from the design to the engines to the improved cabin, Ford’s 2013 Escape is exactly what Ford needed it to be, a totally modern reincarnation of a now archaic vehicle. Admittedly, figuring out what Ford “needed” when the current model remains a rip-roaring success isn’t the easiest task. But it seems likely that, with the right price and yet-to-be-tested-but-undoubtedly improved dynamics, the Ford Escape should be the best-selling SUV in America in 2012, just as it is in 2011.

2006 Ford Escape Cargo Area
2013 Ford Escape Cargo Area

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2013 Ford Escape vs. 2012 Honda CR-V – Concept vs. Production

  1. i dont know why but when you look at the ford escape at the very top of goodcarbAdcar. the back lights look like the explorers.

  2. New Escape is UUUGGGGGLLLEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I wish everyone would quit "improving" everything to death. Not everything needs to be snazzier than the next, right? Why can't we have a few things remain Basic/functional. This is a classic case of "fixing" something that wasn't broke.

    Great article, though. Helped me to decide it's def'ly time to go buy a 2012 Escape
    BEFORE IT'S TOOO LAAAAATE!!!

  3. That front end on the new Escape is certainly not appealing. Friends of mine got turned off by the the front end of the Focus and ended up buying a Cruze.Too bad as Ford has some great 4 cylinder engines coming out on the Escape.

  4. Can you say…. RIP-OFF? They stold the design of Honda's CRV. Lawsuit pending, I'm sure. If you can't beat them, join them.

  5. I own a 2011 Escape and I am very happy with it. For one the price was affordable, it rides well and most of all it looks like an SUV. I love the style and ground height. As far as the so called boxy look, I love it have you ever took a good look at the Range rover’s, Mercedes or the BMW’s SUV’s. I rest my case. If I wanted something that looks like a Hyundai, Kia or Honda I would have bought one. They all have a better warranty, but I didn’t I wanted to by American and I wanted a SUV that looks American. Looking at the new photos of the 2013 ford Escape it just looks smaller and lower to the ground. Does anyone know if the ground height is the same as the 2012 escape? All in All Ford went way over the top with the changes, to drastic, and To Japanese looking. They could have modernized without making look a Honda. I have always bought American and I’m not sure why Ford wants to looks like all of the other Imports. They will not compete in that market. Last few words, if I wanted a SUV that looks like a Honda I would have bought one there a better made vehicle anyway. Note; buy American.

  6. One additional comment, I couldn’t figure out how to edit my last comment. After what Ford did with the 2013 Escape, my next SUV in a year or two will have to be a Jeep, at least they stuck to a more of an American traditional look. They call it classic but modern. Sorry Ford the 2013 Escape is a no-go…

  7. I just started looking for a small SUV to purchase. First looked at the Ford Edge. More $$ than I want to spend. Also seems to get mediocre reviews compared to its competition. Someone pointed me to the Honda CR-V. The press indicates I should wait for the 2013 model for better fuel efficiency and more standard features. Now I just stumbled upon the new 2013 Ford Escape. I think it looks great. I'm looking forward to comparing the 2013 CR-V and Escape features and warranties. They both look like great choices. I'll be doing the same for the Chevy Equinox.

  8. The 2013 is a "chick" car…not manly looking enough. Will be getting a 2012 before they run out.

  9. I own 2 Escapes and the whole reason I bought them was for the boxy look.. I used to own a Land Rover and loved that boxy look as well but I had to get rid of it do to the poor gas mileage and upkeep. To me this is essentially Ford discontinuing the Escape… They shouldn't call it an Escape…

  10. One other point.. If someone wouldn't have told me it was the new Escape I would have never guessed that is what I was looking at. Honda does a fairly major revamp of their Accord every 4 years and I have never had any problems recognizing that the New Accord was an Accord because the changes were gradual enough… This is like going from a 96 Accord and skipping right to the 2013.

  11. Pardon me, why does a Ford want to clone what already exists on the market? It looks like a Kia Sportage for example? I liked the shape before! Now? N, not at all! It was the leader and it had a six cylinder. Now it has a 4 with a turbo? Having spent time in Europe I know that others who had turbos had problems! They can keep it. Sorry to see that they seems to want to do with they did with the Ford Contour an egg they brought over from Germany! I reallt agree withe other writer whop wrote thye shey should npot have called it the Escape? They should have called it the clone perhaps?

  12. Very good comment. To me it looks like a vehicle with a dash out of a Japanese star wars type movie. If someone wants Japanese they can buy it.

  13. turbo work fine. Have a 1991 talon with one and a VW. No issues just extra power. Change your oil and there should be no issues.

  14. Ford had the industrial/mechanical classic early days but modern thing down. That is their strong point! This isn't it. This doesn't look American, rugged, ford, or off road at all. N the snazzy logo instead of the bold strong badge of the previous? Just Awful. Bigger fail than the explorer redesign. The explorer should have been the escape.

  15. Have things run completely crazy at Ford? I am a fan of the older design for the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner. I am quite disappointed. Ford was creative enough to come up with a new vehicle, they should have not used the name Escape, as this is not an Escape. While this new vehicle looks nice, it also looks like all the other crossover types….At least with the older design, it was distinguished from the other SUVs.

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