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2013 Ford Escape. Click image to enlarge
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Article and photos by Paul Williams

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2013 Ford Escape

Los Angeles, California – The Ford Escape is Canada’s best-selling compact SUV, and Ford of Canada expects to keep it that way with the introduction of the all-new 2013 model, which debuted at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Built on a new platform, the 2013 Escape is quite a departure from the outgoing vehicle’s signature boxy design; a look that no longer fits with the company’s current styling direction. Gone are the straight lines and vertical orientation in favour of a smoother, longer, more flowing appearance that’s both aerodynamic and contemporary.

The aerodynamics are not just aesthetic, as the new shape contributes to a reduction in fuel consumption. Ford managed to improve the Escape’s coefficient of drag by 10 per cent compared with the previous generation, and claims that the Escape will be the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the compact SUV sector.

Preview: 2013 Ford Escape reviews car previews ford
2013 Ford Escape. Click image to enlarge

The new design brings Escape in line with competition from the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4, the first three of which are, themselves, all-new in the past two years. Other popular competitors in this hotly contested segment include the Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Volkswagen Tiguan and Mitsubishi Outlander. The new Mazda CX-5 also comes to market in 2012.

The Escape’s design makeover results in a vehicle that looks — and is — lower, wider and longer than the outgoing model. All the sheetmetal is new, along with a version of Ford’s new corporate grille as featured on the recently introduced Focus and Fiesta, and being introduced in one form or another across the range (except for the Mustang, of course, which retains its classic look for the time being).

It’s a successful look, appealing from all angles.

Preview: 2013 Ford Escape reviews car previews ford
2013 Ford Escape. Click image to enlarge

The new Escape is available in four trim levels that adopt Ford’s global small vehicle nomenclature. Gone are the familiar XL, XLT descriptors; these are replaced with S, SE, SEL and Titanium specification.

Along with the new trim levels come two new engines, plus one engine carried over from the outgoing Escape. Like the design, the new engines are also a departure for this model.

The base “S” model is powered by an improved version of the 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine which carries over from the previous Escape. It makes 168-horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque, giving the vehicle a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. More than five per cent better fuel economy is expected in comparison with the previous 2.5-litre engine.

About Paul Williams

Paul Williams is an Ottawa-based freelance automotive writer and senior writer for Autos. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).