2013 Ford Escape Titanium
2013 Ford Escape Titanium. Click image to enlarge

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Review by Brendan McAleer, photos courtesy Ford

Photo Gallery:
2013 Ford Escape Titanium

Escape: that’s a good one. Who among us doesn’t yearn for a little escape from the endless drudgery of the day-to-day slog? Whether it’s schlepping the (muddy, hungry, complaining) kids between sports practices or battling the gas-brake-honk of the daily commute, it’d sure be nice to have a break now and then.

Here’s Ford’s idea of a little slice of luxury: the Titanium package of their redesigned Escape crossover. All the utility, a little more Euro-style flair – or at least that’s the promise.

Certainly, the new Escape looks the part, resembling nothing so much as a Focus run through a photocopier at 110 percent. It also makes the old Escape look like the cardboard box the new model came in, with crisper and curvier sheet metal. This Titanium edition sports 19-inch alloys, giving the little trucklet an added modicum of upscale curbside appeal; the front end is a little gawp-mouthed though.

2013 Ford Escape Titanium2013 Ford Escape Titanium
2013 Ford Escape Titanium. Click image to enlarge

Still, even if the old Escape looked like a box, its long-in-the-tooth design was much beloved by Canadian buyers for simple, honest utility. Sure, it handled like a small truck, but it also handled life’s tasks like a small truck; squared-off usable interior space met reasonable ground clearance and sturdy tow ratings for a winning combination.

Stylier the new Escape may be, but style alone isn’t what made its predecessor such a sales powerhouse. However, while the new machine might look smaller and nimbler, there’s a bit of visual trickery going on here: it’s actually slightly larger.

Overall wheelbase is extended, leading to a mild improvement in cargo area both behind the rear seats and when they’re folded flat. Even so, the Escape is slightly pipped by the Honda CR-V in maximum carrying capacity.

Where the Titanium package scores back some utility points is in its clever hands-free tailgate system. Wave your foot under the rear tailgate when the key’s in your pocket and the Escape’s power liftgate springs open. Anyone who’s stood in the rain with both hands full of grocery bags and/or wriggling infant will doubtless appreciate this clever feature. I look forward to seeing it gain more widespread appeal, not least because it’ll turn every Safeway parking lot into an impromptu group performance of the Hokey-Pokey.

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