Metal Urgent: Aluminum Is Just Part of 2015 Ford F-150 Innovations There may be no keener competition among the domestic automakers than for pickup dominance. Trucks are what Ford, GM and Ram do best — and better than the import competition. Each of the Detroit-sourced pickups on sale today is a paragon of …Read more. Q70L: Infiniti Stretches Large Sedan for Back Seat Comfort For those who want more rear legroom in their sport sedan, Infiniti has added the Q70L — a long wheelbase model. The stretch added a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase, which provided 5.6 inches more rear seat legroom (41.8 inches total) and 5.9 inches …Read more. Sharp Shooter: Corvette Stingray Convertible Has the Right Moves The Corvette Stingray may not be the perfect sports car — but the convertible version comes close. The one-touch power top folds in less time than the wait at a traffic light, and, if not, the process will finish at up to 30 mph. Air flow …Read more. Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe: When Too Much Is Not Quite Enough The Mercedes-AMG S63 puts the grand (thousands of them) in a grand touring coupe. This big new model from the newly formed subbrand — Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance division of the star-emblem German automaker — is a platinum …Read more.more articles
Escape Remake: 2013 Crossover Still has Utility and Capacity but With More Refinement and Style
The 2013 Ford Escape is a stylish and aerodynamic remake of what has long been a little workhorse SUV.
It has always been an honest and dutiful small sport-utility vehicle that did capably what was expected of it. Even the hybrid model got the expected EPA fuel-economy ratings and the later evolutions of Escape were refined and enjoyable to drive.
No longer trucky or boxy, the sleek lines of the new model incorporate aerodynamic elements to eke out fuel economy without compromise to capacity. There are nearly 40 inches of front headroom, more than three feet of second-row legroom and cargo capacity for a modern family's major shopping trips.
Escape is sold in four trim levels with three four-cylinder engine choices in front- or four-wheel drive with one six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the entry model with 168-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine starts at $23,295, including $825 freight charge from Louisville, Ky.
There is no hybrid model offered, which, instead, is available in Ford's C-Max, a five-door hatchback similar in size to a Toyota Prius V.
The popular seller will be the SE model ($25,895) with standard 178-horsepower, direct-injection, Ecoboost (turbocharged) 1.6-liter four-cylinder. It's rated for 23/33 mpg city/highway and while the engine runs well on regular unleaded, premium gives the peak horsepower and efficiency. That's a small thing to ask for the zip it provides.
The top-line Titanium ($31,195 or $32,945 4WD) with the 240-horsepower, Ecoboost 2.0 liter would be the V-6 substitute for those who like power or need it for towing. It will pull 3,500 pounds versus a one-ton tow capacity for the SE, which would include jet skis, quads, a small boat, etc.
The SE tester was quick off the line and held power to merge with interstate traffic. It is much better soundproofed than its predecessor with tight handling and comfortable road manners. Yank the wheel in an evasive maneuver and the Escape tucks in without roll or wobble. Get hard on the four-wheel discs and stopping is without nose dive or wiggle.
The cab-forward design creates a large dashboard and the windshield surround is rounded off at the base of pillars, which gives the visual impression of sitting inboard from the sightline over the corners of the hood. Over the shoulder views are somewhat complex at the rear corner but not an issue with the rearview camera.
The step-in height is easy and still gives a good, tall view down the road.
Sliding visors are a nice touch to prevent that slice of pesky sun that gets past the dot matrix sunscreen behind the rearview mirror.
There is durable quality to the fabric headliner and visors. Plastics, too, have good textures and colors. The driver area is smartly arranged and there are multiple ports for digital music and 12-volt charging plugs.
The MyFordTouch system connected with my old Android phone in less than 30 seconds, a speed record in my experience.
There is a hands-free power liftgate that will open with a wave of your foot under the bumper sensor. Its convenience will grow on the user. There's also Active Park Assist to let the Escape park itself. And it will do it faster than most humans. Learning to trust it will be the first lesson.
The second row has a nearly flat floor and 36.8 inches of legroom. The seatback reclines a few inches and a center armrest is nicely padded with cup holders. A grab handle above each door helps loading all sizes of people.
The Escape is carlike in its drivability but still the little family workhorse it always has been.
2013 Ford Escape
—Body style: compact, 5-passenger crossover in front- or 4-wheel drive
—Engine: aluminum, 178-horsepower, direct-injection, turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder; 184 foot-pounds torque at 2,500 rpm
—Transmission: 6 spd. automatic
—Estimated fuel mileage: 23/33 mpg city/hwy; premium preferred
—Fuel tank: 15.1 gallon
—Wheelbase/length: 105.9/178.1 inches
—Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds
—Front head/leg/shoulder room: 39.9/43.1/56 inches
—Rear head/leg/shoulder room: 39/36.8/55.3 inches
—Curb weight: 3,502 pounds
—Cargo capacity: 34.3 to 68.1 cubic feet
—Turning circle: 38.8 feet
—Standard equipment: remote locking, AC, 17-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot mirrors, halogen headlights, fog lights, 60/40 split folding back seat, floor mats, rear cargo cover
—Safety equipment: Eight air bags, stability and traction controls, roll stability control
—Base price: $25,895, including $825 freight charge; price as tested $28,300 (including $45 package discount)
—Options on test car: Equipment group 201A, $440, including SE cargo management system, black roof rails and cross bars, tonneau cover, perimeter alarm; Ruby Red metallic paint, $395; MyFordTouch with satellite radio and navigation system
—Warranty: 3-years/36,000-miles bumper to bumper; 5-years/60,000-miles powertrain; 5-years/60,000-miles roadside assistance
—Where assembled: Louisville, Ky.
—Competition: Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4
Mark Maynard is driving in cyberspace at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage. To find out more about Mark Maynard and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2013 THE U-T SAN DIEGO
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COMCAPTION: