Carpool in the City: The 2013 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is definitely one of the more popular crossovers I’ve seen. Ford’s design looks better every year. They’ve come a long way from the early 2000’s when I was driving all those Focuses at the car rental lots. (Fun fact: Ford doesn’t send their cars out as rentals anymore because they want those extra cars on the market to dilute the value of yours. Nice, huh?)

I’ve had a test drive in the new Fusion sedan that impressed me a lot. I admit, I’ve always been a foreign car girl, but given how well Ford is doing these days I’m no longer married to the Toyotas-and-Hondas-only mindset I used to have.

So the question in the ongoing Carpool in the City series is: How does it do for an urban family? Carseats, size, storage, all that jazz. Family life is always about balancing and with car buying you want the perfect match of enough space inside and not too much outside. Especially as I’ve been parallel parking in the snow this week…

So let’s consider the 2013 Ford Escape, another offering in the popular Crossover SUV demographic.

The Look

Like other crossover SUV’s you’ve got a nice balance of small and large here. Nice height off the ground, less bending over for all that carseat buckling. The hatchback rear makes parking and loading a lot more handy.

2013 has a nice redesign, making it less boxy, though it does look a lot more like the rest of the crossovers out there. The grill design on the new Fords definitely stands out on the road, although the Escape is a little flashier from the front than from the back.

Family-Friendly Features

Safety is important, of course. This thing is loaded with airbags and safety features. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it their highest rating. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave 4 out of 5 stars. (It got 5 out of 5 for side impact, and has new side-curtain airbags this year.)

LATCH is standard for your carseats. Remote control key, of course.

Optional Add-Ons

My biggest beef with the Ford Escape is that there are SO many features I love that don’t come standard. If I could get a fully equipped SEL, I’d be feeling good about life.

In the SEL and Titanium models, you can get the Optional Parking Technology Package, a parallel parker’s dream. It not only has a rear-view camera, but has Active Park Assist. Meaning the car parks itself when you’re parking parallel. I am not kidding. It will tell you when a spot is the right size for your car and steer you into it. (You can still control the speed.)

They also have the Blind Spot Information System, which has a small alert on your mirrors when a car is in your blind spot. I thought this was unnecessary. And then last week I almost hit someone in my blind spot while changing lanes. Lesson learned.

SEL and Titanium models also come with heated seats standard. SE, SEL and Titanium have optional voice-activated navigation systems.

One thing I’m loving? The hands-free rear door, also optional in SEL and Titanium. This is so great for strollers, grocery trips, etc. Check this out:


Price & Specs

There are four models of Escape, the S, SE, SEL and Titanium. A standard S starts at $22,470 and a standard Titanium starts at $30,370. If you’re not looking for bells and whistles, the basic S is a great price.

Exterior size: 178.1 inches long, 66.3 inches tall (without options), 7.9 inches off the ground.

Leg room: 40.4 inches in front (max of 43.1), 36.8 inches in back.

Mileage: With Front Wheel Drive it’s 22 city and 30-33 highway, depending on the engine. 15.1 gallon tank.

More to Come

I’m hoping to get a chance to get a real life look in the driver’s seat of the Escape and take a look at how well this baby can handle carseats.

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