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2013 Ford Escape boasts class-leading fuel economy

Consumer Reports News: April 27, 2012 12:09 AM

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The 2013 Ford Escape promises better fuel economy, in certain configurations, than its chief small SUV rivals, according to official EPA figures. Ford claims the Escape, when powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, can deliver 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway in a front-drive model.

These figures trump the ratings for the Mazda CX-5, while providing 23 more horsepower. We tested an all-wheel-drive CX-5 recently and found it to be quite fuel-efficient, sipping less than the redesigned Honda CR-V in a face-off with 25 mpg overall. Should the Escape live up to the brand's assertions in the real world, the efficiency will be quite notable.

The Escape will be offered with a choice of three engines, although there is no hybrid model for this new generation. If the 1.6-liter version ends up with 25 or 26 mpg overall in our tests, it'll fall pretty close to the old hybrid, which achieved 26 mpg overall.

The base engine found on the entry-level S is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway
—a 3-mpg improvement over the comparable 2012 Escape.

The SE and SEL models will be fitted with the 1.6-liter, while the Titanium comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. This top offering packs 240 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, putting it on par with six-cylinder engines. Its fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway.

In total, each engine achieves at least 30 mpg in the EPA test on the highway, at least in front-drive configurations. Ford has not released AWD data, yet.

Engine Hp Torque City mpg (EPA) Highway mpg (EPA)
2.5-liter 168 170 22 31
1.6-liter 178 184 23 33
2.0-liter 240 270 22 30

We recently drove an Escape Titanium at our track and came away impressed. The new Escape is solid, sophisticated and very accomplished dynamically. Admittedly, we drove the most expensive version, as evidenced by its mid-$30k price, but the fundamentals of the design are very sound. We look forward to driving a more mainstream model with the 1.6-liter engine and putting it through our tests, in particular to see how its fuel economy measures up.

The 2013 Escape goes on sale in May.

Video - 2013 Ford Escape impresses at the track

Jeff Bartlett

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