2013 Ford Escape: Why You Need To Look Beyond Gas Mileage

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2013 Ford Escape

2013 Ford Escape

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Ford’s all-new 2013 Escape compact crossover may have only been on sale for a few months, but it is already proving a strong seller at Ford dealerships across the U.S.

On paper, there’s little difference between the gas mileage figures of the entry-level 2.5-liter, four-cylinder Ford Escape S and the more efficient 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine offered as standard on the Escape SE and Escape SEL.

Costing $2,600 less than the Escape SE, losing just 2 mpg combined in gas mileage might make the Escape S seem like the best choice, but  when it comes picking the right Escape for you, it’s important to look beyond gas mileage figures. 

Less power

Because it uses an older, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated Duratec engine, the Escape S produces 168 horsepower.

That’s less than the 178 horsepower quoted for the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged EcoBoost engine offered as standard on the Escape SE and SEL. It's much less than the 240 horsepower quoted for the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged EcoBoost engine offered as an option on the Escape SEL and standard on the Escape Titanium.

2013 Ford Escape

2013 Ford Escape

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It’s also worth noting that both the EcoBoost engines produce peak power at a much lower engine speed, making them less stressed and more refined at higher speeds than the 2.5-liter engine found in the Escape S.

Less torque

More importantly for those wanting to tow or carry large loads, the 2.5-liter Escape S produces far less torque than either the 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter EcoBoost Escapes.

At just 170 foot-pounds of torque, the Escape S can’t match the 184 foot-pounds and 270 foot-pounds offered by either of its EcoBoost engine options. 

There’s also a difference between how the EcoBoost and no-EcoBoost engines deliver that torque. 

In both EcoBoost engines, maximum torque is delivered around 2,500-3,000 rpm. In the 2.5-liter Duratec, peak torque is delivered at 4,500 rpm. 

2013 Ford Escape

2013 Ford Escape

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If you were to compare the Escape S and Escape SE side-by-side, pulling the same load, you’d find the SE both quicker from a standing start, and less stressed to match.

What’s your use?

If you’re just looking to buy a compact crossover to use around town and carry out light-duties like taking the kids to the weekly football practice, the 2013 Escape S might be the car for you.

After all, at $2,600 less, the Escape S more than compensates for the slightly worse gas mileage. 

If you want to tow, carry heavy loads, or plan to use your Escape for longer-distance trips, the benefits of the EcoBoost engine are really worth the extra money. 

Remember, while the 1.6-liter EcoBoost and 2.0-liter EcoBoost models are offered with optional all-wheel drive, it will diminish your gas mileage slightly over an identically-engined, front-wheel drive models. 

While a good option for those who tow a lot -- and need the extra 500 pounds offered by the optional Class II tow package -- the Escape Titanium or optional 2.0-liter Escape SEL won’t reward you with the same gas mileage figures as the 1.6-liter Escape SE and SEL.

For us, the 2013 Escape SE and SEL offer the best value for money, combining good gas mileage and enough power to tow when you really need to.

Ultimately, the choice is down to you, but remember to take some time to figure out which engine option really offers you the best mix of power and economy before you judge the Escape lineup on gas mileage alone. 

We think you’ll thank yourself in the future if you do.


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Comments (21)
  1. Indeed. EPA puts the cost of fuel from $2200 to $2350 annually for the range of Escape options.

    RIP, 2012 Escape hybrid, $1750 in fuel annually.

  2. Weird article. They have numerous details about the choice of engines and the numbers on fuel efficiency but they didn't try or calculated themself these datas, probably an article coming from somewhere else about the joy of gasoline technology.

    Is it a green website here or just another disguided gasoline sale outlet.

  3. "disguided" not sure if that is a word (yet) but I like it.

  4. lol disguised

  5. Yeah, a dumb article. The author clearly should have covered the BEV crossover with optional AWD instead.

    Except there isn't one.

    Or the EV SUV with Class II towing capability. Oops, yeah, not one available yet.

    OK, how about the BEV crossover that can be purchased anywhere in N. America, fully loaded with a sticker under $40k.


    But still, they should've done an EV article instead.

  6. Clayton,

    I'm sorry to hear the article didn't meet with your expectations. However, it's worth remembering that GCR is a site which covers all types of fuels and green cars.

    For what it is, a compact crossover SUV, the 2013 Ford Escape is a greener car within its class.

    As part of our site, we try to cover as many different fuel types and car classes as possible. Sometimes that includes writing articles about regular gasoline cars with cleaner, greener engines than their predecessors.

    While we do cover electric and plug-in cars too, it's also worth remembering that most consumers haven't made the switch to electric.

    We try to provide content for them too.

  7. Im all for anything with a plug but I also like the articles about popular high volume vehicles going for better fuel economy. these cars will make a much larger difference in the grand scheme of things. Write one up about the efficiency improvement of the 2013 Ram (a vehicle that sells).

    Or you could throw all these hippies a softball and write the 1000th story about the Model S. Have they sold 100 yet?

  8. Nikki --- no no NO! Please, it was satire aimed at a jk. I was very happy to see your aticle and thought it entirely appropriate to the publication. My fault that I didn't point the reply clearly at ajk, and I apologize profusely. I was cranky with his remark about "just another disguised gasoline sale outlet".

    Please carry on!!

  9. Clayton,

    All forgiven! No offence taken. As is often the case, satire doesn't always work in written language :)

  10. I have to make a subjective comment for once. You can call it an "unscientific" study...

    One of the brand new Ford Escape with Ecoboost showed up in my work place with that lime green color paint. Its dual exhaust tip (one on each side below the rear bumper) are covered in "black sooty powders". Those are usually the "unburned" Carbon deposits from a ICE engine especially when it is either burning oil or burning gas inefficiently (usually too rich).

    That is shocking to me. Considering how new this vehicle is and how "clean" the Ford has claimed the "Ecoboost" are...

    All the Volt and Prius exhaust pipe are totally clean. No signs of any black stuff. Even the Dodge Ram Diesel (Mercedez designed) exhaust pipe are clean...

  11. May be subjective, but interesting. Wonder if the computer is working correctly.

  12. Or it can be due to a "warm up" issue. Most cars take a bit time to reach "steady state" with their catalytic converter at right temperature. Before that happens, most computer tend to "tune" the engine on the richer side, thus causing black deposit. But many LEV or ULEV emission cars have utilized multiple catalytic converted and/or multiple sensors that work at wider range of temperature to compensate for the before warm up emission. (That is why the Accord with ULEV has an O2 sensor that cost $229 instead of the typical $69 due to wider temperature).

    Hybrid such as Prius has its engine frequently on/off, so it has to maintaince emission regardless of temperature of the engine. The Pip and Volt has to meet the CA AT-PZEV...

  13. I was actually surprised how clean the Dodge Ram disesel is. Its exhaust pipe is as clean as a whistle. I guess the urea injection works in that case. But I am surprised about its warmup.

    The Ford diesel (6.0L Powerstroke) on the other hand are dirty in the pipes...

  14. Thanks for the added detail. Very interesting.

  15. Also the Ram diesels don't have Urea injections except on the 4500 and 5500 if I remember correctly. They just use EGR, DPF and standard Catalytic converter.

  16. @Tyler,

    My friend's RAM (previous generation with Mercedez diesel) has this injection port and he has to get it filled periodically. He explains to me that it is the same design as the MB's Bluetec while Benz owned Chrysler... Anyway, that pipe was surprisingly clean...

  17. I also think it can have a bit to do with engine break in where there are a lot of assembly lubes, etc. The seals haven't set yet either. I wiped off my tail pipe and it hasn't had very many deposits on it. I've also heard explanations that it is the ethanol content in the fuel that causes the issue.

  18. Many stations in CA use 10% ethanol and none of the Prius or the Volt has the black soot even during "breakin"...

    I wonder if the black stuff have anything to do with the Turbo and its "lubrication". From what I understand Turbo will always burn a tiny bit of engine oil...

    Anyway, I was just surprised about that. I will keep an eye out. There are few F-150 Eco Boost in the lot too. Maybe I will go and check out their pipes too...

  19. Here is one other person that has noticed this.

  20. There are more comments in this thread
  21. That's quite surprising - don't think I've seen that on any recent gasoline vehicle. More common on diesels, though. Where I live, it's not unusual to see a diesel car covered in its own ash following the burning phase of the particulate filter.

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