2013 Ford Escape 2.0-Liter EcoBoost: Gas Mileage Drive Report Page 2

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2013 Ford Escape EcoBoost 2.0-liter, Pennsylvania, April 2013

2013 Ford Escape EcoBoost 2.0-liter, Pennsylvania, April 2013

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Modern, competent, comfortable

Frequent fillups aside, the 2013 Ford Escape proved to be a comfortable and up-to-date vehicle in which to cover lots of miles.

The cloth-and-leather seats in our Platinum model were both attractive and comfortable over our longest day.

The seat heaters, on the other hand, were so aggressive that we couldn't endure more than about 10 minutes even on the lowest setting. That, we suspect, is very much a First World Problem.

The interior mixes soft-touch and harder plastics, but is very similar to that of the C-Max we'd already driven (which is built on similar underpinnings), so it was familiar and worked well.

We give Ford credit for retaining a round volume adjustment knob for the radio rather than pushbuttons. The Escape also has knobs for the climate control system, so raising and lowering the temperature is similarly easy and intuitive.

We were disappointed with how little storage space was available on the console for our sunglasses, change, toll tickets, mobile phones, and the like.

Good handling, but body roll

It handles nicely and we found it relatively pleasant to toss around curvy country roads, although it sits high, meaning you have to get comfortable with the sensation of more body roll than you would in a sedan.

The electric power steering was about average; not as good in feel as the stellar system in the Mazda CX-5 (still our favorite crossover for driver experience and roadholding), but better than almost anything that Toyota makes.

One unusual feature of the engine noise was that on occasion, the engine stayed at lower speeds (well below 2000 rpm) when we'd have expected the six-speed automatic transmission to have downshifted.

Instead, we heard it making a low-pitched growling noise--today's equivalent of what older drivers used to call "lugging" the engine.

The car responded fine, and shifted down if we accelerated, but the noise was just enough to be noticeable--yet another side effect of stretching for every last tenth of a mile per gallon, we suspect.

The C-Max Hybrid uses active noise cancellation to offset similar sounds in that car, but the Escape does not.

One final note on gas mileage: The Escape 2.0-liter produces good mileage numbers on level ground, but keeping your foot into it predictably cuts efficiency a lot.

On the first part of our trip, running up and down the hills of central New York State, we rarely saw even 20 mpg. Once we hit freeways, the numbers slowly rose.

$35K Escape

The 2.0-liter Escape Titanium model with all-wheel drive carries a base price of $32,120.

Included as standard are the Titanium technology package, a tonneau cover over the load bay, the roof rack, high-intensity discharge automatic headlamps, the neat power liftgate, and rear sensors to compensate for the lack of rear visibility and aid in parking.

But our 2013 Ford Escape Titanium 4WD had a bottom-line sticker price of $34,735. That represented the addition of a $795 package that bundled MyFordTouch, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a navigation system, and another $995 for the parking technology package.

With the mandatory $825 delivery fee, our top-of-the-line Escape essentially cost $35,000 before tax, title, license, and insurance fees.


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Comments (19)
  1. OK, let's say the C-MAX hybrid only really gets 40 mpg, still that is a lot more than the 24 MPG of the Escape reviewed here.

    So my dumb question, is there really that much more space in an Escape than a C-MAX? I'm assuming that is what motivates people to get the Escape over the C-MAX.

  2. @John: One strong motivating factor for purchase of an Escape over a C-Max is the availability of all-wheel drive. The C-Max only comes in front-wheel drive.

    The Escape has 34 cu ft of cargo capacity with the rear seat up, and 68 cu ft with it folded down. The comparable figures for the C-Max are 25 cu ft and 53 cu ft, so it's slightly less capacious.

  3. Life is full of choices and I just have to question the Escape as a good one (AWD not withstanding).

    The C-MAX hybrid get much better MPG (perhaps 40 mpg real world) and probably can be had for similar money. It will also handle better.

    Another choice might be the VW SportWagen TDI with 34 mpg combined. I'm not much of a fan of diesels, but the SportWagen seems to have lots of room and handles well with much better MPG.

    It is a little depressing to see these small CUV's becoming so mainstream if 24 mpg is going to be typical. It is really terribly inefficient.

    Personally, I changed from a Sienna MiniVan to a Prius some years ago. Sure I have missed not being able to carry 4x8 sheet good, but not the 18 mpg.

  4. Sit in the back seat of a C-Max and you'll find out! (hint: Tiny)

  5. I have sat in the back of a C-MAX and found it to be comfortable with good headroom for my 6' frame.

  6. I get well over 40 in my C-Max Energi in gas mode usually around 43-44 mpg. On April 1 I took my C-Max Energi on a 375 mile round trip to the Oregon Coast. This took me over a 3500 foot mountain pass and then over the Coast Range in Oregon and then back again. With only about 55 of these miles on all electric I averaged 54.3 MPG. That was calcualted when I filled the tank on April 5. Well I have put over 625 miles on that tank full and I still have 3/8's of the tank left.

  7. John, I have a 2.0l EB AWD Escape very similar to the one you drove. Over a little less than 10,000 miles which started in the depth of a Midwest winter:

    . Worst fillup: 16.6 mpg (all very short trips in winter)
    . Best fillup: 27.7 mpg (Interstate in Florida)
    . Average: 21.9 mpg

    I had expected better, but with that much power on tap in a vehicle with excellent dynamics, it's sometimes hard to hold back, so I'm definitely part of the problem.

    The miles-to-empty gauge on my Escape also was an issue; they reflashed the instrument panel and now it works accurately.

  8. @Rich: Thanks for the informative comment. Interesting about the reflash; I must admit I didn't think to check service bulletins, but that's a good piece of info to know.

    I definitely noticed that the Escape 2.0 returned its best fuel efficiency--that is, it matched the EPA combined rating--when on level freeways using cruise control. The first part of my trip, where I had to use the engine's power much more, returned pretty dreadful numbers--as you experienced as well.

    What's your overall gas mileage to date, having now covered 10,000 miles?

  9. @John, overall mileage for my 2.0l EB AWD is 21.9 mpg since new. Average for last 2,000 miles is 22.7 mpg. These are calculated on actual fuel use; odometer seems accurate.

  10. I assume that 23.9mpg is computed by the onboard computer. Is there a verification of the "actual" mpg using gallons burned vs miles traveled?

    I start to see that many "high mpg" cars with about 5-10% "aggressive" displays on their computer than actual consumption...

  11. @Xiaolong: That'd be an interesting topic for an article if anyone has any data to that effect. Since we don't have our own High Gear Media testing facilities, we rely on long-distance drive reports like this one to give an indication of what actual owners will experience.

  12. That would be a great article. Few months back, there was a GCR article that covered a group of hybrid owners compared a Prius V, Prius hatchback and C-Max in a long range driving and calculated each car's fuel consumption and their respective display. All of them displayed better MPG than the actual consumption... The Prius was as much as 9% more aggressive in the computer display.

  13. Agreed it would be a good article. My ford territory shows about 7% less consumption than as measured by the pump at refill and calculated... In the us are they're any standards for accuracy on this? As far as I am aware, there isn't in Australia...

  14. John, I have data taken at every fill up on 3 cars. The oldest is a 2001 Prius, which read 5.6% high over it life of 78,000 miles. The next is a 2004 Cadillac CTS, which read 2.7% high ofer 101,000 miles. The last is a 2010 Lexus (purchased used, so the first 20,000 miles is unknown), which reads 5.0% high for 17,000 miles.

  15. Based on your data, I would say that Toyota cheats at the twice the rate of GM... :)

  16. I own a 2013 Escape SE with the 2.0 Eco-boost with 4WD and find the fuel economy to be very disappointing. My weighted average (60% city 40% highway) typically comes in around 19 mpg. And I'm not alone. The EPA website that allows owners to log their fuel efficiency experience specifically by vehicle and engine/transmission type shows that this is a common experience. (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=mpgData&vehicleID=32369&browser=true&details=on)
    The only time that I experience fuel economy that comes close to what Ford advertises is when I am taking a trip and am driving continuously on the freeway. Why doesn't the EPA use the real world figures rather than the manufacturer's test lab figures?

  17. Ginger ale metallic green... Ah, that must be the link with *Green* Car Reports.

  18. If you get this instead of a C-Max you hate the environment or are a ludite. Size isn't a reason, CMax looks like it could have a 3rd row. AWD-for-safety is a myth, it's far safer to detect FWD wheelspin and gauge your stopping distances than to accelerate obliviously on ice. The difference in the ability to handle light off-road use is about zero too.

  19. @Paul: Neither the Escape nor the C-Max Hybrid has a third row. A longer version of the C-Max sold in Europe, known as the Grand C-Max, does have a third row, but Ford concluded it was simply too small for large American children.

    As for the difference in light off-road use being zero, I invite you to come visit my driveway in the mountains. In the winter, it *requires* all-wheel drive to get up it (steep and curved).

    And, LOL, for the record, I'm not a Luddite.

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