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2013 Ford Escape Review

The 2013 Ford Escape ranks in the bottom third of the compact SUV class. A poor reliability rating and finicky tech features are two of its major shortcomings. However, its strong engines and smooth handling make it enjoyable to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Composed handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • Above-average cargo space
  • Poor reliability and safety ratings
  • Cumbersome infotainment system
  • Few standard features

Rankings & Awards

The 2013 Ford Escape's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2013 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. Currently the Ford Escape has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 30 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Ford Escape Overview

Is the 2013 Ford Escape a Good Used SUV?

Despite a full redesign for 2013, the Ford Escape is not a great compact SUV, though it’s not all bad. The 2013 Escape has muscular engine options that still manage to provide decent fuel economy estimates, and its athletic handling and crisp driving dynamics allow for some fun on the road. This SUV also has a decently sized cargo hold for the class. However, it has poor safety and reliability ratings. Hard plastics lower its cabin quality, and its infotainment system lags when responding to inputs. There are better options for SUV shoppers, including the 2013 Mazda CX-5.

Compare the Escape and CX-5 »

Why You Can Trust Us

Our review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 30 Ford Escape reviews and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2013 Ford Escape?

Based on more than 1,900 listings on our site, the average list price is a 2013 Escape is $13,200. Pricing varies based on mileage, condition, location, and features, so you can expect to pay between $9,800 and $17,300 for this crossover SUV.

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How Much Does the 2013 Ford Escape Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on the 2013 Escape are estimated to be around $25,300 over five years, or about $5,060 per year. That’s about average in the class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Escape?

Aside from reshuffling its trims, Ford made no major changes to the Escape for 2019. However, that’s largely because the SUV underwent a refresh two years prior. The 2017 Escape features a 2.5-liter base engine and slightly stronger engine options, updated exterior styling, and more safety and tech features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2019 Escape has all of that plus a new-car warranty. However, it also has a base price of $24,105. The new model probably isn’t worth the extra money, but it’s up to you to decide if you’d rather save your money and go for a 2013 Escape or splurge and seek out a 2017.

Read about the new Escape »

There are no new compact SUVs near the average price of a 2013 Escape, and even most new subcompact SUVs cost more money.

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Which Model Year of the Ford Escape Is Best?

Despite its relative affordability, the 2013 Escape is not a great buy. The 2014 Escape gained a standard rearview camera, and the 2015 Escape saw no major updates. Escapes from 2016 and later perform better in our rankings, partially due to their updated SYNC 3 infotainment system, which replaced the problematic MyFord Touch system found in older models. For some shoppers, this makes those models better options than a 2013 Escape, despite their added cost.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Escape »

How Reliable Is the 2013 Ford Escape?

The 2013 Escape has the lowest possible reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Escape reliability »

2013 Ford Escape Recalls

At the time of this writing, 15 recalls have been issued for the 2013 Escape. Some areas of concern include engine wiring splices causing a stall, improper air bag deployment, doors opening unexpectedly, and leaks in the engine fuel line. Before purchasing this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed.

See more information on Ford Escape safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Escape Model Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Escape comes in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL, and Titanium. The base model's few standard features include air conditioning, a six-speaker stereo, an auxiliary audio jack, remote keyless entry, and steel wheels.

Most shoppers would be more satisfied with the Ford Escape SE. It adds a turbocharged engine, alloy wheels, fog lights, reclining rear seats, satellite radio, and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display and a USB port. The SE is also the first trim available with the larger 2.0-liter engine, all-wheel drive, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and a power liftgate.

Shoppers seeking more advanced safety features should look to the SEL or Titanium trims. The Ford Escape SEL trim gains a few of the SE’s add-ons as standard equipment, in addition to leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Finally, the top-of-the-line Titanium features the stronger 2.0-liter engine, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, a hands-free liftgate, a 10-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio, and rear parking sensors.

The SEL and Titanium trims are available with a Parking Technology package, which includes automatic park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

See 2013 Ford Escape trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Escape?

The 2013 Ford Escape has mixed crash test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Escape a 2013 Top Safety Pick and gave it the highest rating of Good in four crash tests. However, it also received the lowest possible Poor rating in both driver and passenger small overlap front tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this vehicle four out of five stars in front and rollover crash tests and five stars in side crash tests for an overall four-star rating.

The 2013 Escape is available with several driver assistance technologies, including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and parallel park assist.

See Escape safety scores »

2013 Ford Escape Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford Escape or 2013 Mazda CX-5?

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 doesn’t offer the power you'll find in the Ford’s engine lineup, but the CX-5 is a nimble vehicle with composed handling and well-weighted steering. The CX-5 also has a roomier rear seat, though its cargo hold is a little smaller than the Ford’s. Even so, the Mazda is a better pick. It has an above-average reliability rating, a cushioned ride, thrifty fuel economy, and low ownership costs. As such, it ranks high in the compact SUV class.

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford Escape or 2013 Ford Explorer?

As a midsize SUV, the 2013 Ford Explorer is a little larger than its sibling, offering more space for passengers and cargo. It can even seat up to seven people, though its third row is cramped. The Explorer has higher safety scores, but it also has higher ownership costs. Both SUVs have fuel-efficient turbocharged EcoBoost engine options, though the Explorer’s V6 engines are stronger than anything you’ll find in the Escape. On the other hand, the Escape handles a little better around turns. Both crossover SUVs have the same subpar reliability rating. Neither Ford is a great option, but the Explorer is the better option of the two if you need the extra space.

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford Escape or 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

Ford released the 2013 C-Max Hybrid as an all-new wagon for the 2013 model year. (The Escape Hybrid from the previous generation did not return with the Escape’s 2013 redesign.) If you’re looking for fuel efficiency, the C-Max is the better pick. In other areas, however, the choice is less clear-cut. These two vehicles have spacious cabins and similar features lists, but they also have the same poor reliability rating. The C-Max Hybrid did a little better in crash tests, but the Escape offers more safety features, a higher maximum cargo capacity, and stronger engine options. The Escape is also available with all-wheel drive, which you can't get with the C-Max. Neither of these are fantastic choices, though, and you can find better SUVs and better hybrids without breaking the bank.

Compare the Escape, CX-5, and Explorer»

2013 Escape Performance

How Does the 2013 Ford Escape Drive?

The Escape comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 168 horsepower. SE and SEL models swap that engine out for a turbocharged EcoBoost 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 178 horsepower. A 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in the Escape Titanium and available in the middle two trims. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is available.

Each engine offers ample power for driving around town and passing on the highway. The turbocharged engines inject a little more oomph into your drive, and the 2.0-liter engine is especially punchy at high speeds or when pulling away from a stop.

Additionally, the Escape exhibits crisp driving dynamics. Responsive steering, robust brakes, and minimal body roll all contribute to this SUV’s agility and maneuverability.

Does the 2013 Ford Escape Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base Escape gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. That’s already pretty good for the class, but the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine does even better. It delivers up to 23/32 mpg city/highway. The 2.0-liter engine with front-wheel drive gets 22/29 mpg, nearly identical estimates to the base vehicle.

2013 Ford Escape Towing Capacity

The 2013 Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Escape performance »

2013 Escape Interior

How Many People Does the 2013 Escape Seat?

This crossover SUV seats five people on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. The front seats are comfortable and generally supportive. Leg- and headroom is generous in both rows, and the available reclining rear seats help taller passengers feel more comfortable.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2013 Ford Escape?

The 2013 Escape has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the middle seat. The Escape’s LATCH system is generally easy to use.

2013 Ford Escape Features

Standard features include a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio port. Several other tech and convenience features are available, including the SYNC or MyFord Touch infotainment system (depending on trim), voice controls, a USB port, a 4.2-inch display or a larger 8-inch touch screen, a navigation system, satellite radio, HD radio, a nine-speaker stereo, a ten-speaker Sony sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

Using the standard audio and climate control buttons, making adjustments is easy. The same cannot be said for the MyFord Touch infotainment system. The buttons on its 8-inch screen are small, and the system is slow to respond to inputs.

See 2013 Ford Escape specs »

Read more about Escape interior »

2013 Ford Escape Dimensions

Ford Escape Cargo Space

The Escape has 34.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which expands to 67.8 cubic feet when you fold these seats down. These dimensions are above average for a compact SUV. That said, the Escape is one of the only vehicles in the class to offer a hands-free liftgate.

2013 Escape Length and Weight

The Escape is roughly 14.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from about 3,500 pounds to roughly 3,700 pounds.

Where Was the 2013 Ford Escape Built?

Ford manufactured the 2013 Escape in Kentucky.

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