2013 Ford Escape: Your mom will love it

Illustration for article titled 2013 Ford Escape: Your mom will love it

All those years spent pining for the Euro-only Ford Kuga crossover were not in vain for Ford has finely deigned us worthy with the Kuga-twin 2013 Ford Escape. Now we suddenly realize we never really wanted a crossover in the first place. Oh well. Our moms will buy them!

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Seriously, I'm going to email this post to my mom. She's been waiting and waiting and waiting for images of the new Escape. Maybe my mother-in-law, too. She has an old Ford Escape.

By switching to the global platform Ford's essentially said goodbye to even pretending like this is a tough mini-SUV. Gone are the tough styling cues like the psuedo-rugged flared fenders and Explorer-ish grille. In its place is the handsome European language, which lets you know the CUV is capable enough to survive any Costco parking lot.

Most importantly, the new Escape is adding a pair of EcoBoosted engines (the 1.6-liter and the 2.0-liter) while keeping the base 2.5-liter. The V6, not surprisingly, appears to be dead. The 1.6-liter is projected to produce 173-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque while the 2.0-liter will put out 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. These engines will be mated to Ford's SelectShift six-speed automatic.

If you're in the small percentage of people who buy a crossover and then actually use it for towing things and driving in adverse conditions, the new Escape features an intelligent 4WD system that uses an electromagnetic clutch to vector torque to the right wheels and will tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Ford also continues to press its technological edge, throwing basically every imaginable feature at the new Escape they've got: SYNC, MyFordTouch, Blind Spot Information System, Parking assist, Curve Control, Torque Vectoring Control, that thing where you stick your foot under the tailgate and it opens in case you're constantly running around with arms full of groceries.

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Pricing and other important details will have to wait, but I think there's enough here to get your mom excited.

DISCUSSION

Don't get me wrong, that's one mighty-fine lookin' cute-ute...but is it really an Escape?

When it comes to swoopy/curvy CUVs, moms everywhere have not wanted for choices. The aging Escape has held strong with all of those choices and for much of its existence, has outsold them all.

I think it's naive to think that doesn't have at least something to do with how it looked - that is, it was boxier and tougher than the others. It looked like a tiny SUV...a tiny Explorer; not a car. Even if it wasn't.

Then again, perhaps more people will be turned on by the swoopy new design (those for whom an Edge is too big and a Focus too small, for instance) than will be turned off. Hard to say, but the Escape definitely had a nice niche there, and now it's just like all the others.