A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Ford folks at a San Francisco 49er game. There I got to see a preview of the new 2013 Ford Escape, which is billed as a “smart utility vehicle.” I didn’t actually get to test drive it, but I did have a chance to test out a new, innovative feature that I’m sure will prove to be a “life-saver” for parents and adults who frequently have to lug groceries or bags and load them into the hatch.
Ford has introduced the first “hands-free” lift gate which allows the driver to simply “kick” to open the lift gate, assuming they have the keyless dongle on their person (e.g., in a purse or pocket). By simply kicking under the back of the car, the Escape senses the motion and automagically opens the lift gate. It can be closed using the same gesture as well.
Below, you can see this process in action…with a little bit of a surprise! This video is also available on YouTube directly.
[iframe_loader width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KeMMK3jm_tQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen]
Also included in the upgraded tech of the 2013 Ford Escape is a revamped and updated Ford SYNC and MyFord Touch platform. The 4 corners that represent the 4 core aspects of MyFord Touch (Climate, Navigation, Sound and Phone) are now color coded and these areas of the screen now appear more like buttons to clarify the function or action.
There are 2 screens for information display: the 4-inch screen on the instrument panel and the 8-inch touch screen on the center console. As with previous versions of SYNC and MyFord Touch, many of the actions are voice activated or controlled, allowing for hands-free operation of the technology that makes up the 2013 Ford Escape.
Other technology making up the Escape include Active Park Assist (which is really amazing as it helps you navigate into those tight parallel parking spots), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS – which is such a core safety feature, I believe it should be in ALL autos on the road), rear view cameras (another safety feature that I believe should be in all larger cars) and plenty of external sensors (for rain sensing and front and back proximity alerts when parking).
I found the new Euro-styling of the 2013 to be elegant, modern and edgy. While it appears to be slightly smaller from the outside, the interior is quite roomy with seating for 5 and plenty of cargo. The intelligent 4 Wheel Drive automatically adjusts based on driving conditions to provide the best traction possible.
Two other features, Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control add to the numerous improvements in the Escape. The Torque Vectoring Control distributes the front-wheel engine torque to improve grip and steering, while the Curve Control helps to prevent understeer. All of this monitoring is done 100 times per second and can detect changes much faster than a human can.
Lastly, some models of the 2013 Ford Escape will come equipped with the advanced EcoBoost engine, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines. The 2.0-liter version delivers 250 lbs-ft of torque and 237 horsepower and the 1.6-liter version is estimated to deliver 177 lbs-ft of torque and 173 horsepower. What this translates to is better fuel efficiency with the engine only producing the power it needs and then boosting up should it be needed.
I’m excited to actually give the 2013 Ford Escape a test run in the coming months so stay tuned for updates on my site when I do spend some time with it!
Disclosure Text : Ford Motors provided me with tickets to the San Francisco 49ers game in order to see the 2013 Ford Escape in preparing to write this content. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.
HTD says: I always love seeing the innovation and technology coming from the Ford camp. The 2013 Ford Escape definitely looks promising!