New Ford Escape: Price, Style and Competition

2013 Ford Escape, left side view

Ford has announced tentative pricing for its 2013 Escape in four trim levels. Starting prices range from about $22,500 (depending on your zip code) for the base car to $36-37,000 for the Titanium, all fitted out with stuff you might love but don’t need.

A good description of what’s in each trim regarding engines, drivetrains and likely fuel economy is here. No more V6, and no more hybrid. Either the 1.6- or 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder will give you a choice of FWD or optional AWD.

Ford’s new design language (or a dialectical variant) continues the Focus look in this car, and I think it’s pretty bad. Not that the old Escape was a beauty—it was clunky and boxy, with absolutely no flair—but this car looks like a tarted-up CR-V that, like much of the competition, can’t decide whether it’s a crossover or a small SUV. The front end is a horror show.

It seems to be smaller inside than the former version, and Ford is gambling that this more carlike version will do better than the old hauler, which sold almost 2 million units and kept on selling well even in its last two years.

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