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Big leaps in engine, fuel economy for new Ford Escape

Monday - 11/4/2013, 10:10pm  ET

Ford Escape 2014 (WTOP/Mike Parris)
A 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine gives the Ford Escape more performance and better fuel economy. (WTOP/Mike Parris)

New Escape is head of class

WTOP's Mike Parris talks with Dimitri Sotis.

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WASHINGTON - The 2014 Ford Escape moves to the head of the class. The Escape was totally redesigned last year and was transformed from boxy into a real head turner.

It's a little bigger than the old Escape and the added space inside seems like it grew substantially - a very welcome change.

There is a choice of front wheel drive and all-wheel drive, three different four- cylinder engines and four trim levels from basic to luxury. So it seems there is an Escape to fit just about anyone's wish list and budget.

Prices start at $22,000 for the base S model with front-wheel drive and go to $35,000 for a fully loaded AWD Titanium model with the larger 2.0 ecoboost engine. More on the engines in a bit.

My midrange, SE trim 2014 Deep Impact Blue Escape with the optional 1.6-liter engine made for an entertaining commuter car that got decent mileage, around 27.5 mpg combined city and highway. I saw 32 mpg on the highway and still had good power for the merge onto the beltway.

Prices for the Ford Escape start at $22,000 and go to $35,000. (WTOP/Mike Parris)

This new Escape is great to look at on the outside. It looks like a much more expensive crossover and is comfortable. The fit and finish was very good and better then the last Escape with nice-feeling, softer materials used in the interior.

The seats are very comfortable and my tester came with cloth seats. Leather is option on this model and standard on the top of the line Titanium model. The Mytouch entertainment system with optional navigation was easy to use after taking a few minutes to study it. Syncing a phone is quick and simple, and the rearview camera made it easy to park in those tight city spots.

What has really changed are the engines and fuel economy -- both are big leaps forward -- and help the Escape standout from its competition. The base engine, a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, is the class norm.

What sets the Escape apart are the other engines - a 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine gives you more performance and better fuel economy then the 2.5 base engine. The engine I would choose if I was buying an Escape is the 2.0 Ecoboost engine with 240 horsepower. You've got to love that a turbocharger can give you the power of a big V6 and the fuel economy of a smaller four-cylinder engine.

If you're in the market for a sharp looking, comfortable new crossover with good performance and gas mileage, you might want to look at the new 2014 Ford Escape.

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