When we drove the all-new Escape recently, Ford was still awaiting official EPA certification for fuel economy. Now, though, the numbers are in, and the Blue Oval can confidently state that it offers the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the small crossover segment... with an automatic transmission, that is.

The hero engine for the new Escape is Ford's new 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four, offering up 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a six-speed automatic transmission, this engine is good for 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg highway, besting the highway numbers of the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and others. At 33 mpg, this means the new Escape is not only more efficient than the outgoing four-cylinder model, but it bests the numbers of the old Escape Hybrid, too.

But again, this only pertains to automatic transmission-equipped vehicles (the Escape does not offer a manual transmission with any of its powertrains). The 2013 Mazda CX-5 with its 2.0-liter Skyactiv inline-four and six-speed manual 'box is rated at 35 mpg highway, but opting for the six-speed auto drops that number to 32 mpg.

The other powertrains offered in the Escape are returning some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers, too. The naturally aspirated 2.5-liter base engine is rated at 22/31 mpg, and the range-topping 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque is good for 22/30 mpg. Scroll down for the full details in Ford's press release.
Show full PR text
All-New Ford Escape with EcoBoost Engine EPA-Certified at 33 MPG, the Most Fuel-Efficient Small SUV on Market

- All-new Ford Escape certified by U.S. EPA at class-leading 33 mpg with an automatic transmission, which is preferred by the majority of American drivers; all Escape engine offerings achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway

- Escape's 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine is 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and
5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4 on the highway

- New Escape delivers 5 mpg better than the previous model and better highway fuel economy than the outgoing Escape Hybrid

DEARBORN, Mich., April 27, 2012 – The new Ford Escape is certified by the U.S. EPA as the most fuel-efficient small SUV with an automatic. The Escape's 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine is certified at 33 mpg – 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4.

All three engines in the new Escape are EPA-certified at 30-plus mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost, certified at 30 mpg on the highway, beats the Toyota RAV4 by 3 mpg and the Chevrolet Equinox by 6 mpg.

"The fuel economy of the all-new Escape showcases the continued success of Ford's development of smaller, yet more powerful engines," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. "Ford understands people want fuel-efficient vehicles without sacrificing power and space requirements."

Escape's 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine – offered for the first time in North America – delivers 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city and produces 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, topping the Mazda CX-5 by more than 20 horsepower and 30 lb.-ft. of torque.

Those looking for maximum power coupled with solid fuel efficiency can opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. It is also rated at 3,500 pounds towing, which leads the pack for small, turbocharged SUVs.

The Escape's 2.5-liter offers 31 mpg on the highway – a 3 mpg improvement over the outgoing standard engine – and 22 mpg in the city.

EcoBoost engines are standard in the SE, SEL and Titanium editions. The SE and SEL models come with the 1.6-liter standard and the Titanium comes with the 2.0-liter. The 2.5-liter is available in the S edition.

With EPA certification, Escape is the latest vehicle to join Ford's fuel-efficient lineup. Ford now offers eight vehicles with 40 mpg or more and 11 vehicles with fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines.

Top fuel economy and performance

EcoBoost engines are at the core of Ford's plan to offer outstanding fuel efficiency for millions of drivers. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford's North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford also holds more than 125 patents on EcoBoost engine technology.

Both new Escape engines combine EcoBoost's core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better miles per gallon and save customers money on fuel.

In Escape, EcoBoost engines are mated to specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmissions, which are standard. Drivers who want more hands-on experiences can manually control gear selection from a switch on the left-hand side of the shifter.

Improved aerodynamics

Fuel efficiency in Escape is helped by a new Active Grille Shutter System. Positioned between the grille opening and radiator, the shutter is monitored by the engine control module. The grille automatically opens and closes to maintain ideal operating temperature and optimize aerodynamics.

The new Escape arrives in U.S. dealerships next month. In addition to class-leading fuel efficiency, Escape features a liftgate with motion-sensing technology similar to video games and an upgraded MyFord Touch® system that makes connecting with digital devices even easier.

The Escape is built at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      You guys should really revise the claim of it besting the Escape Hybrid hwy rating. It's terribly misleading. The Escape hybrid AVERAGES about 33 mpg, which is only what this thing claims for highway.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Agreed... The post is missing the honest real world truth that comes out of your podcasts. To be fair: you are just passing along Ford's press release, Looking forward to reading your own impressions from your First Drive.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should point out that the Mazda has much better city mpg all around (25 city AWD / 26 City FWD). I can only assume it's due to the fact that the CX-5 is 300 lbs less. We need to stop obsessing over the highway miles and pay more attention to the average and city mpg numbers.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make one natural gas. Here in Oklahoma it's dirt cheap and plentiful. That is good mileage. I worry though that the transmission is upshift happy like most new vehicles coming out these days.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yup. I love my earth fracked. Earthquakes rule. And I love my groundwater polluted. Mmm. No worse than the GMOs growing overhead or the aspartame in our colas. (dirty little secret about that lovely cheap NG)
          • 2 Years Ago
          True. Not a whole lot of fracking is going on anymore. At least not now. The companies have a surplus for the time being. I would much rather have a 1000 3.0 or similar sized earthquakes than buy foreign oil to support terrorism! All the easy to get to oil and gas is gone here in the states, so what do you propose?
      • 2 Years Ago
      The women will be all over this. Will sell well.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd shop this against a Mazda CX-5. 26/32 vs 22/33. Grand touring Mazda vs SEL Escape. Very similar interior and exterior dimensions. The CX-5 is ~300 pounds lighter.
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like another pretty solid release from FoMoCo...I approve. new styling, tech, and overall philosophy seems to be working wonders over there. its like Ford is seeing a renaissance.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      "the Escape does not offer a manual transmission with any of its powertrains" Dealbreaker. I don't care what kind of mileage it gets.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow...from most of the comments here, I'm guessing you've all driven the 2013 Escape and/or can post links to full reviews of a production model. Children usually say things without knowing much about them. Adults (with an IQ of more than, say, 30?) usually keep their mouths closed until after they have some form of personal experience. "Duh, it looks just like a Hyundai." Morons...
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Regarding previous post, I meant the inside center console.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is the average economy of this Escape? That is the key. The EPA has done a good job of trying to direct attention towards the combined fuel economy by having that number nice and big on the window sticker. For most, average FE is what matters, not highway.
      • 2 Years Ago
      so once again. all boost, no Eco.
        • 2 Years Ago
        i take that back, looking at the competitors. but still i had heard 35MPG like the CX-5
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