Part of what’s made Hyundai so successful over the past few years isn’t that its cars are spectacular to drive; it’s that they look good, feel upscale, and represent a value (a value that is much different than the one the brand represented for the first 15 or so years of its US existence). The 2013 Santa Fe Sport is no exception.
Now, to be clear, despite the punchy six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, there’s nothing really exciting about the Venza driving experience. With 268 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque, acceleration is merely adequate. This Toyota will easily get out of its own way, and packs enough punch for quick passes on the highway. Credit this more to the clever six-speed automatic than the actual powerplant. This six-cog is willing to drop gears without much hunting about, while delivering brisker-than-expected upshifts. Acceleration from a standstill is brisk, but doesn’t have the same kind of punch as some of the four-cylinder, turbocharged competition, largely due to the Venza’s 6200-rpm horsepower peak and 4700-rpm torque peak.
There is a definite upside to this little engine, though, in that it is very fuel-efficient. Achieving 26 miles per gallon in the city, and an impressive 35 mpg on the highway, the manual-equipped CX-5 is a class leader when it comes to sipping fuel. We found stretching out the life of a tank of gas to be surprisingly easy on a long highway trip, even with two other passengers and the cargo area packed pretty tightly. We saw nearly 32 mpg over the course of 535 miles, during our week of use.
You can expect to hear a lot more about the Escape in the months to come, as Ford continues to build awareness for the name through advertisements, product placement, and the like. You may have already seen the NBC program, Escape Routes, wherein teams compete in various challenges to win prizes and a 2013 Ford Escape. If not, don’t worry, Ford has you in its sights, and it thinks its new compact crossover is worthy of your attention. Here’s why.
The configurator for the 2013 Ford Escape just went live, which means we’ve doing a bit of tinkering and seeing just how pricey we can make Ford’s newest vehicle. The answer is a lot, in case you were wondering.
After a hectic 48 hours, the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show is in the books. A number of new and important production models hit the stage for this year’s show, and we got the details on each one. If you missed any of our coverage, this is the place to be.
Mazda is jumping into the small SUV/CUV foray, and getting ready to take on vehicles like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. The advantage the CX-5 will have going is that it will come to market with the same Skyactiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder that we tested recently in the Mazda3.
The old phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” has been taken to heart by Honda. After leading crossover/SUV sales from 2007 to 2010 with the third-generation CR-V, the Japanese automaker seems to have the pulse of this market’s buyers. Honda knows customers want a reliable, efficient, affordable, and stylish vehicle, and the third-gen model managed to pull that off with ease. The question is: will the new fourth-generation CR-V manage quite as well?
Ford has finally revealed the third-generation of its best-selling Escape. Fuel economy is up, content is up, and good looks are all up for the 2013 model, which will be sold in Europe and Asia as the second-generation Ford Kuga.
We’ll see the redesigned Ford Escape at next month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, but in the meantime, here’s a juicy bit of news on the powertrain front. The new Escape will feature four-cylinder power only, with a pair of EcoBoost mills joining the current 2.5-liter.
One of the more ubiquitous sights on the American Road is the Ford Ranger pickup. It is handsome, in a hard-working, rectilinear way, and you don’t see many that appear to have suffered neglect or abuse. Now the Ford Escape (and Mercury Mariner) SUVs join the Ranger pickup in its ubiquity. Not only do you see a lot of them, and not only do they look good, they are good. They may be the class-leader of the compact SUV category.