The Escape is new from the ground up for the 2013 model year, and its safety ratings reflect the better protection that's inherent in its all-new body structure.
With Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as four-star overall ratings (with five stars for side impact) from the federal government, the 2013 Escape has mostly impressive--although not quite class-leading--safety, if you read directly from test results. Although the Escape's 'poor' rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal test is a sore point, for sure.
The Honda CR-V, for instance, manages Top Safety Pick status plus five-star federal results and better results in the small overlap test.
That said, the Escape covers all the safety bases. Standard features include dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; and Ford's MyKey system, which lets drivers place limits on speed, volume, and other functions, for younger drivers. Standard curve control limits power to all four wheels to help the Escape stay on a safer path if the driver approaches a corner too quickly.
The new Escape has some of the more extensive safety options in the class, starting with front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. From there, it can be outfitted with blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts.
The Escape's electric power steering also makes active park assist possible. As on some other Fords, this system judges parallel-parking spots, and steers the Escape into them when it will fit, with the driver operating the pedals.The Escape has optional all-wheel drive, and with the towing package, it comes with HID headlamps and trailer-sway control, which uses stability control to compensate for the rocking motion induced by a trailer.