If you’re like me, you love to play with all the latest gadgets and high-tech toys. Or maybe you’re not looking for new toys to play with, but you wouldn’t mind some assistance with things like backing out of a parking lot safely or being able to cool down your car before you get in (nobody likes getting in a car that feels like a sauna!)
This article will help you narrow down which technology options on the 2013 Ford Escape are right for you.
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The 2013 Ford Escape is packed with technologies that help you keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
The main hands-free technology that comes on the Escape is SYNC Voice control technology, which is standard on the SE, SEL, and Titanium trim levels, and optional on the S trim level. Basically, SYNC allows you to simply press one button and use your voice to control virtually everything in your vehicle. If you’ve got AM/FM radio, you can control it with SYNC, using commands like “FM 99.9” to tune to a particular station, or something as specific as “USB 2 Play Artist Brooks and Dunn” to play tracks by Brooks and Dunn that you’ve got loaded on a USB flash drive loaded in the second USB port. You can also control climate options, like “Set Temperature 65 Degrees” or Navigation options like “Set Destination Ken Wilson Ford”.
One of the major features of SYNC is the ability to link your bluetooth phone to your vehicle. This way, you can place and receive calls, listen to text messages, or stream audio from your phone (like a Pandora radio station) directly through your car’s speakers. All of these things are possible to do hands-free using SYNC, in addition to using either the MyFord Touch touchscreen (Standard on SEL and Titanium, optional on SE) or using normal center console or steering-wheel mounted buttons.
Another great hands-free option on the 2013 Ford Escape is the Handsfree Power Liftgate, which comes standard on the Titanium trim level and optional on the SEL trim level. This feature is linked to the Intelligent Access Key, which allows you to enter and start the vehicle without having to take the key out of your pocket; it simply senses how close the key is to the car and unlock the door when you touch the handles. With the Handsfree Power Liftgate, all you have to do is simply have the key in your pocket and wave your foot under the center of the rear bumper. The car will then automatically unlatch and fully open the tailgate. This way, if your hands are full of groceries, babies or something bulky, you can still open the tailgate without having to set anything down. If you don’t feel like opting for the Intelligent Access Key, but you’d still like to be able to open the tailgate remotely, you can get the standard Power Liftgate, which comes as an option on the SE, SEL and Titanium.
Related to the Intelligent Access Key (although not strictly hands-free) is Remote Start System, which allows you to lock and start the car remotely. With this, you can get the car cooling down or heating up a couple minutes before you are ready to get in, without having to leave the house. This comes optional on the SEL trim level with the Technology package, and comes standard on the Titanium trim level.
Driver Assist Technologies
The 2013 Ford Escape features a number of Driver Assist Technologies, including a Rear Camera, numerous sensing technologies, active parking assistance, and other automated driver assist technologies like rain-sensing wipers.
The main driver assist technology found on the Escape is Reverse Sensing, available on SEL and Titanium, which consists of a row of sensors on the rear bumper. When you are in reverse and you are close to hitting an object, the car will start beeping at you. As you get closer, the beeps get closer together, and when you are within about a foot of the object, it beeps continuously. This is particularly useful when backing out of a parking space or your driveway, since it can tell when there are people behind you (particularly if they are in your blind spot) or something like a kid’s bike. Reverse sensing is easy to turn off as well.
In addition, the Escape offers a Rear Camera that automatically activates when in reverse . The rear camera on an Escape uses color-coded guide lines that can help you determine how far behind you an object is. In addition, there are grey lines that indicate the direction that the vehicle will go, based on how far the steering wheel is turned. The rear camera comes as part of the Parking Technology package, available on the SEL and Titanium trim levels.
Included as well in the Parking Technology package are a couple of other driver assist technologies like Forward Sensing, which functions similarly to Reverse Sensing, and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which replaces the integrated blind spot mirror with an orange alert light on the side mirrors. When another car is in your blind spot, the orange light will illuminate, letting you know that a car is there. Tied in with BLIS is the Cross Traffic Alert System, which consist of sensors placed on the left and right sides of the rear fender. When you are backing out of a parking space, the vehicle will alert you if there are vehicles approaching from either side. This is particularly useful in busy parking lots, where you may have limited visibility due to cars parked beside you. In addition, the Parking Technology package includes Rain-sensing Wipers, which can automatically adjust to the appropriate speed based on your needs; in a downpour, they’ll be on full, and in a light sprinkle, they’ll stay in a low intermittent setting. And don’t worry, they’re easy to turn off, so that when you take the car through a carwash, your wipers won’t get confused.
The best part of the Parking Technology package (which again, is available on the SEL and Titanium trim levels) is the Active Park Assist. Using Active Park assist, the vehicle can help you with parallel parking. When activated, it will use side-mounted sensors to scout for an adequately-sized parking space. When it finds one, it will let you know, and the vehicle will take over control of the steering wheel and give you instructions for using the pedals. The car then gently guides you into the parking spot. Easy as pie. I know it sounds complicated, but once you’ve done it once or twice, you get used to it and it really takes a lot of the stress out of parallel parking.
Another technology related to these is the MyKey system, which comes standard on all 2013 Ford Escape models. With MyKey, you can easily program speed and volume limits for particular keys (for example, for a teen driver), as well as setting a persistent Beltminder alert to ensure proper seat belt use. With MyKey, you can program as many Admin Keys or MyKeys as you would like, so that each driving member of the family could have their own key.
One of the great things about the 2013 Ford Escape is how well it allows you to stay connected to those around you through technology.
By linking your bluetooth phone to your Escape, you can easily place or receive calls, listen to text messages, or stream bluetooth audio, like a Pandora station. In addition, you can use your phone to turn your Escape into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Be aware, though, that standard messaging and data rates for your phone will still apply.
A great feature of the 2013 Ford Escape is the 110V AC Outlet with a household-style three-prong plug, which comes standard on the Titanium, and optional on the SE and SEL. With this plug, you can easily charge and use your laptop, charge your phone, or plug in any other device that uses a standard two- or three-prong plug.
Every Escape comes with a CD Player with an Aux in, so that you can plug in your MP3 or WMA player. The aux in port uses a standard 1/8 inch stereo jack. If your Escape is equipped with SYNC with MyFord (Standard on the SE trim level, optional on S), it will have, in addition to the aux in, a USB port that you can use either to charge devices like your phone or MP3 player, or to stream audio through. You can use a normal USB flash drive loaded with music and easily stream audio through your car’s speakers, or search by artist name, track name, or album.
If your Escape is equipped with SYNC with MyFord Touch, (Standard on SEL and Titanium trim levels, optional on SE), then it comes with an Aux in, 2 USB ports, an SD Card reader (the kind often found in digital cameras) and RCA ports (The red, yellow and white cables used to connect non-HD TVs to auxiliary devices like DVD players or game consoles). In addition, MyFord Touch includes an 8-inch touchscreen in the center console with a simple to use, color-coded system.
If you opt for the Navigation System, then your vehicle will come with an SD card loaded with all of the navigation information, as well as a 6-month trial subscription to Sirius TravelLink and Sirius XM Traffic.
With SYNC Voice Command technology, it is easy to use any of these features without having to take your hands off the wheel, giving you greater control over your Escape without having to compromise your entertainment or navigation options.
For more information on the many features of the Escape, be sure to check out the rest of our Shopping Guide for the 2013 Ford Escape.