Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

2013 Ford Escape 1.6L or 2.0L

edited September 2012 in General Discussion
We're planning to purchase a 2013 Ford Escape in the next 6 months. It'll probably be a SEL AWD. We live in SW MIchigan (flatlanders) and I'm thinking the 1.6L engine (178 hp) would be fine for our everyday driving. We like to travel and here's where we'd like some input. We're planning a trip to Yellowstone NP (next summer) then heading south through Grand Teton NP on to Colorado (Rocky Mountain NP) and maybe even over to Utah (Arches and Canyonlands) - obviously a lot of mountain driving! - and we intend to take more mountain driving vacations in the future (Glacier NP, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde etc). Do you think the 1.6L has adequate power to take on the uphill climbs and enough "kick" for passing the RVs on the 2 lane roads? or should we upgrade to the 2.0L (240 hp)

BTW we're two 60 something retirees and we don't need the extra HP just for the sake of having it.


  • I would get the 2.0 engine. I don't believe the fuel economy is all that different. When you are in the will be glad you took my advice. It always better to have more horsepower and not need it than to need more horsepower and not have it.
  • The price difference isn't that much more, and the MPGs are negligible at best. You get over 60 more horse power and about 100 ft./lbs of torque with the 2.0.
    Either way, just make sure you feed it premium fuel and full synthetic oil and you'll get long life out of it. The turbo will make the trips through the mountains a little easier for you.
  • "Either way, just make sure you feed it premium fuel and full synthetic oil and you'll get long life out of it."

    Why premium fuel and full synthetic oil? The salesman told me the vehicle uses regular fuel (and yes I know some salesmen will tell you anything to get a sale). I didn't ask about the oil. Does Ford require full synthetic oil for the turbo engines (I've never had a turbo before)? I haven't checked the owners manual yet but I will do that before I buy the vehicle.
  • edited September 2012
    I found a chart with the specs for both the 1.6 and 2.0 engines ecoboost engines. The 2.5 engine is also listed. It has less power than the 1.6 engine so I would not recommend it. Premium fuel is used to get the maximum performance out of the engines. It seems 87 octane is recommended for all engines. If it has a turbo I would use full synthetic oil.
  • While these engines can run fine on regular (unlike many turbos), like @missileman said, it'll perform a bit better in the mountains with premium. You'll also want to compare mpgs on everyday driving, you might save enough gas with premium to make it worthwhile.

    If I buy a turbo engine, I'll likely use premium.
  • Is the V6 available? I would want it. I don't trust turbochargers.
  • @missileman - thanks for looking up the specs. I noticed the hp rating is with premium fuel then Ford pulls a switcheroo - the recommended fuel is regular. Do you think there's much of a dropoff in hp when using regular fuel (ie anything noticeable to the casual driver)?

    @EllyEllis - no V6. The base engine is the 4 cyl 2.5L (non turbo). Then the two 4 cyl turbos.
  • The owner's manual should tell you if synthetic oil is required for either engine. Go back to the dealer and read the manual in the glove box. It's likely the same one for both engine choices.

    Either way, I'd get the 2L. Ford gives towing specs for it, but not the 1.6L. This is not a lightweight vehicle.
  • The dropoff in HP isn't huge. For the 1.6L, it's rated for 178 HP with premium and 173 with regular. The 2.0L is rated for 240 HP with premium and 231 HP with regular. If it were me I'd go with the 2.0L Ecoboost you get substancially more power with only a 1-2 MPG penalty.

    In the owner's manual it weirdly specs 5W-30 Semi-Synthetic for the 2.0L Ecoboost and 5W-20 Semi-Synthetic for the 1.6L Ecoboost.
  • I own a vehicle with a turbo charger, so I do have a bit of experience with them. And you might be able to find the owner's manual online in PDF format you can download and look at at your convenience.

    As someone has pointed out in a different thread, a turbo charger can spin tens, even hundreds, of thousands RPMs while in boost, and it needs to keep cool. Full synthetic will help keep it lubed and cooled while this is happening.

    Als I'm sure it'll point out in the owner's manual, if you've been on the highway, or running the engine pretty hard, it's best to let the car sit and idle for 30 seconds or more before you shut the engine off. This relates to the previous paragraph in that the oil(and probably the coolant as well) needs to cycle through the turbo. If you don't, you risk coking the turbo charger and this will land you with several thousand dollars worth of work to repair/replace the turbo. If they find out you haven't taken proper care of the engine, warranty or not, you'll be stuck footing the bill for it as they'll blame lack of maintenance or improper care on your part for the damage. So when you arrive at your destination, take a moment to gather your things or finish a song on the radio before you shut the car off. Get into that habit early on and it'll become second nature to you in no time.

    As for premium fuel, the price difference in most places is 20 cents, and with a 15 gallon tank, you'd be hard pressed to spend $3 extra each fill up compared to regular fuel.
    With AWD, be prepared to hear that you'll need 4 new tires if you get a sidewall puncture in 1 tire. They aren't trying to cheat you out of money, they are trying to keep themselves from having a possible future repair on their dime. Some/most AWD are picky about tire sizes and putting a new tire on with 3 that have 20k miles on them can damage the center differential. I've heard even different tread patterns can cause this to happen(i.e. 3 Goodyear tires and you put on a Michelin to replace the bad tire)

    So, in summary, fuel, tires, and oil are cheap, new engines, differentials, and turbo chargers are expensive.
This discussion has been closed.