Handling has been improved on the 2013 redesign. The Escape now handles like a car, which is what it has become. Steering is quicker, suspension has less body roll, but is harsher over bumps.
Pretty good highway cruiser- smooth and quiet.
Front seat support & comfort
Front seats are comfortable AFTER removing headrests and re-installing them backwards.
Driving position & visibility
The rear quarter windows are small and visibility to the right side blind spot is very poor. The outside mirror on the right side is not of much help. The stylistic design is a step backwards in visibility and safety. On the positive side, there is more headroom than in most hatchbacks.
The 2.0L turbo motor only develops power above 3000 rpm and is gutless at lower rpms. Using the manual shift feature on the 6 speed automatics helps a bit, but this car would be much better with a manual transmission to keep the engine in its power range. Most drivers will miss the previous model's 3 Litre engine, and the turbo 2.0 delivers gas mileage about the same as the 3 litre motor. We averaged a computer indicated 29.5 mpg for 3 weeks of highway driving.
The practical boxy shape of the previous Escape model is gone. No flat roof to carry stuff, no bumper to step up on, less ground clearance, poor ride on gravel roads. This is no longer an SUV, just a hatchback car.
Tires are now low profile 55 series on 17 inch rims, suitable for dry smooth pavement, nothing else. Very harsh and slippery on gravel roads.