Feast your eyes on the all-new 2020 Ford Escape, completely redesigned with a blend of style, performance, flexibility, and technology, and ready to take on the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and Honda CR-V, the heavyweights in this segment.
With the compact SUV market hotter than ever, there’s a lot riding on the redesigned Escape, especially considering the Escape is the second best selling vehicle in the Blue Oval’s lineup, after the F-Series truck. Not bad for a car that hasn’t seen a major update since 2013, right?
Visually, there’s a lot to like about the stylish new Escape. At first glance, it’s easy to mistake it for a Porsche Macan, as the two share more than a passing similarity. It’s a huge departure from the outgoing model. It’s lower, longer, wider, and sleeker than ever before.
With a sloped roofline, optimized liftgate spoiler and strake, and efficient underbody, the all-new Escape is the most aerodynamic to date. Meanwhile, it sheds more than 200 pounds from the current model, due in part to the extensive use of high-strength, lightweight steel.
Ford promises that with new powertrains and transmission systems, said reduction in weight, improved aerodynamics and updated suspension system, this will be the best-performing, most fun-to-drive Escape ever. (Though an ST variant would be even more fun)
“This new vehicle performs like no other Escape before. It’s quick, responsive and, in staying true to the standard set by three generations of Escapes before it, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to drive,” said Jim Hughes, Escape chief program engineer.
The 2020 Escape will be offered with your choice of four engines. The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250HP and 275 lb-ft of torque, while turning in a 0-60 mph time up to 10% faster than the outgoing Escape 2.0-liter. When properly configured, it’s rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
The all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. When properly configured, it’s rated to tow 2,000 pounds. To help conserve fuel, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost debuts cylinder deactivation, a Ford first for North America, which senses when one cylinder isn’t needed and shuts it down automatically. The system can activate or deactivate a cylinder in 14 milliseconds to maintain a smooth ride.
Ford also brings back two hybrid choices for the 2020 Escape, a standard hybrid and a plug-in variant. The standard hybrid uses includes an all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic CVT, which is projected to produce a combined system horsepower of 198, and a top speed of 85 mph in electric-only mode. The plug-in variant projects a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles in electric-only mode.
One of the more clever features on the new Escape is sliding second-row seats (in gas engine-powered models) that allow rear-seat passengers to enjoy best-in-class maximum second-row legroom with the seats in the full rearward position, plus increased knee clearance and footwell length for a more comfortable ride.
With the second-row seats in the full forward position, the rear cargo area extends roughly 6 inches to offer 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space in gas engine-powered models (cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution). The cargo area was designed to hold four sets of golf clubs or a full-size dog crate.
And despite a slight drop in vehicle height and with the hybrid battery packaged below, the engineering team was able to increase headroom throughout. 1st- and 2nd-row headroom, shoulder room and hip room all improve versus the current Escape.
As with the Explorer, the Escape comes standard with a selectable drive mode system across the lineup, allowing drivers to adjust the ride for various conditions. Modes are tailored for normal, eco, sport and slippery, plus snow and sand conditions.
Titanium models are available with a heads-up display, a first-for-Ford in North America. The feature that projects information onto a 6-inch screen, giving drivers easy access to important information such as vehicle speed without taking their eyes off the road.
On the safety front, the new Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, a comprehensive safety suite of technology designed to keep you safe. In addition, there are a number of other available driver-assist features, including Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist.
As you can see, there’s an 8-inch touch screen (standard on SE models and above), which isn’t quite as obnoxious as the screen on the new Explorer. We didn’t have a chance to play with it, but it looks to fit in well with the rest of the dashboard.
Since this car is geared towards “younger” buyers who feel the need to be connected 24/7, the 2020 Escape has all the connectivity you could ever ask for, including 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices, remote access to their Escape from their smartphone, a wireless charging pad, and numerous USB charging ports.
Available SYNC 3 is compatible with available features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. For music lovers, Escape offers an available 575-watt 10-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen.
Based on everything we’ve seen and heard about the all-new Escape so far, it sound like a real winner, and it should provide some strong competition for the rest of the segment. Assuming there’s not a big jump in price, the new Escape should offer quite a bit of bang for the buck.
We’re excited to driving the new Escape later this summer, so stay tuned for our review of it. The 2020 Ford Escape will hit dealerships this fall.
What do you think of the all-new 2020 Ford Escape?