Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Ford Media Center
For 2020 Ford revealed the stylish new Escape, featuring the small SUV’s best-ever performance, flexibility and smart new technology, Ford is reinventing the model that helped drive the popularity of the segment.
Escape, which debuted the world’s first hybrid SUV in 2005, brings back two hybrid choices for 2020, a standard hybrid and a plug-in variant, and introduces technologies ranging from drive modes and driver-assist features to electric vehicle ingenuity and on-board connectivity.
To create a sportier look for the all-new Escape, designers turned to some of the most high-profile sports cars in the Ford showroom. The shield-shaped trapezoidal grille is inspired by the sixth-generation Mustang, while the lower front end borrows from Ford GT. Compared to the current model, the all-new Escape stands lower, wider and longer.
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.
Every model in the lineup, whether powered by one of two EcoBoost engines or the all-new hybrid powertrains, targets an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles per tank. The standard hybrid with front-wheel drive targets best-in-class EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles.
New powertrains and transmission systems for 2020 contribute to a reduction in weight, in addition improved aerodynamics and updated suspension system all contribute to one the best-performing and fun-to-drive SUV in the market.
Gas engine-powered models as well as the standard hybrid are available with all-wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a new quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission for smooth, responsive shifting, while every Escape receives an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe.
The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque using 93 octane fuel, while turning in a 0-60 mph time up to 10 percent faster than the outgoing Escape 2.0-liter. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 3,500 pounds, and the 1.5-liter EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque using 93 octane fuel. To help conserve fuel, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost debuts cylinder deactivation, 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.
SE Sport and Titanium models come standard with Ford’s innovative fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes an all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel-drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined system horsepower of 198, and a top speed of 85 mph in electric-only mode.
The plug-in hybrid variant, available on every trim level except S and SE Sport, projects a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles in electric-only mode. Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a Level 1 / Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.
Sliding second-row seats in gas engine-powered models allow rear-seat passengers to enjoy 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 six inches to offer 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space in gas engine-powered models. The cargo area was designed to accommodate four sets of golf clubs or a full-size dog crate. Second row sliding seats are standard across the 2020 Escape line-up.
The Escape Hybrid packages its liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery smartly below the second-row seats rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area. The briefcase-shaped battery in the standard hybrid measures approximately one-third the size of the old Escape Hybrid battery; Despite a slight drop in vehicle height and with the hybrid battery packaged below, Ford engineers were able to increase headroom throughout. First and second-row headroom, shoulder room and hip room all improve versus the current Escape.
With a selectable drive mode system standard across the lineup, Escape makes it easy for Escape owners to create the ride experience they desire or the one that conditions demand. Modes are tailored for normal, eco, sport and slippery, plus snow and sand conditions.
Titanium models are available with an all-new heads-up display. 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.
Class-exclusive driver-assist technologies include available Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist. Active Park Assist 2.0 allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with the touch of a button, without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas or brake pedal. Evasive Steering Assist detects a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and provides steering support that can assist the driver to avoid an imminent collision.
FordPass Connect is a standard feature that provides 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service. FordPass Connect also gives drivers remote access to their Escape, allowing them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle, as well as monitor key vehicle diagnostics; Drivers and passengers can keep compatible mobile devices charged with an available wireless charging pad in the front center console. Also available are type A and type C USB charging ports as well as three 12-volt charging sockets.
An 8-inch touch screen standard on SE models and above shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, which displays important vehicle information such as speedometer and fuel level. It uses 3D animated graphics to indicate the drive mode.
This all-new Escape brings a sleeker, sportier design with the capability to performs like no other Escape before, It’s quick, it’s responsive and, in staying true to the standard set by three generations of Escapes before it; With the class-leading hybrid powertrains, customers will spend less time at the gas station and more time on the road.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $30,755.00, for the 2020 Ford Escape SEL AWD, the one I drove included: Equipment Group 301A, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist, Panoramic Vista Roof, and it came in at $32,545.00 including destination & delivery charges ($1,095.00).