Ford Begins Work On The Next-Generation Kuga And Escape

The Ford Escape and Kuga haven’t changed much over the past six years but recent spy photos suggest an all-new model is in the works.

Recently caught undergoing testing in southern Europe, this chassis testing mule looks nothing like the production model which is expected to arrive in 2020. While it isn’t much to look at, the crossover has been equipped with a modified body that suggests the next-generation crossovers will be longer and wider than their predecessors.

Little is known about the models at this point but their importance is beyond question. Despite getting a little long-in-tooth, Ford sold 308,296 Escapes in the United States last year. Likewise, Carsalesbase data shows the company moved over 150,000 units of the Kuga in Europe in 2017. U.S. sales have remained relatively steady but the Kuga’s popularity in Europe has been surging as annual sales have climbed by approximately 20,000 units for four consecutive years.

Given the importance to the bottom line, there’s little doubt the crossovers are in for some major upgrades. Nothing is official but the models should receive a higher quality and more spacious interior. We can also expect modern infotainment and convenience systems as well as a host of new driver assistance features. However, Ford has already revealed the next-generation Escape will be offered with fewer build combinations in an effort to reduce costs.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but we can expect the model will be offered with the company’s latest EcoBoost options. There could also be a plug-in hybrid variant as Ford has already revealed plans to launch 24 plug-in hybrids by 2022.

more photos...

Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops

  • MarketAndChurch

    We’ve seen these mules being tested in Colorado for months now. I’m happy the American market will take the lead in determining the direction of the next Escape, because growing it in size will also allow them to grow the Ecosport in size, which hopefully, will then be better suited to taking on the Honda HR-V. But 2020 is too far away… I wish they’d bring it out next year, but maybe 2020 will give them proper time to adjust the Escape in case the next Toyota Rav 4 – which is due to come out in the next year or so – offers better features that Ford would want to match.

    • Scott

      Actually the Escape will be joined by a “Short C” CUV that will be slightly smaller then the Escape and bigger then the EcoSport.

      The next Gen Focus and Escape/Kuga will be the Premium C class products, while the Short C and next gen Escort will be the low end C Class products for emerging markets.

  • Matt

    Ive been in a few current gen models with uber and my friend has a 2014 escape and from riding in it I’m not a fan even while not looking at it from my car enthusiast eyes & hope that changes with the new model. Idk how or why the vast difference (Ford cars in general in comfort between their non leather and leather seats leather seats are comfortable & do a fine job vs it’s comp while their standard cloth seats suck. Comfort/suspension in driving needs to be brought up in line with its competition too. It would also help imo if they bring their a game in interior design and quality materials. Lincoln brought a big leap in their interior quality and don’t see any reason not Ford cant spend the $$ for their main brand- from their base models to the platinum (or whatever Ford calls their highest trim now. )

  • rover10

    The best looking Ford in recent years was the original European Kuga. The styling was just right and attention to detail was impressive, and so was the taut bodylines and surfacing. Then along came the current model, which lacked the sophisticated detailing and looked awkward in comparison. However, the package was much improved and the midlife facelift went someway to address the exterior styling. I do hope the new model will go back to the original in terms of surface detailing and proportions. I would guess the Kuga will grow and a new SUV based off the all new Focus (in dimensional terms), will join the fleet?

  • MarkoS

    Great Job Ford if you aiming for a 2010 RAV4.

  • sidewaysspin

    Please no bland design.

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