2020 Ford Escape: First Look At Smarter, Roomier And More Hatch-Like SUV

Ford’s all-new Escape crossover is meant to be safer, smarter and more versatile than any past iteration. It’s also available with both a standard hybrid and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, to go with various drive modes and driver-assist features.

Every model in the Escape lineup is said to target an EPA-estimated range of at least 400 miles (643 km), with the regular hybrid in FWD spec targeting a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles (885 km).

“This all-new Escape brings a sleeker, sportier design with the capability to take you on just about any of your life’s adventures,” stated Ford president for North America, Kumar Galhotra. “With our class-leading hybrid powertrains, customers will spend less time at the gas station and more time on the road.”

Just what the segment ordered

The all-new Escape stands lower, wider and is longer than the current iteration, not to mention 200 lbs (90.7 kg) lighter. Its shield-shaped trapezoidal grille is inspired by the 6th-generation Mustang, while the lower front end is said to borrow from the Ford GT, although overall, the crossover reminds us most of the latest Ford Focus hatchback.

According to Ford, the new Escape isn’t just about looking sporty, but also driver enjoyment – the automaker claims this is the most fun-to-drive Escape ever.

“This new vehicle performs like no other Escape before,” said Escape chief program engineer, Jim Hughes. “It’s quick, it’s 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.”

Opt for the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium grade, and you get 250 HP and 275 lb-ft (372 Nm) of torque, allowing for a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration time that’s up to 10% faster than in the outgoing model. When properly configured, it can tow 3,500 lbs (1,587 kg). Meanwhile, the all-new 3-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL grades is projected to put down 180 HP and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque, and is rated to tow 2,000 lbs (907 kg). For the sake of fuel efficiency, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost unit can shut down one of its cylinders in just 14 milliseconds.

Then there’s the all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine, mated to an electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel drive model is expected to produce a combined system output of 198 HP, while also allowing for a top speed of 85 mph (136 km/h) in EV mode. The plug-in hybrid variant, available on every trim level except S and SE Sport, projects an EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles (48 km) in EV mode. As for charge times, it takes 10 to 11 hours to fill up the battery at a 110-volt Level 1 charger, while a 240-volt Level 2 charger will drop that time down to 3.5 hours.

Both hybrid models come with the following four EV modes: Auto EV (car decides whether to run on gas or electric), EV Now (driver selects all-electric driving), EV Later (gas-powered driving to conserve juice for later) and the all-new EV Charge mode, where drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and “generating electric-only miles” for later use.

Clever little thing

The sliding second-row seats in the gas-powered versions give rear-seat passengers of the new Escape class-leading legroom. In fact, Ford executive VP of product development and purchasing Hau Thai-Tang said that you get more leg room in the second row of the new Escape than you do in a full-size Chevy Suburban. In terms of cargo space, you get 37.5 cu.ft (1,061 liters) in gas-powered models, while the regular hybrid’s briefcase-shaped battery measures just one-third the size of the old Escape Hybrid’s battery. The Escape Hybrid by the way still features more headroom, shoulder room and hip room than the current model, despite the slight drop in height.

Finally, let’s talk convenience features. Titanium models come with the all-new heads-up display system, which is a first for Ford in North America. Then there’s the available Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist, the Ford Co-Pilot360 (this one is standard), plus other clever tech like Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering.

In terms of connectivity, FordPass Connect is standard across the range and provides occupants with 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices. You also get wireless charging, an 8-inch touch screen (standard on SE models and above), an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and SYNC3 software with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford Alexa and Waze navigation. Last but not least is the available 575-watt 10-speaker B&O sound system.

Ford’s all-new Escape, available in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium grades, will be built at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. While it will reach showrooms this fall in gasoline and regular hybrid guise, the plug-in hybrid version won’t hit the market until next spring.


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  • The Kuga’s more SUV-like front end looks nicer.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    This is a welcome replacement to the current and ancient Escape. It doesn’t look bad, but it certainly doesn’t look great. I’d still take a CR-V or CX-5 over this….

  • Karl

    Ford drop the ball on this redesign big time! It is too car looking than SUV! That front end has got to go Ford! I like the Kuga look much better than this. Too much focus group and not enough testosterone. Very disappointing…

    • ErnieB

      Bronco and baby bronco coming soon.. Hopefully they will redeem themselves..

      • Brian Regan

        The baby Bronco will be on the same CX platform as this new Escape. I’ll be interested to see which sells better.

        • Matt

          Seeing as the biggest market for this segment is women, I’d say the softer lines of the Escape will mean it wins the sales race.

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      1) The Escape is a car-based SUV. No surprise.

      2) What’s so different between this and the Kuga especially in design? They look the same, and are the same generally speaking.

    • Rocket

      I don’t love the styling, either, but I think softening it was the right move with the Baby Bronco on the way. You need significant styling differentiation if you’re going to offer two models in the same category.

  • Karl

    The Bronco and baby Bronco better bring ruggedness or else!

    • ErnieB

      I think Ford has all the bases covered. The Broncos will be geared to the rugged crowd. This will sell like hot cakes though. It’s pleasant looking and will be a hit with millennials and moms alike! I frankly can’t wait for the grand daddy Bronco.. We are getting close I think!

  • lagunas3ca

    Front resembles Model 3. Overall pretty sleek.

    • Adilos Nave

      Because it’s being shown in red? Guess I just don’t see the resemblance. Model3 looks like Deadpool and doesn’t have a grill but the Escape’s front is about 40% grill opening.

      • endrflare

        if you removed the grille i’d bet it’d look almost identical to the model 3

  • Enter Ranting

    It looks like it got T-boned hard.

  • Matthijs

    Extremely dull. The happy face and RAV4 rear lights don’t help either. Hyundai interior looks also bland and not very upscale. Ford really has no own look and feel these days

  • Adilos Nave

    I’m a longtime Mazda fan but this will definitely be in the running with the CX5 when it comes to replace our 2011 CX7. This looks good!! Wasn’t expecting this at all. The back has a bit of Grand Cherokee in it.

  • Six_Tymes

    looks a lot like a Rogue, except for the grill and lights. even so, I like it

  • Dennis Scipio

    I don’t think the car looks too bad, but the Kuga looks more rugged.

  • DM

    i’m getting Niro vibes from the side, and the front reminds me of a duck. Interior is nice though, but overall the Kuga looks better.

  • Jay

    Previous gen looks so much better. The first escape I actually liked. This.. too bubbly for my tastes.

    • .. EL CHAPO THA GREAT ??

      The rear is what i like the most about this car. But the front is like the porsche macan.

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    That. Is. A. Pig.

  • Joe E

    ENORMOUS eye roll at the photo of the Escape sitting outside a CrossFit “box” while people work out. That’s about 6 years past-trend.

    P.S. The front end is the automotive equivalent of “androgynous”

    • LJ

      Whatever you say fatty.

  • StrangerGP

    A Mazda CX with an ugly front.

  • Brian Regan

    Simple and inoffensive. They’ll sell like hot cakes.

    • .. EL CHAPO THA GREAT ??

      They are looked as lease or rentals

  • wonderdallas

    Like how Ford aped the Aston Martin grill for it’s sedans, looks like they were snatching at Porsche for the frontend. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c20c7b0a75073e2c0f15620dc0757fd21dedd53ece2096438dff0e80efb5cde2.png

    • .. EL CHAPO THA GREAT ??


    • MarketAndChurch

      I’m fine with that.

  • Vangelis Goulis
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    “Ford’s all-new Escape crossover is meant to be safer, smarter and more versatile than any past iteration”

    Safer? Let see what it can do for the crash test.

    • Matt

      Yes, safer. As in more safety equipment to stop you crashing in the first place. I’m sure it will perform well in crash tests too.

      • .. EL CHAPO THA GREAT ??

        Lets see

  • Galaxium

    This looks horrendous. Looks bulbous and none of the lines flow into anything.

  • mist

    Looks worse than the Euro Kuga.

    • Sovereignty

      Looks more like the Ford Focus Active Estate.

  • willhaven

    Man – that’s pretty ugly. What has happened to Ford recently?

  • roy

    I mean I understand the alliance between vw and Ford but with that Porsche face and skoda rear ain’t it a bit too much of a friendship? ???

    • Sovereignty

      It hasn’t even started yet. You’re going to be in for a treat! ?

      • roy


  • Mr. EP9

    Yeah, no. That looks wrong.

  • erly5

    That front end is beginning to annoy me now and doesn’t suit this (nor the Fiesta). It’s an improvement over the current Kuga and will no doubt sell well, but it’s a bit disappointing all round.

  • B.Stokes

    I thought this was a Kia at first glance! #UGLY #ThisAintItChief

    • Lucius

      My thoughts exactly

  • Lucius

    Not hideous, but instantly lost in the crowd…very similar to Kia Sportage.
    Also, is it just me or do the pictures indicate a cringe worthy high school musical style event? Like something the Brady Bunch would’ve done.

  • Liam Paul
    • NT A PNTO.

      • Liam Paul

        look at the hatch area on both, their not that different looking to me lol


  • Leconte Dave

    Interior is nice… That’s about it

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Full-on FROG

  • TheBelltower

    Ford’s best attempt at making an invisible car. Most phoned-in design ever.

  • Wolverine350R

    So we are going to get rid of all our hatchbacks/sedans for SUVs and then what we will do is make our small SUVs into hatchbacks?

    • brn

      Now you get it!

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Riddle me this, Ford:

    How the hell do you make the exact same car look so much uglier?

  • MJ Coffey

    Who at Ford made the decision to give the US-Spec Escape/Kuga such an uninspiring Design? It looks a hundred times worse than the Euro-Epec car. Ford always talks about reducing costs – but then, why make two different designs in the first place? The Euro Design would’ve pleased potential customers in the US for sure.

    • MarketAndChurch

      Maybe we’ll get it with a ST-variant. I’m personally hoping for a light off-road variant to take on the AWD Toyota Rav4 Adventure, hopefully as a hybrid too.

  • Jim Jones ©

    Rebadged Kia Niro?

  • brn

    We have a 2017 and think it’s too low to the ground. This thing is even lower and we’d likely pass on it.

    However, this vehicle is a pretty good fit for what the market is asking for. It may sell very well.

    • MarketAndChurch

      It’s basically European, like a Q5 aka very car-like. It might make a great lease for a couple of years, but I’ll wait to see if I like the Baby Bronco or Bronco more.


  • FordMopar
  • FordMopar
  • Bo Hanan

    I see a Kia.

  • Paul

    What a pie hole nose it has.

    • Stephen G

      I think it’s a whole lot better than Toyota’s Big Mouth Bass series.

      • Paul

        And ain’t that the truth.

  • NeoShark

    Strange is this imaginary village with lots of weird actors, which consumers Ford is trying to achieve?

    • MarketAndChurch

      People who think flash mobs are cool. Also Millennial’s.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    One of the most underwhelming suvs to date. this thing looks like the automotive equivalent of pee wee herman.


    Ford, stop copying Toyota

    • Andrewthecarguy

      At least they put it in the microwave first lol

  • MarketAndChurch

    I’ve been waiting all of this time for this car. It’s under-whelming, compared to the front end that the European Kuga got. I don’t know if I still want to lease this anymore. I’ll wait to see the comparisons against the Rav4 hybrid and CR-V hybrid. The plug-in hybrid is a no-deal for me without AWD, so the regular hybrid better be good otherwise I’ll probably go with Toyota.

  • SteersUright

    I see Ford is bringing back it 1990’s fish styling.

    • I thought exactly the same, this design language seems to be going backwards…

      • Stephen G

        What can possibly be done that hasn’t been done before?

        • That’s the attitude! Can you imagine working at Ford (or any other car firm for that matter) with that approach? “Sorry Boss I can’t design a new car because everything has been done already, I’m just going to make one that looks the same”. !!!

          • Stephen G

            You really haven’t answered the question though, have you? My point is that a good looking design is a good looking design. We don’t need change for the sake of change. The classic and ever popular (?) Mercedes line of cars have gone through a painfully slow design evolution and people still love them. I understand boring, but response to daring design isn’t always embraced, for example the lighting configuration on the Cherokee before the last refresh. If you’ve studied automobile design in the last 100 years you’ll see that there is nothing new under the sun.

  • Knotmyrealname

    The front looks horrible compared to the Kuga. Why did they do that?

  • exeptor

    I’m a little bit confused – how is this different than the new Kuga? Is it just the size?

    • Leconte Dave

      More cladding

  • Lass

    There are really nil and stupid comments: ” It looks like this or that ” and others. As if Ford paid his designers so cheap to copy others.
    Regarding the front it looks like the European Kuga except that the Kuga presented for the moment is the ST-line version different from the others.
    In the presentation video, you will see in the screen behind the spaeker the photo of the classy kuga that looks like the escape.

    • McFly

      This design arguably lacks brand identity, so it’s natural that it’s being criticized by people who think brand identity is part of good car design.

      • Lass

        I agree on criticizing, but it should be constructive. For the identity, this model really looks like a Ford Focus high on leg and that’s where it gets its identity, but not elsewhere.

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      Its completely generic. That’s why,

  • Ary Wisesa

    It looks good and “hyundaish” or “Kia-esque”. LOL… But I think it will do well..

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