Ford launches updated Escape

Ford launches updated Escape

2020 model could revive popularity of the small crossover that has been lagging industry peers in recent years


Dearborn, Michigan – Ford executives are promising improved performance, flexibility, and technology in the 2020 Escape small crossover, a vehicle that recently dropped to two shifts from three shifts because of sagging popularity.

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

The 2020 edition will feature standard and plug-in hybrid models

The updated Escape is the most aerodynamic version of the vehicle, and it sheds more than 200 lb from the current model, due in part to the extensive use of high-strength, lightweight steel.

New powertrains and transmission systems, a reduction in weight, improved aerodynamics, and updated suspension system all contribute to performance increases.

Gas engine-powered models as well as the standard hybrid are available with all-wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, while every Escape receives an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe.

The 2L EcoBoost engine, available on Titanium, is projected to produce 250hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, while turning in a 0mph-to-60mph time up to 10% faster than the outgoing Escape 2L. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 3,500 lb.

The 1.5L EcoBoost, standard on S, SE and SEL, is projected to produce 180hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. When properly configured, it is rated to tow 2,000 lb. To help conserve fuel, the 1.5L 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.

SE Sport and Titanium models come standard with Ford’s innovative fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes a 2.5L Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel-drive hybrid model is projected to produce a combined system horsepower of 198hp, and a top speed of 85mph 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 110V Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240V Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.5 hours.

Hybrid models feature four EV modes:

  • Auto EV mode: vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power
  • EV Now mode: drivers can operate on all-electric driving
  • EV Later mode: drivers can switch to full gas-powered driving to conserve electric miles for later
  • EV Charge mode: drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later