The Escape was Ford’s first hybrid, introduced in 2005 and built through 2012. When the third-generation Ford Escape rolled out in 2013, no hybrid option was offered. But beginning with the release of the 2020 Escape this fall, two hybrid variants will join a pair of gas models to comprise this fourth-generation vehicle’s model line.
2020 Ford Escape Overview
Nearly everything about the 2020 Escape is new in keeping with the generational change we’ve been anticipating. We’ll have more details about the Escape later in the model year, perhaps as soon as we’re able to drive one. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the four powertrain arrangements offered for 2020:
1. 1.5-liter, turbo three-cylinder engine.
Ford has utilized three-cylinder engines before, including a tiny 1.0-liter engine currently powering the EcoSport. Fiesta and Focus models have also seen this engine. The base Escape engine bangs out an impressive 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are higher than what some competing models offer. For example, the Nissan Rogue has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Ford unites this engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
2. 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine.
Unlike some competitors, Ford has long offered more than one engine choice with the Escape. For customers wanting more power, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will do. This one cranks out 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque or equivalent to what a V6 engine supplies. Ford also utilizes an 8-speed automatic transmission here.
3. Hybrid No. 1.
Seven years is a long time between hybrid models, but Ford wasn’t absent from the segment. Instead of putting a hybrid on the Escape, the automaker rolled out its C-MAX line of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Both are now gone. The new hybrid features Ford’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine running on the efficient Atkinson cycle. Ford’s planetary torque-split hybrid system utilizes a pair of electric motors. Net power is a respectable 198 horsepower with that power sent to the wheels employing a continuously variable transmission. You’ll have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive here too, just like the gas models.
4. Hybrid No. 2.
A plug-in variant hybrid joins the traditional hybrid and utilizes the same powertrain, but a larger battery: 14.4 kWh. This means Ford expects the PHEV to supply 30 miles of electric-only power. Charge times are 10 to 11 hours with a standard household outlet or as fast as 3.5 hours with a 240-volt Level 2 system. Unlike the standard hybrid, this one is front-wheel-drive only.
Fuel Economy Facts
We don’t have the Escape’s full fuel-economy numbers yet, although the base model with front-wheel drive makes an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway for a combined 30 mpg. We expect the four-cylinder with the all-wheel drive to garner about 25 mpg, while the hybrid should approach 40 mpg, which would put it in Toyota RAV4 Hybrid territory.
Some of the fuel savings may be credited to weight reduction as the 2020 Escape is about 200 pounds lighter than the previous model. Ford says “this is due in part to extensive use of high-strength, lightweight steel throughout the skeleton.”
2020 Ford Escape Specifications
|Price Range||$24,885 to $33,400|
|Engine No. 1||1.5-liter, turbo I3|
|Horsepower||180 @ xxxx rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||177 @ xxxx rpm|
|Engine No. 2||2.0-liter, turbo I4|
|Horsepower||250 @ xxxx rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||275 @ xxxx rpm|
|Engine No. 3||2.5-liter, I4 (Hybrid)|
|Horsepower||198/209 @ xxxx rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||xxx @ xxxx rpm|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,298 to 3,884|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||40.0, 39.3|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||42.4, 40.7|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||57.6, 56.0|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||55.2, 53.3|
|Storage (cubic feet)||37.5, 65.4|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||11.0 to 15.8|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||27/33/30 (I3)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Louisville, Kentucky|
Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Photos copyright Ford Motor Company.
See Also — Updated SUV: 2017 Ford Escape