2020 Ford Escape Review — Cars.com

the Ford Escape is a popular model in a
popular class of compact SUVs and Ford has redesigned it for the 2020 model
year in the escapes fourth generation now Ford offers the escape and four
major mechanical variants three of which we’ve had a chance to drive at Ford’s
media preview in Kentucky here’s our early take the escapes bass engine is a
turbocharged three-cylinder that pairs with an 8-speed automatic transmission
with two adults aboard our front wheel drive test car exhibited a little
hesitation from a stock but had enough power to feel reasonably brisk around
town all wheel drive adds another 150 pounds or so and when we drove a car
with all-wheel drive in three adults aboard it felt like a bridge too far
acceleration became pokey and the hesitation starting off was
objectionably pronounced ford claims it locked off some 200 pounds curb weight
with this redesigned but if you need to carry all that weight on a regular basis
they’ll probably want to step up to the escapes optional turbocharged 4-cylinder
we tested one example with three adults and all-wheel drive and it felt up to
the task even with all that weight acceleration is strong especially as
revs built the 8-speed automatic feels tuned for fuel economy instead of fun
though once you’re in motion that resists down shifting until you give
quite a bit of gas preferring to let the engine tack on speed slowly at lower
revs you’ll end up wanting to driving the escapes sport mode most of the time
which keeps revs high thanks to far livelier transmission kickdown there’s
also an escape hybrid which combines a non turbo four-cylinder engine with
electric power it’s a smooth operator with barely noticeable transitions from
electric to gasoline power and enough overall oomph to pile on speed quickly
even with three adults and luggage aboard EPA mileage is still pending but
Ford targets 50 percent better numbers than the outgoing front-wheel drive 1.5
litre Escape which works out to around 39 miles per gallon combined if that
pans out its competitive with the escape hybrids chief rival the Toyota rav4
hybrid Ford will also offer an escape plug-in hybrid with a projected
all-electric range of more than 30 miles but it’s coming later on
no plug-in hybrids were available to drive at the media preview one important
caveat though Ford confirmed two cars calm that all of our test cars including
the Escape Hybrid that we drove we’re running 93 octane
premium fuel during the preview court says all three engines
find on the cheap stuff but officials declined to give output for the 1.5
liter or two liter engines while using it
conversely the Escape Hybrid is rated using 87 octane fuel but officials told
us it makes directionally more power on premium which again is what we drove
suffice it to say all three variants of the escape that we tested are likely to
feel a little less powerful than what we reported if you use regular fuel and
given the additional cost of premium we can hardly blame you for going with the
cheap stuff all that aside the escape drives fine otherwise most of our test
cars had big 19-inch wheels but pretty high-profile tyres which soak up bumps
fairly well rough pavement can induce some busyness and noticeable road noise
but the fourth generation escape keeps with its predecessors which is to say it
rides pretty well it doesn’t brake so well with kind of a nonlinear grabbing
us and pedal feel across all the cars we drove that’s more excusable in the
Escape Hybrid which has regenerative brakes less so in the non hybrids
steering is very low effort and feels a little numb on center but it has a quick
enough ratio to give the escape of playful nimbleness body roll is
reasonably contained but the efficiency oriented Bridgestone eco Pia tyres on
most of our test cars aren’t exactly gluttons for grip inside the escape
features an intuitive eight-inch touchscreen with apple carplay and
android auto in all but the base trim level interior quality is competitive
with other run-of-the-mill compact SUVs and the seats are relatively comfortable
the passenger seat in top trim levels gets a height adjustment that’s a nice
feature you don’t often get in this class but taller drivers may want more
adjustment range I’m 6 feet tall and I drove with the chair nearly all the way
back a few of the center console storage nooks from the prior generation Escape
are now gone so are the large rear quarter windows that once helped your
view out the blind spot the 20/20 escape is a little harder to see out of and has
a little less storage space up front but neither factor is so bad as to become a
deal-breaker second row space might be a dealmaker as it’s no longer as cramped
as before a major shortcoming of the third generation Escape the seat now
features a sliding adjustment and with it slid all the way back adults should
find the second row roomy enough by our measurements luggage room behind the
second row is competitive with most compact SUVs though anyone with serious
cargo needs will want competitors like the Honda CRV or Volkswagen Tiguan both
of which have cavernous cargo areas many competitors also offer
wireless smartphone charging and more than the escapes to USB ports but Ford
says those are coming later on in the model year Ford pulls ahead with safety
and driver assist technology which was once a big drawback for the escape
automatic emergency braking wasn’t even available before and now it’s standard
and the available Lane centering steering in the 2020 escape works all
the way down to a stop a rarity in this class all versions of the escape except
that plug-in hybrid go on sale in fall of 2019 now the plug-in hybrid comes in
spring of 2020 pricing starts around $26,000 scoots all the way up to around
41 thousand dollars once you add all the options a little bit steep at the top
end versus in factory loaded competitors but competitive at the bottom end versus
where the field kind of starts now pricing for the plug-in hybrid still to
be announced stay tuned you can read plenty more about the 2020 escape all on