The reinvented all-new 2020 Ford Escape – with new platform, styling, powertrains and technology – is now available in dealer showrooms. 

Riding on Ford’s new modular architecture, the new Escape is slightly longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. It is more stylish, moving away from a typical SUV profile to more crossover with its sloping roofline. Two new EcoBoost engines, a hybrid plus an all-new plug-in hybrid – offer more performance and economy choices across the five trim levels.

The new Escape also features a competitive complement of connectivity, driver assist, convenience and safety features both standard and available.

In ‘full disclosure’ we own a 2013 Ford Escape SE.  The 2013 model year was the first year of the third generation Escape that is being replaced by this fourth generation 2020 Escape. Until now, we were satisfied with generation three.

If you, like us, thought you were perfectly happy with the old Escape – you really need to drive this new Escape.

 

First Impression

Recently, Ford made a handful of their new 2020 Escape SUV Crossovers available to local media for an afternoon in Dallas. 

At that same event, Ford made the new 2020 Explorer available.  As you can read in our report (“Ford puts muscle in their mid-size SUV….”) driving the new Explorer consumed a considerable amount of our time.  

With the limited time remaining, we decided to ‘go big’ and grab the top-of-the-line Escape – 2020 Titanium AWD – to drive test for an hour and see how it compared to the third generation Escape.

Simply, as we expected, no comparison. But it was more than that. The new Escape Titanium is like going from a window-only cabin to a full balcony w/concierge stateroom on a cruise ship. 

For our money this new Escape has most everything you need and likely, all you may want in a small SUV Crossover. 

 

2020 Escape Titanium AWD

The Escape Titanium we tested was in Desert Gold Metallic with Ebony interior.  It was fitted with 19-inch machined aluminum wheels with Dark Tarnish painted pockets and a Panoramic Vista Roof.

The powerplant was the 2.0L EcoBoost I4 with Auto Stop/Start.  It was mated to a rotary dial controlled 8-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with Paddle Shifters.  The drivetrain for Escape Titanium is AWD with automatic AWD/disconnect to enable two-wheel drive when most efficient. 

Our Escape was equipped with a driver selectable Drive Mode System.  The five modes are Normal, ECO, Sport, Slippery and Snow/Sand.  We noted that unlike some others, this system in Escape does not adjust suspension – just throttle, transmission shift points and traction control in each selected mode.

Exterior features included Automatic LED Headlamps, LED Fog Lamps, LED Signature Daytime Running Lights and LED Taillamps, Hands-Free Power Liftgate, Rear Spoiler, Roof Rack Side Rails and Rain-Sensing Wipers.

Inside, the Titanium was fitted out nicely in premium materials carefully integrated for a richer look. There is a new pop-up Heads-Up Display that the driver can select to use – or not. Other features included Ambient Lighting w/Illuminated Entry and Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control.

The front row seating features Leather Trimmed and Heated Sport Contour Buckets with 10-way power adjust for the driver and 6-way power for the passenger.

Of note is the 60/40 split fold down second-row seating which can be adjusted forward and back up to six-inches.

That adjustment allows for best in class rear seat legroom even when the front seats are all the way back.

An abundance of technology and functional features in the new Escape Titanium include a B&O 575-watt 10-speaker w/subwoofer Audio System, SYNC3 connectivity with 8-inch LCD Pinch-to-Zoom Capacitive Touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation compatibility, SiriusXM, Traffic and Travel Link. 

Also included was the new configurable 12.3-inch IP Driver Information Digital Screen, 12V Smart Power Points, 110V/150W AC Power Outlet and Ford Pass Connect with 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot for up to 10 users.

Other elements were Active Park Assist 2.0, Intelligent Access w/Push Button Start, Remote Start, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist (Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and Navigation), Rear View Camera and Reverse Sensing.

There was more, not the least of which is room inside, lots of it – well enough for five passengers plus their gear.

Now that we have ‘sampled’ the top-of-the-line 2.0L gas powered Escape, we look forward to time in the SEL or even SE – both with the 1.5L engine – in order to give you a more complete performance report. 

We are also looking to schedule time in the new full-hybrid (FHEV) Escape followed by the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – when it becomes available – in order to evaluate and report to our readers as well. 

 

2020 Escape Lineup

There are five trim levels S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium.  A new 1.3L Ecoboost (with cylinder deactivation) engine is standard on S, SE and SEL trims. The more powerful 2.0L Ecoboost is available on the SEL and standard on the Titanium. All EcoBoost engines feature Automatic Stop/Start.

The Escape Hybrid is back with an improved 2.5L Hybrid (FHEV) powertrain standard on the SE Sport and available on the Titanium.  New for 2020 – not available until Spring – is an available 2.5L plug-in hybrid (PHEV) power plant for the SE, SEL and Titanium models.

S, SE and SEL trims powered by the 1.5L EcoBoost are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.  They come as either FWD or with Ford’s Intelligent AWD w/disconnect) drivetrain.  The SEL and Titanium trims (2.0L EcoBoost) are Intelligent AWD drive (w/disconnect) only. They are mated to an 8-speed automatic with SelectShift and Paddle Shifters.

The FHEV Hybrid is FWD standard with AWD (w/disconnect) available.  It is mated to an Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).  The PHEV Plug-In Hybrid will be FWD only and coupled to the same CVT.

Powerful

The 2020 Escape is well powered at every trim level across all of the powertrain options

  • 1.5L EcoBoost – 180 horsepower / 177 ft.-lbs. of torque
  • 2.0L EcoBoost – 250 horsepower / 275 ft.- lbs. of torque
  • 2.5L FHEV Hybrid -198 estimated combined horsepower
  • 2.5L PHEV Hybrid -209 estimated combined horsepower

Fuel Efficient

Fuel economy ratings for the powertrains are as follows:

  • 1.5L EcoBoost
    • FWD 27/33/30 mpg city/highway/combined
    • AWD 26/31/28 mpg city/highway/combined
  • 2.0L EcoBoost
    • AWD 23/31/26 mpg city/highway/combined
  • 2.5L FHEV
    • FWD 44/37/41 mpg city/highway/combined
    • AWD 43/37/40 mpg city/highway/combined
  • 2.5L PHEV – not yet rated –

We note that Ford reports the FHEV Hybrid Escape fuel economy tops the Small SUV Class.

Escape Tows Too

When properly equipped (Class II Tow Trailer Tow Package) the Escape has moderate tow capacity – including the hybrid.

  • 1.5L EcoBoost – up to 2,000 pounds
  • 2.0L EcoBoost – up to 3,500 pounds
  • 2.5L Hybrid – up to 1,500 pounds

How Much?

Pricing for the new Escape starts at MSRP $24,885 for the nicely equipped S trim.  AWD upcharge across all models is $1,500. Selecting the available 2.0L EcoBoost adds $2,285 on those trims where it is an option. 

The SE Sport Hybrid (FHEV) MSRP is $28,255 and the Titanium Hybrid (FHEV) MSRP is $34,740.  Pricing for the PHEV plug-in hybrids is not yet available.

Delivery on the 2020 Escape is $1,195.

For more information on the 2020 Ford Escape – or to build one for yourself – go to https://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/escape/

KEY DATA (2020 Escape Titanium AWD as tested)

  • Model:                                        Escape
  • Trim:                                           Titanium
  • Class:                                         SUV Crossover
  • Segment:                                   Small
  • Seating:                                      5
  • MSRP:                                        $36,685              
  • As Tested:                                  $39,775 (delivered)         
  • Engine:                                       2.0L EcoBoost I4
  • Horsepower:                             250
  • Torque:                                      275 ft.-lbs.          .
  • Transmission:                            Intelligent 10-speed Automatic w/SelectShift
  • Drive System:                           AWD w/Disconnect
  • Wheel size                                 19-inch
  • Tow Capacity                            3,500 pounds
  • Fuel Economy                           23/31/26 mpg    city/highway/combined
  • Range:                                        489 miles highway (15.8 Gallon Tank)