Is it an SUV? Is it a car? By appearances, the redesigned 2020 Ford Escape looks like a little of both. Technically, this is just a mid-cycle refresh of the third-generation Escape. But this feels like a significant change. The new Escape is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessors. This is a smart move. In America’s rush to get into SUVs, we’ve left behind a lot of the beauty and advantages of four-door sedans. The 2020 Ford Escape seeks to embrace both worlds. So let’s take a look at the 60/40 blend of SUV and sedan that is the 2020 Ford Escape in this preview guide.
New, Sleek Look
This redesign is a bit of a gamble, but we understand the logic. We say it’s a gamble because the Escape is Ford’s second-best selling model. But we think the 2020 Ford Escape’s redesign is a safe bet. The Escape’s sleeker, lower design means that the Ford SUV keeps its crossover dimensions but moves away from a rugged design. Why? As consumers have proven time and again in the popularity of increasingly aerodynamic compact and subcompact crossovers, they buy SUVs not because of their ruggedness but because of the space. That’s space for kids and groceries, head- and legroom to stretch out in, and a height that means greater visibility on the road.
The result is a more aerodynamic look with plenty of flowing lines. And, yes, the Escape is actually bigger than ever. There’s more rear legroom, and 2.5 cubic feet more cargo room. If you wanted the look of a sedan but the feel of an SUV, your dreams have come true.
The exterior redesign isn’t the only thing that’s new about the 2020 Ford Escape. Pop the hood of the starter trim levels and you’ll see a whole new engine. We’re talking about the 3-cylinder 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine, delivering 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That’s 12 more horsepower and 7 more lb-ft of torque than the old engine, a boost all of us can get behind.
There’s also two all-new hybrid engines, following the recent trend of Ford giving hybrid options to much of their vehicle lineup. The first hybrid engine is a gasoline-electric setup pairing a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder gas engine with a 1.1-kWh electric motor good for 198 horsepower. That option comes only in the SE Sport and Titanium trim levels. Even better, there’s a plug-in hybrid combining a 2.5-liter gas engine with a 14.4-kWh electric motor for 209 horsepower in the Escape SE, SEL, and Titanium.
Finally, there’s a powerful and agile 4-cylinder 2-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine generating 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This one is available in the SEL and Titanium (where it is standard) trim levels.
Those are the highlights, but there’s plenty more to love about the 2020 Ford Escape, including the new Escape Sport SE trim level, new driver aids and security features, and new LED lighting so you can light up the night.