The 2020 Ford Escape made its worldwide debut April 2nd. The Escape is built on the company’s new global platform that made its first appearance on the redesigned Euro 2019 Ford Focus. This will be the first vehicle sold in North America using the new platform. 200 pounds lighter, and with four variants of the Escape, Ford has left no stone unturned in the redesign of this popular vehicle. Engine options include a base of 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, a hybrid model and an Escape plug-in hybrid.
The plug in hybrid is the biggest news, as Ford is bringing back electrification to the vehicle for 2020. Both the Escape Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid have a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle hybrid four-cylinder engine. Ford hasn’t released any official EPA numbers on the electric range for the plug-in but the target is 30-plus miles. The PHEV uses a 14.4kWh battery pack and has a combined 209 horsepower. Ford says the battery will reach a full charge on a Level 2 charger in about 3.5 hours.
Unlike some plug-ins that use EV power immediately, Ford has four modes to select from. "Auto EV" lets the car decide. "EV Now" forces the powertrain to exclusively use electric power. "EV Later" switches it to full gas power motoring, and then "EV Charge" allows the battery to charge while driving.
Ford has also updated its gas-only EcoBoost engine options for the Escape, producing a 6 percent boost in efficiency. Towing is rated for a maximum of 3,500 pounds for the 2.0-litre EcoBoost and 2,000 pounds with the 1.5 litre and 1,500 pounds for both hybrid versions. To further conserve fuel, the 1.5 litre EcoBoost also features cylinder deactivation, a Ford first for North America.
Ford has made changes to the exterior of the 2020 Escape as well. The vehicle has taken on an entirely new styling. It’s lower, wider and longer with a discernable grille. The interior has also been updated with increased space and enhanced visibility.
It also borrows the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster from the Explorer that will be available optionally. A Sync 3 infotainment system will play on the 8-inch infotainment screen for SE models and up, so it will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot 360 and makes available other driver assist features including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Lane-Centering.
The new Escape will be available in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium trim levels this fall. Every configuration except for the Plug-In Hybrid will be available initially, with the PHEV version following in spring 2020.