The new 2020 Ford Escape takes a huge step forward in the competitive compact crossover market with a new platform, styling and powertrains. It’s now being built on Ford’s new modular architecture, and is the first vehicle riding on it to come to the United States. Despite being slightly bigger than the Escape it replaces, the 2020 model drives more like a car than ever before, reminding us — in a good way — of a Ford Focus with increased ground clearance. Indeed, while it provides the elevated feel and seating position of a crossover its driving dynamics are a bit more plucky and entertaining than many other similarly sized utes.
At the same time, the 2020 Escape offers more passenger space, improved comfort and extra technology (including standard safety tech), allowing it to better align with top competitors. It’s also more efficient, especially the Escape Hybrid, which returns to the line-up after taking a generation off. In general, it’s well worth a test drive.
What’s new for 2020?
The Escape went through a clean-sheet redesign for 2020. Its purpose as a compact crossover has not changed, but Ford decided to shake things up from a styling and powertrain perspective. All the dimensions are more favorable for utility and driving dynamics — it’s longer, lower and wider — but Ford still wanted to keep the light off-roading ruggedness intact.
An Escape Hybrid is once again available, but it’ll joined next year by a plug-in hybrid as well. Ford is targeting about 30 miles of pure electric range with the plug-in. The other two turbocharged gas-only engine options carryover with updates for 2020.
How big is the new Escape?
The 2020 Escape has gotten bigger, measuring 180.5 inches in total length. This slots it right in the middle of its competition in terms of all-out size, but the Escape has a few tricks to maximize interior space.
The 2020 Escape is roomy inside, particularly in the back seat. The second row now slides 6 inches fore and aft, and in its rearmost position, offers a class-leading 40.7 inches of legroom. In the real world, that means a 6-footer will have no problem getting comfortable in the back seat behind another 6-footer in the front. If you position those rear seats as far forward as they’ll go, thereby significantly reducing rear legroom, there’s as much as 33.5 cubic-feet behind them.
What features are available and what’s the Escape’s price?
The 2020 Escape will be offered in S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium trim levels. A base Escape S costs $26,050. AWD is an additional $1,500 on all trims. That S nets you a few notable standard features, including Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, auto high-beams and automatic emergency braking. Then, there are two USB charging ports and a WiFi hotspot good for up to 10 devices.