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2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape

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$24,885 — $36,835 MSRP
6
Photos
SUV
5 Seats
26-41 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2020 Ford Escape Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

The Ford Escape is a popular model in a popular class of compact SUVs, and Ford has redesigned it for the 2020 model year to mark its fourth generation. We got a chance to drive both the Escape and Escape Hybrid for the first time in Kentucky.

By Kelsey Mays

Late last year, a new hybrid version of the redesigned Toyota RAV4 improbably proved the fun choice for the SUV. Its chief rival, the new Ford Escape Hybrid, might deserve the same banner: It’s fun to drive, reasonably powerful and nearly as spacious as the non-hybrid Escape. Whether it’s as efficient as its Toyota rival remains to be seen, as official EPA mileage is still pending. But if Ford hits its target, the Escape Hybrid should come close to the hybrid RAV4.

Related: 2020 Ford Escape Review: Better on the Big Stuff

In redesigning the Escape for 2020, Ford returned an Escape Hybrid to the lineup for the first time since 2012. At the automaker’s Kentucky media preview, I drove hybrid and non-hybrid examples of the SUV, which go on sale in the fall of 2019. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own airfare and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events). A plug-in hybrid comes in the spring of 2020, but Ford didn’t furnish any examples to test.

I’ll focus on the Escape Hybrid here, but you can check out our full take on the non-hybrid Escape in a separate story.

Smooth Power

The Escape Hybrid combines a non-turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors that draw juice from a 1.1-kilowatt-hour battery under the floor. The combination makes 200 hp total, and the combination proved sprightly: Even with three adults aboard, a front-drive Escape Hybrid tackled moderate inclines with power to spare. Power comes with minimal delay when you press the accel...

Late last year, a new hybrid version of the redesigned Toyota RAV4 improbably proved the fun choice for the SUV. Its chief rival, the new Ford Escape Hybrid, might deserve the same banner: It’s fun to drive, reasonably powerful and nearly as spacious as the non-hybrid Escape. Whether it’s as efficient as its Toyota rival remains to be seen, as official EPA mileage is still pending. But if Ford hits its target, the Escape Hybrid should come close to the hybrid RAV4.

Related: 2020 Ford Escape Review: Better on the Big Stuff

In redesigning the Escape for 2020, Ford returned an Escape Hybrid to the lineup for the first time since 2012. At the automaker’s Kentucky media preview, I drove hybrid and non-hybrid examples of the SUV, which go on sale in the fall of 2019. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own airfare and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events). A plug-in hybrid comes in the spring of 2020, but Ford didn’t furnish any examples to test.

I’ll focus on the Escape Hybrid here, but you can check out our full take on the non-hybrid Escape in a separate story. 

Smooth Power

The Escape Hybrid combines a non-turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors that draw juice from a 1.1-kilowatt-hour battery under the floor. The combination makes 200 hp total, and the combination proved sprightly: Even with three adults aboard, a front-drive Escape Hybrid tackled moderate inclines with power to spare. Power comes with minimal delay when you press the accelerator, and the SUV feels reasonably punchy at full bore — closer to the non-hybrid Escape’s turbo 2.0-liter engine than its base engine, a turbo 1.5-liter. Transitions between engine and electric power are seldom noticeable, and Ford says electric propulsion is available at speeds as high as 85 mph.

That said, your experience may vary, as my driving impressions came using 93-octane premium fuel. Ford rates power figures for the hybrid using 87-octane regular. David Bevan, a technical specialist for electrified powertrain calibrations, said at the Kentucky event the Escape Hybrid would make more power on premium but declined to specify how much.

Like non-hybrid variants, the 2020 Escape Hybrid has light, precise steering. Our well-equipped test car, which rode 19-inch wheels and P225/55R19 tires, exhibited good shock absorption but some busyness at highway speeds. (Seventeen-inch wheels and higher-profile tires are available on lower trim levels.) Characteristic of the regenerative brakes in many hybrids, the Escape Hybrid has somewhat bricklike pedal feel, with strong resistance. It’s little worse than the grabby brakes in the non-hybrid Escape, however, and it’s more forgivable here.

EPA estimates for the Escape Hybrid are still pending, but Daniel Kok, Ford’s electric powertrain manager for hybrids, said the automaker targets 50 percent better mileage than the outgoing front-wheel-drive 1.5-liter Escape. That would mean around 39 mpg combined with FWD, a figure that lands in RAV4 Hybrid territory. Toyota might still have bragging rights once the numbers come, as the RAV4 Hybrid has standard AWD. The Escape Hybrid’s optional AWD adds around 150 pounds, which could knock down its EPA rating.

Similarities Otherwise

For full details on the interior, see our review of the non-hybrid Escape. Its hybrid sibling loses slight room in the backseat and cargo area, but the layout is otherwise the same. Major standard features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats and a power driver’s seat. Pile on the options and you can get lane-centering steering, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic moonroof and leather upholstery with a power passenger seat.

Features unavailable in the Escape include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a wireless smartphone charger. Ford says it’s adding the charger later in the 2020 model year, along with two more USB ports (for a total of four). All of that should roughly coincide with the spring 2020 launch of the Escape Plug-in Hybrid, officials told me. Ford targets all-electric range of more than 30 miles for the plug-in hybrid, courtesy of a 14.4-kwh battery pack. Such capacity should qualify the Escape Plug-in Hybrid for something close to the maximum federal tax credit of $7,500, and Ford officials claim the automaker is nowhere close to the sales quotas that would endanger such credits. Still, final EPA range, tax credits and pricing for the Escape Plug-in Hybrid are unlikely to materialize until early in the 2020 calendar year.

For now, the 2020 Escape Hybrid ranges from about $29,500 to just under $40,000 if you add all factory options. That fits just inside the non-hybrid 2020 Escape (around $26,000 to $41,000) range and lands roughly equivalent to the RAV4 Hybrid.

For its drivability and potential efficiency, the Escape Hybrid holds promise. But much of its appeal will depend on final EPA numbers — as well as the price of gasoline, which is relatively cheap as of this writing. Stay tuned.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
107 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Nice upgrade

by Jwil20 from Hutchinson, KS on September 12, 2020

I bought a new escape in 2006 and drove it for 13 years before trading in for my 2020 escape. The difference between then & now are incredible. Read full review

(5.0)

Ford escape

by Cassie from St. Louis on September 9, 2020

Run smoothly everything I wanted. Good mileage has all features. Love the colored. Dark persian green. Sun roof. SUV never owned one will uses for traveling out of town. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2020 Ford Escape currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2020 Ford Escape S

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
good

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Front Crash Prevention
superior

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Headlights

Overall Rating
acceptable

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side

Overall Evaluation
good
Structure and Safety Cage
acceptable

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Driver Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Passenger Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Ford

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Latest 2020 Escape Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Escape received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.