5 things to know about the 2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape SEL 3.JPG
2020 Ford Escape (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

The Ford Escape enters its fourth generation for 2020, and it takes on sleek Euro styling and more sedan-like driving characteristics.

This all-new SUV is trying to capture sedan fans who want a little more flexibility but need a little more agility for urban spaces.

Be sure to read our first-look review if you want our complete take on this new vehicle, but for now, here’s five things you need to know.

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are not standard

The base Escape S trim has a 4.2-inch LCD audio display instead of the 8-inch touch screen that is included starting at the SE trim. So, while the base trim will get Sync, two USB ports and a 4G LTE hotspot that connects up to 10 devices, it will get neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto.

When you level-up to the SE trim (+$2,210), you will get not only the 8-inch screen but also CarPlay and Auto – as well as a lot of other up-level convenience features. Think heated front seats, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, evasive steer assist [comma] and passive entry.

This tells me Ford thinks most people will ignore the base trim and head straight for the SE.

The base engine is a 3-cylinder Ecoboost

One of the best things about the Escape lineup is the variability of powertrain options. The base engine is a capable 1.5-liter 3-cylinder Ecoboost that delivers 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. For the S and SE, this is the only engine option.

But at launch, there are two other powertrain options to consider: the hybrid and the up-level Ecoboost. The hybrid variant will come equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine paired with an electric motor. It will deliver a combined output of 198 horsepower. This will be the standard powertrain in the SE Sport and the Titanium trims.

The up-level gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Ecoboost that delivers 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This is an option-only engine and will be available in the SEL and Titanium trims.

Starting price increases by $780

All the Escape trims will have some kind of price increase for the 2020 model year, but when you consider Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety suite is now standard, the increase not only makes sense but also is worth it.

Specific price increases per trim are as follows:

  • S: +$780
  • SE: +$595
  • SEL: +$810
  • Titanium: +$780

The cargo area will fit up to 6 golf bags

Though the exterior proportions of the 2020 Escape aren’t grossly different from the previous generation, engineering tweaks have allowed for more interior volume. So, in addition to rear seat legroom that rivals a Chevrolet Suburban, you get 37.5 cubic-feet of cargo volume in the trunk area – behind the rear seats.

During the vehicle walkarounds, the 2020 Escape was on display with four golf bags stacked in the back. That means four adult men can fit in the same vehicle with their golf bags on the way to an outing.

Later, Ford peeps posted pictures on Twitter of six golf bags stacked in the back.

There will be a PHEV version

The most intriguing thing about the new Escape in my book is that it not only brings back the hybrid but also promises a plug-in hybrid version for the first time.

Ford hasn’t released too many details about this version since it won’t make its debut until spring. But it will have the same 2.5-liter engine as the hybrid, it’ll deliver 209 horsepower with the combined output, and it will have about 30 miles of all-electric range.

The PHEV will be available in the SE, SEL and Titanium trims.

The Bottom Line

The 2020 Ford Escape will pack a punch – and it needs to, considering the fact Ford is hoping it will replace all the sedans it just cut from its lineup.

With SUV flexibility and sedan drivability, it has a real shot to keep and woo sedan owners.

Plus, with standard safety and a plethora of powertrain options, the new Escape has a lot to offer anyone who might be cross-shopping the Toyota RAV4 ($25,650) and Chevrolet Equinox ($23,800).

For more information about the 2020 Ford Escape, be sure to visit our full first-look review.