Ford has always been a trailblazer. From the first line of popular vehicles to their ability to innovate year after year, decade after decade, model after model. Ford has remained a top contender throughout it all, even amidst flops, and challenges like the near-collapse of the auto industry after 2008. Ford is continuing to adapt and change the name of the game even today. As automakers turn towards compact utility, fuel efficiency, and mind-blowing types of automotive technology, Ford continues to break ahead with its all-new 2020 Ford Escape. Ford dealers across the country and beyond are raving about the popularity of Ford’s reimagined compact SUV. Once boxy, rather unwieldy, and only just okay, Ford has taken a staple in their family lineup and reshaped it into something entirely new.
The Ford Escape of today looks very different than the Ford Escape of 2009. While sticking to some of the clear principles of this long-running compact SUV, Ford continues to break the mold in more ways than just one.
A Steady Evolution of Design
Take a trip to a used Ford lot, and you might spot the 2009 Ford Escape. Once upon a time, the Ford Escape was a boxy traditionalist, that may have been groundbreaking at the time, but has aged rather poorly. This can be expected of many models of mainstream automakers; however, the transition between then and now is rarely as dramatic as it is in the 2020 Ford Escape. The newest iteration of the Ford Escape is the culmination of over a decade of steady redesigns. What we’re presented with is a compact SUV, that isn’t actually all that compact.
Measuring in at roughly 181” in length, and 74” wide, the newest Ford Escape is on par with competitors, which is good. At first glance, the 2020 Ford Escape can be confused as a hatchback sedan, due to its curved design, and peculiarly charming front face. The configurations for the Ford Escape is quite thorough, with drivers given a choice of either the S, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium. Starting out at around an MSRP of $24,885, the 2020 Ford Escape is well within the economic range. Although, when you peel back the first layer of detail, you’ll realize that other automakers offer a whole lot less at that same price range.
Powertrain Variety is a Good Thing
Far too many other automakers make the mistake of providing a great baseline compact SUV, however, don’t provide much in the way of powertrain customization. While the 2020 Ford Escape is by no means a multi-faceted power-delivering beast, Ford does a decent job of providing you with a bountiful number of options.
When you enter the game at the base model, you’ll find a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine that performs well with 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5L comes standard with front-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission that does well on the road. While the base model performance of the 2020 Ford Escape will get the job done, drivers who want something on the beefier side should opt-in for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and all-wheel-drive. This 2.0L engine is rated at 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft worth of torque, competing with some V6 engines. The all-wheel-drive is also superb, allowing you to swap between five different drive modes: normal, eco, sport, slippery, snow, and sand. Fortunately, both engines provide a considerable amount of tow-power, with the 1.5L option topping out at 2,000 pounds and the 2.0L clocking in at 3,500 pounds.
And that’s not all. If you’re the kind of driver that wants the utility of an SUV but doesn’t want to expend the hefty price of gas, the Ford Escape has an answer for you in the form of a hybrid alternative. The Ford Escape SE Sport and the Titanium come as standard with a hybrid powertrain that utilizes a 2.5-liter engine, an electric motor, and a 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This combined gas and electric power expend a considerable 200 horsepower and 155 lb-ft worth of torque thanks to the help of a CVT transmission. Drivers can expect around 41 mpg on average, which is pretty good for an SUV.
So, as you can tell, Ford provided performance options for every kind of compact SUV driver. That said, it isn’t the only thing that makes the Ford Escape a peculiar stand out in a world becoming ever crowded with the compact SUV build.
Plenty of Room to Stretch Your Legs
The interior cabin is typically where the good SUVs are separated from the bad ones. While one model may have some serious power beneath its hood, what really matters is how much it can store within its chassis. The 2020 Ford Escape doesn’t let us down in this capacity either. In the back, you’ll find 37.5 cubic inches of storage space, which can expand to 65.4 cubic inches if you fold those rear seats down. That is a considerable amount of space, especially when you compare the Ford Escape to some of its competitors. The interior cabin is also well dressed in durable cloth upholstery on base models; however, it can be fitted to leather at a small upcharge.
Innovative Tech Where it Counts
Technology is another area worth paying clear attention to, and fortunately, the 2020 Ford Escape passes this test with flying colors as well. For that base entry price, you’ll get LED taillights, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, a 4.2-inch LCD screen, automatic emergency braking, and those nifty driving modes that we mentioned earlier. It’s a great start, especially considering that some vehicles don’t even offer automotive emergency braking in their base models.
If you want more, though, you can certainly get it in the 2020 Ford Escape. Spend above that entry price, and you’ll find things broaden considerably. This compact Ford SUV can be equipped with features like a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, keyless ignition, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, and a sprawling 12.3-inch digital instruments cluster. That’s not to mention the additional safety features you’ll find as well, including lane-centering control, a head-up display, and blind-spot monitors. If you’re willing to pay the price, you can build a Ford compact SUV that breaks all expectations in terms of performance, utility, and onboard technology.
What We Think of the 2020 Ford Escape
In a field already jam-packed with compact SUVs, the 2020 Ford Escape is certainly a breath of fresh air. It is not every day that we find a family lineup filled with both gasoline and hybrid drivetrains at an affordable price. There are also some solid baseline features that are considered premium by other automakers. While we would have liked to maybe see some of the higher-priced safety features on lower-end models, it is a small complaint to have considering that low entry price. While it’s easy to see that we’re fans of the 2020 Ford Escape, we highly suggest reaching out to a Ford dealer and seeing this SUV for yourself. To us, the best way to know whether a car is right for you is to sit behind the wheel, even if its something like the 2020 Ford Escape.