We’ve been invited to the unveiling of the all-new 2020 Ford Escape. Here’s everything we learned on the next-generation Escape.
The last 18 months have not been easy at Ford. Since the company announced it was to focus its efforts on its SUV lineup and leave the auto market aside, there have been many reactions. Concerns too.
Ford may not be alone in this, but they have bigger fish to fry. And they cannot miss this.
This makes the exercise of the renewal of a product even more perilous. Take the Escape case that was unveiled last week. Aside from the F-150, the star of the Ford family, it’s the second-most-selling product for the American manufacturer.
A very big deal.
Worse, the model that is still at dealerships was last refreshed in 2013. An eternity!
Fortunately, the sales are still good, a sign it’s still liked. Last year, Ford sold around 400,000 of them. Not bad!
A new vehicle
Often, when a manufacturer reveals the new generation of a product, we can draw a line between the past and the present. The model may have retained a stylistic signature, traits, offer an evolving interior presentation, etc.
Forget that with the 2020 Escape. We started with a clean slate to give birth to a new model. In fact, there is a bit of continuity: the name. OK, OK, a second one with the size! The new Escape remains, of course, a player in the compact SUV category and will always have the mission to stand tall against the tenors that are the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
And Ford hopes that this time will be the right one.
As a result, they gave it the tools to make it happen.
As you can see from the photos of the vehicle, the 2020 Escape has a completely revised style. At the front, a trapezoid grille takes place and is clearly inspired by that of the Mustang. Under that grille, Ford has even borrowed an approach used with the GT, nothing less, within the framework of a marked concern for aerodynamics. The new Escape also rests closer to the ground and is also wider and slightly longer.
Ironically, it looks smaller than the outgoing model. And, an important detail, each variant has at least 200 pounds less.
Let’s talk about these variants. The Canadian market will have four, S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Add to that two hybrid versions, one of which can be plugged in to provide 50-kilometre of freedom in all-electric mode. Except for Escape Plug-In Hybrid, each can be delivered with AWD.
Yes, the regular hybrid version will see its four wheels spin.
To stay with the latter, it will be equipped with a new 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine. Paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the combined power of the engines (atmospheric and electric) will be 198 horsepower.
Interestingly, the lithium-ion battery used is cooled by a liquid which made possible reducing its size, so that it now rests under one of the rear seats. With the plug-in variant, the battery extends over the width of the vehicle in the same place. This means that no space is lost at the cargo space level.
The S, SE and SEL models will come standard with a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine. With a power output of 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque (93 octane), it also comes with a system capable of deactivating a cylinder, so that only two work at a steady speed.
A 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder makes its way into the 2020 Ford Escape Titanium. Ford estimates it will deliver 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque (93 octane). The towing capacity on the 2.0L EcoBoost is up to 3500 pounds while the capacity of the 1.5L engine will be 2000.
The hybrid? 1500. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is paired with EcoBoost engines.
It will, of course, be necessary to spend time driving the vehicle to arrive at more precise and detailed conclusions, but we can already welcome the addition of sliding seats in the second row, at least on the EcoBoost engines variants. Ford proudly claims that the new Escape will offer more space than any other competitor there. And, consequently, when the 2nd-row seats are pushed forward, the volume in the trunk will increase the loading possibilities. Ford promises that four golf bags can be slid behind.
Moreover, because the Escape is gaining volume everywhere, occupants will benefit from more clearance for the head, shoulders and hips.
More connected than ever
Finally, it was to be expected, the new version of the Escape will be generous in terms of connectivity. Same for security features.
Want examples? All models are equipped with the Co-Pilot360 system, which includes elements such as adaptive cruise control (able to stop and restart in heavy traffic) coupled with a lane departure system. Another element? The FordPass Connect that offers 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Better still, 10 devices will be able to link and stay connected up to 50 feet from the vehicle. Ford’s app also allows you to lock or unlock your 2020 Escape remotely, start it up, locate it, and view its vital features.
On the multimedia side, the SYNC 3 system offers more than ever, especially with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps, but also with Ford / Alexa systems and Waze. It is even possible to get the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system.
We could go on for a long time. In fact, there is not one aspect of the Escape that has been left out. The vehicle is important to Ford and the company proved that to us by sharing the seriousness of its reinvention.
On paper, frankly, it’s impressive. We will, of course, see how all this will translate on the road, but the engineers promise us the best Escape ever proposed.
We tend to believe them.
We will also have to wait for the 2020 Ford Escape pricing. We’re pretty sure the prices will be similar to those of the competition.
A story we will follow closely.