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We drive the 2020 Ford Escape

by Ali Arsham
Tuesday, January 14, 2020


2020 Ford Escape
2020 Ford Escape

Ford says that the new Ford Escape brings style and substance to small SUVs.

Usually that is just marketing talk trying to dress up a bad car.  In this case, that description describes the new Escape exactly. The new Escape is much like the old one but now it feels more Audi like especially in the Titanium trim level that we tested.

The Escape debuted on North American roads for the 2001 model year quickly becoming America’s best-selling small SUV. For the 2005 model year, Ford became the first U.S. manufacturer to offer a hybrid SUV when it introduced the Escape Hybrid.

Between 2004 and 2012, 114,000 Escape Hybrids were sold. For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a third-generation Escape, with European styling shared with its global cousin, Kuga. The change proved popular, and Escape remained one of the top-selling vehicles in the Ford showroom.

To date, Ford has sold more than 4.5 million Escapes in North America and is the company’s second best-selling vehicle in the United States, trailing only the F-Series trucks


For 2020, there are two hybrid versions and two gasoline engine versions available. If you don’t want a hybrid, the two gasoline engine choices are a 1.5 liter EcoBoost three cylinder engine with 181 hp that is good for 31 mpg on the highway (33 mpg with front wheel drive) or the 2.0 liter EcoBoost four cylinder that puts out 250 hp and matches the three cylinder engine’s fuel economy on the highway.

New powertrains and transmission systems, a reduction in weight, improved aerodynamics and updated suspension system all help make this the best Escape ever.

Our Escape’s 8-speed automatic transmission provided smooth, responsive shifting while the 250 hp engine was very strong and provided power at will thanks to that great transmission. 

The only thing that we found annoying was the rotary knob shifter. It does not offer the feel of a lever so it forces you to look down and there is a short delay for the transmission to engage.

The new Escape has an all-new suspension and improved isolation with a new isolated rear subframe. This helps the car feel much more solid and quiet, giving it a luxury car feel. It also improves handling and stability.

“This new vehicle performs like no other Escape before,” said Jim Hughes, Escape chief program engineer.

“It’s quick, it’s responsive and, in staying true to the standard set by three generations of Escapes before it, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to drive.”


Dashboard Display
Dashboard Display

Sliding second-row seats models allow rear-seat passengers to enjoy best-in-class maximum second-row legroom with the seats in the full rearward position, plus increased knee clearance and footwell length for a more comfortable ride.

With the second-row seats in the full forward position, the rear cargo area extends roughly six inches to offer 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Driver Assist

New cars these days are full of technology and the Escape is no exception. These include Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist. Active Park Assist 2.0 allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with the touch of a button, without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas or brake pedal.

Evasive Steering Assist detects a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and provides steering support that can assist the driver to avoid an imminent collision.

If you ask us, the driver should not need computers to do these things but that is the world that we live in.



FordPass Connect is a standard feature that provides 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service.

FordPass Connect also gives drivers remote access to their Escape, allowing them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, locate and start the vehicle, as well as monitor key vehicle diagnostics.

Drivers and passengers can keep compatible mobile devices charged with an available wireless charging pad in the front center console.

Also available are type A and type C USB charging ports as well as three 12-volt charging sockets.

Our car also had Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. We were also happy to have the 575-watt 10-speaker sound system by Bang & Olufsen.


Escape prices start out at a very reasonable $24,885 for the S model. Our top of the line Titanium model starts out at $33,550. An extra $10,000 in options is hard to swallow but the extras really make a big difference but the good news is that you have a choice and you can select the right Escape for your needs and that is always a win.


Gas Mileage26 mpg City/31 mpg Hwy
EngineIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3, 1.5 L
EPA ClassSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD
Style NameS AWD
DrivetrainAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity5
Passenger Doors4
Body StyleSport Utility
TransmissionTransmission: 8-Speed Automatic


Room to spare
Room to spare
EPA Classification Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD
Weight Information
Base Curb Weight (lbs)3464
Interior Dimensions
Front Shoulder Room (in)57.6
Second Hip Room (in)53.3
Front Head Room (in)40
Second Leg Room (in)38.8
Passenger Capacity5
Front Hip Room (in)55.2
Front Leg Room (in)42.4
Second Shoulder Room (in)56
Passenger Volume (ft³)104
Second Head Room (in)39.3
Exterior Dimensions
Track Width, Front (in)62.4
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in)74.1
Wheelbase (in)106.7
Track Width, Rear (in)61.8
Height, Overall (in)66.1
Length, Overall (in)180.5
Liftover Height (in)28.1
Cargo Area Dimensions
Cargo Box (Area) Height (in)34.8
Cargo Area Width @ Beltline (in)57.3
Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³)37.5
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 1 (in)68.5
Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³)65.4
Cargo Box Width @ Wheelhousings (in)41.4
Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 2 (in)37.8
Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³)37.5

Fuel Economy

Fuel Tank
Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal)14.7
EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG)31
Fuel Economy Est-Combined (MPG)28
EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG)26

Performance Specs

SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM180
Displacement1.5 L/91
Engine Order Code996
SAE Net Torque @ RPM177
Fuel SystemGasoline Direct Injection
Engine TypeIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3
Trans Description Cont. AgainNA
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1)1.45
Eighth Gear Ratio (:1)0.62
Trans Type8
Third Gear Ratio (:1)3.01
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1)3.81
DrivetrainAll Wheel Drive
First Gear Ratio (:1)4.69
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1)1.00
Trans Description Cont.Automatic w/OD
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1)1.92
Seventh Gear Ratio (:1)0.75
Trans Order Code448
Second Gear Ratio (:1)3.31
Reverse Ratio (:1)2.96
Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in)12.8
Disc - Front (Yes or )Yes
Rear Drum Diam x Width (in)NA
Brake Type4-Wheel Disc
Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in)12
Disc - Rear (Yes or )Yes
Brake ABS System4-Wheel
Drum - Rear (Yes or )NA
Steering TypeRack-Pinion
Rear Tire SizeP225/65HR17
Spare Tire Order CodeNA
Front Tire Order CodeNA
Spare Tire SizeCompact
Front Tire SizeP225/65HR17
Rear Tire Order CodeNA
Rear Wheel MaterialSteel
Spare Wheel Size (in)Compact
Front Wheel Size (in)17 X 7.5
Spare Wheel MaterialSteel
Front Wheel MaterialSteel
Rear Wheel Size (in)17 X 7.5
Suspension Type - Front (Cont.)Strut
Suspension Type - FrontStrut
Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.)Short And Long Arm
Suspension Type - RearShort And Long Arm

Safety Features

Air Bag-Frontal-DriverYes
Air Bag-Frontal-PassengerYes
Air Bag-Passenger Switch (On/Off)No
Air Bag-Side Body-FrontYes
Air Bag-Side Body-RearNo
Air Bag-Side Head-FrontYes
Air Bag-Side Head-RearYes
Child Safety Rear Door LocksYes
Daytime Running LightsYes
Traction ControlYes
Night VisionNo
Rollover Protection BarsNo
Fog LampsNo
Parking AidNo
Tire Pressure MonitorYes
Back-Up CameraYes
Stability ControlYes
Other FeaturesAdvanceTrac w/Roll Stability Control Electronic Stability...
ABS And Driveline Traction Control
Side Impact Beams
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
Ford Co-Pilot360 - Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Blind...
Ford Co-Pilot360 - Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and...
Ford Co-Pilot360 - Lane-Keeping Assist Lane Keeping Assist
Ford Co-Pilot360 - Lane-Keeping Assist Lane Departure Warning
Low Tire Pressure Warning
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
Safety Canopy System Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
Airbag Occupancy Sensor
Driver Knee Airbag
Mykey System -inc: Top Speed Limiter, Audio Volume Limiter,...
Rear Child Safety Locks
Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3...
Back-Up Camera

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