A grey 2020 Ford Escape is driving on a dirt road with mountains in the background.

What to Expect From the New and Improved 2020 Ford Escape


Over the years, the Ford Escape has risen to the heights of SUV popularity, starting with its introduction as a 2001 model in the year 2000. Since then, it has evolved over three successful generations leading up to the innovative vehicle that’s on the market today. The first generation was developed jointly with Mazda, built on the Ford CD2 platform. It offered all-wheel-drive and a car-like feel during a time when large SUVs were built more like trucks. The 2005 model year of the Ford Escape debuted the first hybrid SUV that the market had ever seen. Today, the 2020 Ford Escape marks the fourth generation of this respected SUV. Forward-thinking safety and tech features, along with smart design elements, help to uphold the Ford Escape’s valued legacy. Here are some details on the latest version.

Trim Levels and Build

The 2020 Ford Escape comes in five different trim levels. The S, SE, SE Sport Hybrid, SEL, and Titanium range in MSRP from $24,885-$33,400. There are four engine line-ups to choose from. The first is the standard 1.5-liter EcoBoost Engine with auto start-stop technology to minimize fuel consumption during city traffic. When you brake, the engine shuts off to conserve gas. After stepping off the brake or onto the accelerator, the engine revs up again for a speedy start. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that takes you seamlessly from 0 to highway speeds. This engine can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Next in line is the slightly bigger 2.0- liter EcoBoost Engine. This engine option is also equipped with fuel-efficiency start-stop technology. Its eight-speed select shift transmission offers drivers with the best of both worlds between a manual and an automatic. Adding the Class II Trailer Tow Package to this engine enables you to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

A side view of the all-new red 2020 Ford Escape driving on a city street past buildings.

Two hybrid engine options round out your selection. The Hybrid 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine has an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission and an 88kW electric motor. As part of its clever design, Ford places the liquid-cooled lithium ion battery outside of the vehicle cabin. Its location under the second row seats prevents it from taking away valuable cargo space. This battery is much smaller than older versions, coming in at less than a third the size of that from previous hybrid models.

The second hybrid option is the 2.5-liter plug-in engine. A Level 1/Level 2 AC charging port keeps this vehicle powered up. The Level 1 charger is 110 volts and requires about ten to eleven hours to regain a full charge. The Level 2 charger is much faster, with 240 volts it can get a full charge in just 3.5 hours. Again, Ford’s smart design allows this battery to be stored underneath the vehicle, sparing interior space. Properly equipped hybrids can still tow up to 1,500 pounds.

Drivetrains and Modes

All-Wheel-Drive Disconnect is an example of the Ford Escape’s intuitive ability to adapt without the need for driver intervention. This technology saves fuel by disabling the rear driveline, switching back to front-wheel drive when appropriate. During clear driving conditions, there’s no need for the added power behind all-wheel-drive. When front-wheel-drive is sufficient, it is the most economical way to drive. Even if you don’t opt for a hybrid or hybrid plug-in, the Ford Escape makes every effort to save you money on gas.

Selectable drive modes allow you to choose how the Escape feels to drive based on your handling preferences and current terrain. Five diverse modes include Eco, Sport, Normal, Slippery, and Deep Snow/Sand. By modifying the electronic stability control system and traction control system, these driving modes customize your drive as needed. For everyday driving, Normal mode will do the trick. If you want to save on gas, switch into Eco. Sport mode optimizes your steering response, stiffens up the suspension system, and improves control. For bad weather or off-roading, the Slippery and Deep Snow/Sand modes will ease your mind and help you navigate safely.

Technology and Convenience

The standard Ford Co-Pilot 360 connects you with the latest driver assistance programs. Pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking alerts you with warning flashes and alert sounds to help you respond swiftly to pedestrians and other drivers. Ford’s blind spot information system with cross traffic alert uses radar to spot nearby vehicles that you may miss. An indicator light on your side mirror gives you a heads up that someone is beside you. When backing out of a parking spot or driveway, cross traffic alert senses vehicles behind you. The Ford Co-Pilot has your back when it comes to safety.

Hands are on the wheel of a 2020 Ford Escape with a drivers display and a Heads-Up display shown on the windshield.

For a little help with parking, Park Assist 2.0 manages to fit your vehicle into parallel and reverse perpendicular spots without your help. Simply push a button, and this SUV parks itself. When you’re driving through traffic, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology senses what’s going on around you and adjusts your speed based on surrounding traffic conditions. Evasive steering assist provides steering support to quickly avoid an impending accident, and lane-keeping assist provides a second set of eyes to keep you from veering off track. The 2020 Escape can also be fitted with automatic high beam headlamps. These switch on automatically when it’s too dark to see and dim for oncoming traffic as needed.

For more tech inside your vehicle, the Sync 3 provides a handy touchscreen that responds to voice commands. Hook it up with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to use your phone hands-free. Search for music, adjust the cabin’s temperature, and access navigation to help guide your path. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can even have packages delivered straight to your car. This Key by Amazon program leaves items for you in your vehicle if you’re away on vacation or don’t want them sitting out on your doorstep. It seems that Ford has pretty much thought of everything a modern SUV owner could ask for in the impressive 2020 Escape.

Redesigned for 2020

As the first model in the fourth generation of the Escape, the 2020 vehicle has been fully restyled inside and out. A sportier exterior showcases its powerful engines and strong towing capacity. The interior is the result of meticulous attention to detail, with every decision having been carefully considered in order to maximize space and optimize convenience. The center console uses a rotary gear shift dial to improve front-row comfort. Second row seats can be split 60/40 and have a useful new sliding feature, and legroom and cargo space can be opened up as needed. On the SE, SEL and Titanium trims, a panoramic vista roof lets in natural light. This also includes a fixed rear skylight for all passengers to enjoy the view.

The Ford Escape has continued to grow and develop from its original inception in 2001. It has been able to change with the times, remaining a pioneer in its class. This latest generation in 2020 is certainly no exception. With the perfect combination of practicality and high-end features, the 2020 Escape makes the thought of buying a new SUV for 2020 a very appealing proposition.