If Ford did not make full-size trucks, its big-seller would be a small SUV
The Ford Escape is one of America's top-selling brand's most popular 'not a pickup' models, despite being one of the oldest and the smallest vehicles in its class. That's about to change with the all-new 2020 Escape, which goes on sale this fall.
The completely redesigned Escape has a more roomy passenger cabin that the current edition and a sliding second-row seat that can provide the most legroom in the segment, or be shifted forward to increase cargo space. A new-look dashboard features a tablet-style infotainment system augmented with analogue knobs for volume, tuning and climate control plus an available digital cluster instrument and a head-up display projected onto a pop-up screen in front of the steering wheel.
Several powertrains will be offered including 180 hp 1.5-liter 3-cylinder and 250-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engines with 8-speed automatic transmissions, and a 198 hp hybrid that combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor and CVT transmission. Next spring Ford will add a plug-in hybrid to the lineup with over 30 miles of all-electric range.
The plug-in will only come in a front-wheel drive because the battery pack below the The rear seats do not allow a drive shaft, but the other powertrains will be available with all-wheel drive and tow ratings of up to 2,000 pounds. The hybrid without a plug will be standard on the top of the Titanium trim line and the only powertrain available on the SE Sport, highlighting its "no-compromise" blend of power and performance, according to Ford SUV marketing manager Craig Patterson  The Escape will also come standard with Ford's new co-pilot360 suite of electronic driver aids, which incorporates automatic emergency brakes and lane-keeping assist. A self-parking system can be added that is bundled with an evasive steering system that scans the road ahead and uses gentle tugs on the steering wheel to guide the driver around the obstacles during an emergency maneuver
Ford sold over 270,000 Escapes in 2018 and has moved more than 300,000 in previous years, but Patterson does not expect it will build much more of the new model despite Ford's elimination of several sedans and hatchbacks from its lineup.
The Escape will be joined by a more ruggedly-designed, off-road capable model built on the same platform late next year that's nicknamed the "baby Bronco" and expected to appeal to an expanded customer base
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Fuel economy and pricing for the 2020 Escape will be revealed closer to its on-date date, but the current version starts at $ 25,200.