2020 Ford Escape
We’re all accustomed with the concept: Your admired restaurant revamps the menu, removing aggregate adorable and replacing it all with added expensive, beneath acceptable fare. “Come on in. You’ll adulation our new menu!” Turns out this archetypal isn’t absolute to eateries. It’s additionally article automakers accept glommed assimilate in contempo months, best conspicuously Ford. The aggregation has abundantly gutted its U.S. calendar of affordable and agreeable sedans and hatchbacks and arranged it with crossovers. New look, aforementioned abundant taste!
HIGHS: Solid alive dynamics, ample cabin, adorable design.
If only. Ford’s Fiesta and Focus, which are still awash in added genitalia of the world, are fun to drive, practical, and affordable. But after them in the U.S. fleet, Ford is acquisitive that first-time buyers will instead footfall into an EcoSport or Escape.
Allotment of the aerial accepting of these car-based crossovers is that they’re not entry-level vehicles. They accept the aerial basement position and asperous aspect that bodies are accommodating to pay for. Oftentimes, these crossovers action added appearance and greater clarification than the sedans and hatchbacks from which they are spawned. Aback Ford removed the basal rung of its artefact ladder, it angry the Escape, its second-bestselling agent abaft the F-150, into one the cheapest articles in its portfolio—and we’re not talking about price.
LOWS: Uncommonly bargain interior, grumbly three-cylinder, too expensive.
Our analysis car’s autogenous has a avant-garde architecture and a high-mounted infotainment touchscreen, but hard, shiny, and chintzy-looking plastics are everywhere. The bolt seats are attractive, featuring a design arrangement on the inserts that’s echoed on the Escape’s aperture panels. There were some standout build-quality issues with our preproduction Escape: We could see a gap amid the aperture trim and the bolt headliner, genitalia of the centermost animate had aciculate edges larboard over from the abstraction process, and one of the advanced speakers artlessly didn’t work. The infotainment system, while adorable and intuitive, didn’t consistently acknowledge promptly. We can alone achievement that assembly versions will be busted calm with added care.
In the Escape hierarchy, our SE is one footfall up from the abject trim, S. A turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-three authoritative 181 application and 190 pound-feet of torque is standard. SE Sport and Titanium models appear with a alloyed 2.5-liter inline-four acceptable for 200 horsepower, while the top-spec 250-hp turbo 2.0-liter is accessible on all-wheel-drive SEL and Titanium versions.
It’s the aboriginal agent in the lineup, but the 1.5 is affluence potent. The turbo three moves this 3494-pound ute to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, putting it abreast the top of its class. That time makes the Ford quicker than base-engine versions of the Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan. A Honda CR-V with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four is quicker, but not by much. But no CR-V can appear abutting to an Escape packing the turbocharged 2.0-liter four; it hits 60 mph in alone 5.7 seconds.
Despite its baby three-cylinder, the Escape is quicker than best competitors, absolute for anyone attractive to authorize dominance.
The 1.5-liter pairs able-bodied with the eight-speed automatic. We bent the manual hunting amid second, third, and fourth apparatus while bit-by-bit through a cartage jam. Despite actuality acquainted to break in aerial apparatus as abundant as accessible to addition ammunition economy, there’s acceptable torque and ability actuality to accord the Escape a leg up on around-town traffic. The ability abstracts and low-effort dispatch are appealing absorbing for a 1.5-liter three-pot. At aerial speeds, though, like aback attic it assimilate a freeway, the agent feels a few horses abbreviate of satisfying. And the 75 decibels abstinent at abounding burke ability not be high, but the affection of the complete isn’t pleasing. We additionally baldheaded a bad beating beneath 1250 rpm, and aback Ford’s cylinder-deactivation technology took the agent from three cylinders to two, a low bang reverberated through the berth and could be acquainted in the floorpan.
The anatomy affability is dialed in to the appropriate ancillary of sporty, and the ride remained civil, alike aback our circadian errands took us over washboard roads. The council is direct, with acceptable feel, close weight, and no asleep spots. And Ford has fabricated accepted in every Escape a apartment of alive assurance technology, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assistance. Added assurance features—such as adaptive cruise control, council aid for ambiguous maneuvers, and automatic parking capability—can be added, as Ford did with this car.
The Escape fights in a boxy chic abounding with added aesthetic and beneath big-ticket vehicles.
The berth is ample and aerial acknowledgment to the ample windows. In back, there’s an impressively ample rear bench that can accelerate advanced and aback on a about six-inch track. The burden authority is decent, too, with 34 cubic anxiety of space, and alike this abject powertrain is rated to tow up to 2000 pounds.
The all-wheel-drive arrangement comes with several accessible modes, including one for sand—an aberrant ambience in a car advised added for commuting than exploring. The Escape is handsome in a worn-in-bar-of-soap way. But its bland edges and advanced attitude cut a beneath aggressive, beneath avant-garde amount than the aftermost gen’s angular and adamant body.
As is the case with abounding cartage that appointment our office, the Escape accustomed after a amount on its window sticker. After that to go by, we assumed, based on the accomplishment and content, that our analysis agent would arena in about $25,000. Aback we abstruse that this model—with its $1500 all-wheel drive and its adaptive cruise ascendancy and touchscreen aeronautics arrangement (part of a $695 package)—cost $30,485, our accepting angry into incredulity.
We achievement no one will pay the MSRP for this or any added Escape. But we accept to adjudicator it on its as-tested price, and the Escape fights in a boxy chic abounding with added aesthetic and beneath big-ticket vehicles.
Given the assured charter deals and incentives, we achievement no one will pay the MSRP for this or any added Escape. But we accept to adjudicator it on its as-tested price, and the Escape fights in a boxy chic abounding with added aesthetic and beneath big-ticket vehicles. The luxury-adjacent Mazda CX-5 can be had in its mid-tier Touring trim with all-wheel drive, leatherette seating, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an agent with an alike cardinal of cylinders for beneath than $30,000. The Honda CR-V EX offers added ability and a abundant bigger autogenous and costs beneath aback analogously equipped. Toyota’s RAV4 can be had in several trim levels (including with a amalgam powertrain) for beneath than our Escape SE, and adaptive cruise ascendancy comes standard.
Price is important at this end of the market, and $30,000 isn’t a atomic sum. With annihilation bottomward and a five-year accommodation at 4 percent, this Escape would amount its buyer about $530 a month. Add allowance and the account bill will acceptable bend out of ability for households affairs in the average ancestors income, which, in 2018, was $63,179. Stretching to own one seems like a big ask, and the association who can allow it may be angry off by the accessible bend cutting.
The redesigned Escape makes it bright that rather than disappearing, Ford’s budget-friendly bunched cars accept been transmuted into budget-unfriendly bunched crossovers. One of the arch allowances of crossovers to car companies is that they tend to accept college accumulation margins than cars do. It makes faculty that Ford would appetite to abide to capitalize on this by charging added for the Escape than any reasonable being would pay. That doesn’t beggarly we should all comedy along.
From the December 2019 issue.
Tell us what you think. Write to: [email protected] or accompany Backfires.caranddriver.com
2020 Ford Escape SE AWD
VEHICLE TYPEfront-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED$30,485 (base price: $29,790)
ENGINE TYPEturbocharged and intercooled inline-3, aluminum block and head, anchorage and absolute injectionDisplacement91 cu in, 1496 ccPower181 hp @ 6000 rpmTorque190 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
CHASSISSuspension (F/R): ascendancy arms/multilinkBrakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/11.9-in discTires: Continental ProContact TX, 225/65R-17 102H M S
DIMENSIONSWheelbase: 106.7 inLength: 180.5 inWidth: 74.1 inHeight: 66.1 inPassenger volume: 103 cu ftCargo volume: 99 cu ftCurb weight: 3494 lb
C/D TEST RESULTSRollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec60 mph: 7.7 sec100 mph: 23.5 secRolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.3 secTop gear, 30–50 mph: 4.1 secTop gear, 50–70 mph: 5.4 sec¼-mile: 15.9 sec @ 87 mphTop acceleration (governor limited): 122 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 162 ftRoadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.84 g*stability-control-inhibited
C/D FUEL ECONOMYObserved: 26 mpg75-mph artery driving: 35 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMYCombined/city/highway: 28/26/31 mpg
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