For 2020, if you’re, looking for a compact crossover with a hybrid drivetrain, you have exactly two options: the tota rav4 and this all-new Ford Escape for 2020. That’s because Nissan has killed off the hybrid version of the rogue and, if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid, then you have two options as well, but we don’t have a rav4 plug-in. We have this Ford Escape with a plug-in hybrid system coming in the spring of 2020, and we have the Mitsubishi Outlander, which really isn’t quite the same thing as this Ford Escape, because it was originally designed to be a 3-row crossover, but turning it into a plug-in. Hybrid has caused an awful lot of compromises for that design, and one of them is the loss of the third row. So we get the exact same look up front when you’re.
Looking at this and comparable gasoline only trims, the model that we’re looking at today is the SE trim. You can also get the hybrid system in the top and titanium if you want, since we’re driving the SE, we don’t have fog lamps Doblo, and we have slightly different headlamps right up here as well. You’ll notice that the overall design of the escape is definitely a little bit more car like a little bit more sleek a little bit more sporty looking than the very first generation of the escape, for it also tells us that was a very conscious decision, because they Do plan on having a more rugged, more off-road, focused crossover in this segment coming a little bit later, probably next year. We don’t have too many details on that.
Some folks are calling that the baby Bronco, but whatever you want to call it it’s going to be the model. That’s going to look more truck like more like Ford’s f-150, but this one is designed for someone that wants something: a little bit sleeker a little bit more sporting at 180 point five inches long. The escape has grown for 2020. This is a complete clean sheet.
Redesign of the escapes the shares, essentially nothing with the outgoing model. We have different engines, different transmissions, an entirely different interior and new suspension as well. Overall, this is almost exactly the same size as the rav4 and CRV in the compact crossover segment, a little bit shorter than something like the rogue or Tiguan, but definitely longer than the Hyundai Tucson. The extra growth has definitely gone into interior room where we find more passenger room than we find in a lot of the competitions.
So if you’re looking for something a little bit more leg room in the second row, this is now going to be an excellent option. I have to say that I kind of wish for it had styled this like a mini Ford Explorer, because I do like the look of the new Explorer model out back. We have a look that is definitely to row compact crossover with this rear window. That definitely has a steep break to it.
So if you were hoping that this would turn back into a boxy escape, you may be a little bit disappointed. The downside to this design is that it results in lower cargo practicality than we find in some of the options out there, and that really is obvious. When you take a look at the size of the cargo area in the escape or in the escape hybrid, we have combination LED tail light modules back here, which means that we have LED brake lights, but the turn signals and backup lamps are incandescent. Again, aside from that Hybrid badge over there on that side, there really is no way to differentiate this from the rest of the trim lines, because we do have dual exhaust tips down there at the bottom of the bumper and the rest of the vehicle is styled.
Exactly the same as the turbo models, Ford goes about their active safety packages a little bit differently than some of the competition. So for 2020 the base escape model, and that would be the non hybrid trim, does not have adaptive cruise control standard like we do find. In the rav4, but instead of that feature, we have blind spot monitoring standard, which is something that we don’t find in the base rav4 or indeed most of the base competitors. Talking specifically about the hybrid models now adaptive cruise control is going to be standard on all of these, because the hybrid system starts in the SE.
Sport trim and that’s where we find things like the adaptive cruise control system standard. In addition to that, blind, spot monitoring, Lane, Keeping assistance, autonomous, braking, auto brake hold and, of course, Hill Start Assist under the hood, we find the latest generation of Ford’s hybrid system. Things start out on this side of the engine bay with a two and a half liter four-cylinder atkinson cycle engine. It’s then made it to Ford’s latest hybrid transaxle design.
On the other side, the hybrid transaxle has reduced weight and improved capability versus the last generation model. Some folks out there refer to that transaxle as a CVT, transaxle or continuously variable transmission and well, that is sort of true. It’s also sort of not true, either, because something like the Nissan Rogue Hybrid used, a belt and pulley style CVT and a pancake electric motor. That is not what’s going on under this hood in terms of thematic design concept of operation.
This system operates on the same basic operational principles as Toyota’s hybrid system so operationally. This is very similar to what we see under the hood of the rav4 hybrid. We have two electric motors and one planetary gearset under there using the two electric motors and the planetary gearset. It can give you a variable ratio mechanically between the engine and the wheels, but it can also drive the wheels directly via the electric motor and some of the power from the engine is always flowing from one electric motor to the other, using one as a generator And one as a motor, so in reality this drives more like an e V and less like a traditional CVT out there.
So that’s why. I think that calling this the CVT is doing it a little bit of a disservice, because it doesn’t really feel like a Nissan belt and pulley CVT out on the road power levels, for this hybrid system come in at 198, combined horsepower. If you get the plug-in model, then the bigger battery pack allows that to be bumped up to 200 9 horsepower total. The regular hybrid model will be available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but the all-wheel drive system is very different than what we find under the hood of the rav4 hybrid, because this uses essentially the same mechanical all-wheel drive system as the turbocharged to skate models.
That means that this can send up to 50 % of engine power to the rear axle. Even when there is no slip up front, and if there is slip up front, it can send far more power to the rear axle than the rav4 hybrid is capable of. Now, if you choose the upcoming plug-in hybrid, then we cannot get all-wheel drive with that model because the battery pack is bigger and the battery pack is located underneath the vehicle, it’s approximately between the rear seat, passenger and the front seat passenger. On the other side of the car, the liquid-cooled battery pack is about the size of a briefcase and by positioning it very low in the vehicle.
It helps lower the center of gravity. It also doesn’t change the way the rear seats behave in this vehicle, so we have the same kind of Headroom in the back that we find in the non hybrid model and the battery does not occupy any cargo space in the back. For that final number, four tells us that the plug-in hybrid models should be able to go about 30 miles on a battery charge in the rav4 hybrid. They put the battery pack under the rear seat, which does result in a very slight reduction in rear seat Headroom.
But in the escape they put it under the floor which results in the floor in the back being ever so slightly higher because of the way rear. Legroom is measured. That does result in an effective loss in rear seat legroom. But it’s still pretty generous back here and we still find more legroom in the escape.
Then we find in the rav4 hybrid that, combined with this Headroom figure, makes this my choice as far as backseat comfort as we find in the regular escape the rear seats slide forward and backward sliding. This all the way forward is the way that you achieve maximum cargo capacity. In the back behind this hatch, we find thirty four point. Four cubic feet of storage space that is theoretically with the rear seats, moved all the way forward.
According to the numbers that is decently below the rav4 hybrid, something like the Chevy Equinox or even something like the Hyundai Tucson. However, something seems a little bit wrong with the way that Ford has measured this cargo area. The regular model comes in. At thirty seven point: five cubic feet again with those seats, moved all the way forward and there’s not really much difference between this particular model and the non hybrid model when it comes to the shape of the cargo area.
It’s also worth noting that there have been some changes to the SAE standard for cargo measurement, and I don’t really know whether this was on the new standard and the competition was not so. Keep that in mind as well. The cargo area load floor in the non hybrid model has a two-stage setup, where the back end of the cargo area only will go down about an extra inch or so giving you just a teeny bit of extra room, and we don’t find that in the hybrid Model, because, if I pull this cover off, we have a battery under here say what I thought you said the battery was under the vehicle. Well, it is except for this one right here.
This is the 12-volt battery for the car. Even hybrids still use a 12-volt battery, so the lithium-ion batteries under the vehicle, the 12-volt battery – moves back here to the trunk, because there was no room for it under the hood. Now you can still get a spare tire in here. The spare tire would go around this battery.
We don’t have one in this particular vehicle, but you can get one in here. So if you’re worried about a hybrid that doesn’t have a spare, the Escape is the option for you now on the downside, because we have that ability to get the spare. We have this foam divider back here. That is a little bit higher, and that means that you cannot put that cargo area load floor into its other position.
Now you could remove this foam divider right here. If you didn’t have the spare and then you would theoretically get about the same kind of storage space that we find in the non hybrid model, as you can see, there’s still a decent amount of room back here in the cargo area, and I suspect this is Going to get a 5 roller bag score when we do get this at home and are able to try and jam 24 inch roller bags back here. As with the exterior there’s very little to define this as the hybrid model on the inside, we have the same kind of large panoramic moonroof that we find in the non hybrid trims that extends to just over the rear passenger heads right. There we have height adjustable shoulder belts and two-way adjustable headrests up front.
As with the turbocharged models, the leather seats offer perforations in the center, but no active ventilation. At this moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if that came later, do they escape, because Ford does offer other vehicles with seat ventilation. We find the same sort of interior, fit and finish and same sort of interior panels that we find in the turbo models. So we love soft touch materials over there on the doors that kind of interesting pattern.
In that soft touch upper section right there. This trim has metal effect trim. This is not real metal on the dashboard or on the doors, and we have the same infotainment system that we find in the non hybrid model. But of course, here we get a graphic for the hybrid system, just as you’d expect in a modern, hybrid apple, carplay and android.
Auto are both standard on the hybrid model. Moving down from there. We have a few physical buttons for that system. We find the engine start/stop button kind of canted towards the driver.
I do find that kind of an awkward position right there, too large air vents and then in this particular trim, a single zone, automatic climate control system. If you get the top-end Touring model, then we do get a dual zone system below the climate controls. We have a single USB input, a 12-volt power port and then we’re told that later there will be a wireless charging that available in the center console as well. Moving back from there, we have two large cup holders right there, a rotary dial, shifter electric parking, brake, auto brake hold button, and then this button adjusts the drive mode.
This slot right back here is for parking tickets or if you wanted to put a credit card in there, I suppose you could. They would stick out just a tiny amounts that we could store them a little bit more easily between the front seats. We have a padded center armrest that opens to reveal a storage area where we find a traditional USB input and then a reasonable amount of storage area there as well for tells us that a little bit later this year, there will also be some additional USB charge. Ports in this cabin over on the driver side, we find the big difference between the regular se trim and the SE sport hybrid trim – that is this large color configurable LCD instrument cluster.
If you get the regular SE version of the escape, then we have a very small LCD in the middle and then analog gauges. This display doesn’t change quite as quickly as some of the competitive LCDs. We see out there, but this is an awful lot bigger. The overall theme does change based on the drive mode, so if I click that okay right there, you can see that that is the Eco mode.
If I move over to the sport mode, we get a slightly different look. We have really great animations on the screen, because you can see some of the transitions are just a little bit sluggish and zooming. Out from there. We find the same steering wheel that we find in the turbo models, no paddle shifters on the back.
It would be nice if we had some regen braking paddles on the back. That could be handy over here on the left. You find the controls for the adaptive cruise control system, which is again standard on this model volume up/down track forward backward. These also SS phone.
Hang up and pickup buttons on the right side of the wheel. We also find the buttons to control that multifunction LCD. We have a menu button, toggle, up/down, okay and then a back button over all the Escape Hybrid definitely drives a lot like the rav4 hybrid. That’s pretty logical because the hybrid system operates on the same basic operating principles as Toyota’s hybrid systems.
Also, interestingly, GM’s hybrid systems and FCA’s hybrid systems sat on the road. This feels a little bit more like an electric car and a little bit less like a traditional CVT. But still has that moment where the engine is just operating at one rpm as you’re, accelerating thanks to the slightly larger capacity lithium-ion battery pack, that we get back there versus a lot of hybrids out there. We get pretty instant throttle response, although again we have to wait for that engine to spit up to get absolutely everything.
Zero to sixty times are likely going to be around seven and a half seconds. Of course, you will have to wait until we can get one of these back at home to do our usual battery of comparisons and tests. But it’s likely that this is going to be a little bit faster than the rav4 hybrid system based on the overall forward design and their performance targets. For this, their target was to make this system just a hair faster than the base 1.5 liter turbo in the regular escape.
But obviously this is not going to be as quick as the top-end 2 liter turbo again, a big differentiator between this and the total rav4 is that we have a front-wheel drive version of the Escape Hybrid and there’s no front-wheel drive version of the rav4 hybrid available. In America now in other world markets, you will be able to get just a two-wheel drive version of that rav4, but in the u.s. all models will have that electric rear axle in the rear. You can check those out.
The rav4 hybrid system does awfully well offroad for an electric or axle, but it’s not going to be as capable as the all the drive system that’s available in the Escape Hybrid. Now we don’t really know exactly how much the escaped hybrids mechanical algal drive system is going to impact fuel economy, but so far it’ll been averaging about 42 miles per gallon and most of our driving has been out on the open highway. But in general terms, for this style of hybrid system that actually is a disadvantage for overall hybrid fuel economy. These tend to get a lot better fuel economy and slow and go or more rural driving situations.
We’re going about 45 miles an hour, or so our average fuel economy during our day of driving, is especially impressive. Considering the fact that we’ve been driving the all-wheel drive version of the hybrid system, now Ford’s all-wheel-drive system features a front axle disconnect feature. Much like you find in the turbocharged models and that’s likely why we have the high fuel economy that we’ve been experiencing unless the rear axle is needed under most circumstances out on open highway. The rear axle has been completely removed from the equation, altering the drive mode.
Will cause the computer to either be more aggressive at locking up the center coupling and reconnecting the front axle or a little bit less aggressive in doing so so, if you’re in the Eco mode, you definitely seem to notice a difference in overall fuel economy. Then, when you’re in the sport mode or in one of the slippery weather modes, as with the rav4, you can definitely hear the hybrid system working. We get a little bit of motor whine in the cabin when we’re accelerating in electric-only mode or when we’re doing regenerative. Braking but overall, this drivetrain is a little bit quieter and perhaps a little bit more refined than what we see in the Toyota.
I know the number of you have complained about the hybrid system and the non hybrid system in the rav4 being a little bit less than refined under the hood, and I think that the Ford four-cylinder engine definitely has a slightly better sound to it. But remember to keep the price tag of the escape hybrid in mind, because this and the rav4 hybrid they’re gon na be considerably less expensive than a luxury segment hybrid. That would be a little bit more refined. Another difference between the Ford and the Toyota hybrid system seems to be overall braking performance and overall, braking feel as I’ve seen in other hybrids out there.
This is a lot smoother than the total hybrid system in the Toyota hybrid, when you’re transitioning between moderate braking and heavy braking, there’s a moment where it doesn’t feel like a lots going on and instead of that in the Escape Hybrid. We find very linear brake pedal fee. I know a lot of you wanted me to compare this to something like the Outlander plug-in hybrid, but they’re really not the same thing. Not only is that a plug-in hybrid, but it’s also a bigger vehicle overall, the Outlander is also getting pretty old, and the escape definitely feels more modern and more fresh inside.
It also feels more modern and more fresh out on the road. Overall driving dynamics are definitely good. This feels an awful lot like the regular version of the escape, and that is to say it has a more Germanic feel than we find in some of the competition like the rav4 or the CRV overall handling feel is good, but the numbers could definitely be improved By a better tire choice, we have relatively low rolling resistance, tires on all models of the escape where they were talking about the turbo models, or this hybrid model and all escape models get 225 with tires personally in the top-end trims, I wouldn’t mind trading a little Bit of overall fuel efficiency for better handling dynamics, but that’s something that you may have to do. Aftermarket 4 tells us that one of the changes for this hybrid system is that it is now capable of operating in electrical only mode up to about 80 miles an hour or so so it is a little bit different than some of the other hybrids out there.
We don’t see a Honda CRV hybrid yet in America, but when that model finally comes it’s hotly anticipated finally available in Europe. I suspect that fuel economy in real-world driving situations is likely going to be higher in this model than in the Honda. That’s mainly because at higher speeds, the Honda hybrid system that we find in their sedans and in the clarity they don’t tend to be as efficient at 75 or 80 miles an hour as the toda and Ford hybrid systems do Ford caught a lot of heat with Their last generation hybrid systems about overstating fuel economy, so I suspect that they’re gon na be a little bit conservative when rating the escape. But again, we’ve been averaging over 40 miles per gallon over a day of mix driving here, but I suspect that the EPA rating may come in either equal to or just below what we see in the rav4 hybrid.
As long as we’re talking about the front wheel, drive version overall ride, quality is pretty comparable to the rav4 hybrid. We definitely have a suspension. That’s letting a lot of these smaller road imperfections into the cabin. This feels a little bit firmer than something like the Nissan Rogue or the Honda CRV, but that tends to go with the overall, more sporty mission and more sporty design that we find in the escape verses, some of those other crossovers if you’re looking for the best Highway cruiser this may not necessarily be it.
You might want to look at something like a rogue, but if you’re looking for overall a good balance, I think that’s exactly what we get in the escape for 2024 test price. The escape a little bit differently than toda has priced the rav4 hybrid. The hybrid system is available in the SE, sport and titanium trims only at the moment and you’ll be able to get the plug-in hybrid in SE, SEL and titanium once that launches in the spring. The SE Sport trim is an additional $ 1100 over the regular SE trim, but we get extra feature.
Content hybrid model comes standard with the twelve point three inch shells to the instrument cluster that we see in here the leather steering wheel and a few other goodies that we don’t find on the regular se model and that comes to around $ 1000 of effective equipment. So you could look at this hybrid as the no compromises no cost upgrade hybrid. As long as you wanted those extra features in the SE sport. Now, if we move up into the titanium version, then the hybrid system is actually standard in that model and you have two option up into the two-liter turbo.
If you want the extra power unusually at the moment, the SEL trim is not available with the 2.5 litre. Hybrid system for some reason, but you will be able to get the SEL with the plug-in hybrid coming again in spring. The biggest difference between the Escape Hybrid and the rav4 hybrid is going to be the all-wheel-drive system. The escape does not have one standard in the hybrid model, whereas we do find the e all-wheel-drive system standard in America in the rav4 hybrid.
At the moment. Now, if you get the all-wheel-drive system in the Escape Hybrid that it’s a very different system than what we find in the tota, this uses, basically the same mechanical all-wheel drive system that we find in the rest of the escape lineup and that’s a pretty big differentiator. Because if you’re driving it on slippery or services like wet roads, icy roads, snowy, roads, etc, this system is going to be an awful lot more capable than the e all-wheel drive system that we find in the rav4. Tota has really dialed up that system.
In terms of overall capability for 2019 and 2020, but it’s just not as capable as a true mechanical all-wheel-drive system like this. So if you’re, looking for the best hybrid out there for snow weather, traction, wet weather, traction, etc or offer attraction, that is certainly going to be this model. It is just as capable as the non hybrid escapes and that’s not something that we can say about the rav4 hybrid. On the other hand, there is one downside to this: hybrid systems, all-wheel drive setup, and that is overall fuel economy.
This is unlikely going to achieve the 40 miles per gallon, combined that we see in the rav4 a all wheel drive. So you have to decide whether you want the off-road capability or whether you want that lofty fuel economy number now keep in mind. So you will have to wait until we can get our hands on one of these. For a complete week, so we can run it through our usual battery of tests and hopefully by then we should have our hands on our own long-term rav4 hybrid.
So we can do some very, very direct comparisons to this model. Bottom lining the Escape Hybrid is pretty easy. This is truly one of the no compromises hybrids available in America. We do lose just a very small amount of rear cargo capacity in the back because of the location of the 12-volt battery, but the cargo area is essentially the same size as the rest of the escape lineup.
We do, however, get a slightly adjusted floor pan, which means we get a little bit less effective, rear legroom in this model, because the floor pan is a little bit higher up, but I don’t think that’s a huge deal. The battery pack again is positioned under the vehicle and that’s really convenient because it doesn’t take up any interior room. It’s also liquid cooled. So, if you’re concerned about overall battery longevity, I would suspect that this battery may last longer than the batteries that we see in totus hybrid systems, because those are air-cooled.
It’s not going to be quite the same kind of cooling efficiency that we find in this particular model, and then you add, on top of that, the fact that this is the standard drivetrain in the titanium model and effectively a no-cost upgrade for the SE model. As long as you wanted those additional features in the SE, Sport trim how this will compare to the Toyota rav4 hybrid in the wild, that’s really anyone’s guess at the moment. I suspect that when you’re taking a look at the prices on this on dealer, lots, it may have a greater discount than what we see on the Toyota rav4. So far, if you’re watching this from the New England states or Colorado or the Pacific Northwest, then you may really be interested in this as an alternative to that rav4 hybrid, because we do have that true, mechanical all-wheel drive system.