By Steve & Tamami Laser
The Ford Escape is so popular that more than 4.5 million units have been sold in North America since the model’s debut way back in 2001. Now, Ford is preparing to embark on a bold new road with the debut of the next-generation Escape for the 2020 model year.
Lower, longer, wider, and more sophisticated than before, the new Escape will offer a wide array of choices when it goes on sale this fall. Ford says a new plug-in hybrid will join the lineup later, with a launch planned for next spring.
The 2020 Escape gains a sleek new look with a more sloping roofline and car-like front styling. Inspired by the sixth-generation Mustang, the trapezoidal grille enhances the sporty character while the lower front fascia is said to be inspired by the Ford GT.
Ford put the new Escape on a diet that dropped about 200 pounds thanks in part to the generous use of high-strength, lightweight steel. Improved aerodynamics and new powertrains result in a crossover that’s billed as the “best-performing, most fun-to-drive Escape ever.”
Under the hood of the S, SE and SEL models is a new 1.5-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine with cylinder deactivation, projected to deliver 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque with premium gas. Escape Titanium offers a new, optional 2.0-liter 4-cyl. EcoBoost engine targeting 250 horses and 275 lb.-ft. Both engines are teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Two hybrid models include a self-charging version with a new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries, and Continuously Variable Transmission. Ford says the new plug-in hybrid version is projected to deliver a “best-in-class EPA-estimated range of at least 30 miles in electric-only mode.” Hybrids offer four driver-selectable EV modes: “Auto EV, EV Now, EV Later, and EV Charge.”
Escape delivers a wide array of high-tech goodies including an 8-inch touchscreen that shares info with an available 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster with 3D animated graphics. SYNC® 3 is available and compatible with Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation.
A new heads-up display, available on Titanium, projects info onto a 6-inch screen for easy viewing. Meanwhile, FordPass Connect™ is a standard feature that includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to “10 mobile devices with compatible wireless subscription service.”
Non-hybrid models have sliding second-row seats for increased passenger and cargo versatility. Ford says that the cargo compartment was designed to carry four sets of golf clubs or a full-size dog crate.
In the safety department, Escape has standard Ford Co-Pilot360™. Other available features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Active Park Assist 2.0, and Evasive Steering Assist.
News source and photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Note: Preliminary vehicle features, specifications, and launch dates for U.S. models are subject to change without notice
Story (commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com