Redesigned from the group up for the 2020 model year, the fourth generation of the Escape is now available to configure on the automaker’s U.S. website. Pricing starts at $24,885 excluding destination, and the 1.5-liter EcoBoost that comes standard is a three-cylinder turbo.
That’s right, ladies and gents! The Ford Motor Company is trying to push three-cylinder engines into the mainstream with the Escape, an experiment the Blue Oval undertook in Europe to great success with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost. We’ve tested this engine in the 2019 Focus, and truth be told, the 1.5 feels much better than the 1.0.
Teamed up with an eight-speed automatic instead of a good ol’ manual, the Escape EcoBoost is also available with all-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter turbo is also available depending on trim level, and Ford further sweetens the deal with the 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson Cycle engine.
The latter is paired to an eCVT in the Escape Hybrid, doing its best in conjunction with an 88-kW electric motor. As opposed to hybrid vehicles of old, the Escape Hybrid boasts liquid cooling for the lithium-ion battery located below the floor of the second-row seats.
All in all, five trim levels are available in the United States in the guise of the S, SE, SE Sport Hybrid, SEL, and Titanium. Customers on a budget will be happy to find out that even the entry-level specification comes with the Co-Pilot360 safety suite, sliding and split-folding rear seats, FordPass Connect, an electric parking brake, climate control, Ford SYNC infotainment, and a 4.2-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Titanium levels up to the B&O audio system with 10 speakers and plenty more bells and whistles. Also known as the Kuga in Europe, there’s no denying the all-new Escape will be a heavy hitter for the Ford Motor Company.
It remains to be seen if Ford can make a case for the Escape ST going forward, more so if you remember the Edge ST is a surprisingly sporty crossover thanks to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. If the Blue Oval can make a case for it, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the Focus ST would be a nice choice thanks to 280 PS and 420 Nm of torque (276 horsepower and 310 pound-feet).