2020 Ford Escape pricing and features revealed

Ford has revealed local specs and pricing for its first electrified model to be available in Australia

Ford Escape 2020

The next-generation Ford Escape will land in Australia this November with a $35,990 starting price ($36,490 drive-away until the end of December 2020), a new flagship variant and a pricey plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option.

ford escape

Ford's new five-seat, five-door medium SUV will be available in three spec grades including the entry-level Escape, along with the ST-Line and the new Vignale, which replaces the Titanium name at the top of the range.

Engines include a 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo with a choice of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, along with the FWD PHEV that’s only available in mid-spec ST-Line guise.

Combining a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, electric motor and generator and a 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 167kW of power, the ST-Line PHEV has an all-electric range of about 50km to help achieve a claimed combined fuel economy figure of just 1.5L/100km. 

It won't be cheap to buy, though, with the ST-Line PHEV FWD the most expensive variant in the range with its $52,940 price tag representing a $14,940 lift over the ST-Line 2.0L FWD. 

ford escape

That price, however, compares well to the lesser-equipped Mitsubishi Outlander ES PHEV ADAS that retails for $47,990, and the up-spec Outlander Exceed PHEV ($55,990).

The Toyota RAV4 Cruiser hybrid is just $41,990 in FWD and $44,990 in all-wheel-drive guise, though it does have a standard hybrid powertrain without the plugin capability as well as a higher 4.7L/100km combined fuel economy.

However, the pricing of the Escape hybrid may change, given that it is now delayed until late 2021, according to Ford Australia.

The Escape's volume-selling 2.0-litre EcoBoost, meanwhile, produces 183kW/387Nm and is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

It’s available across the range as a front-driver in the entry-level variant, and with either front- or all-wheel-drive in the ST-Line and Vignale. Claimed combined fuel economy is 8.6L/100km with either drivetrain.

 ford escape

The fourth-generation Ford Escape is built on the same C2 platform as the Ford Focus that allows for a longer wheelbase and wider cabin that brings more shoulder and headroom than its predecessor.

It's got 25mm more suspension travel than the Focus, and has about 20mm more width and wheel track, according to the Escape's global lead engineer, Jim Hughes.

"We actually tried to maintain ride height for aero [efficiency], so we've tried to contain that 25mm of travel within the architecture itself without significantly changing the ride height," he told WhichCar.

Hughes also said that the team worked hard to strike a balance between keen handling and ride comfort, confirming that the ST-Line variant actually has different suspension components than the more comfort-oriented Vignale, as well as changes to the "architectural changes in the set-up" of the ST-Line.

"What you'll see when you drive the ST-Line, you'll be able to see that it more prioritises handling and direct steering, where you get into the base Escape or Vignale it's more prioritised to comfort," he said. "So we've tried to provide that balance on the vehicle."

It’s also a claimed 90kg lighter, thanks to an aluminium bonnet, lighter carpet and insulation, alloy control arms, alloy space save spare, bumper supports, a lighter brake system, hollow damper rods, and even lighter speakers in the cabin.

ford escape

2020 Ford Escape pricing (until 31 December 2020)

  • Escape 2.0L FWD -  $36,490 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line 2.0L FWD - $38,990 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line 2.0L AWD - $41,990 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line PHEV FWD - $52,940 plus ORC - Arrival date late 2021
  • Escape Vignale 2.0L FWD - $46,520 plus ORC
  • Escape Vignale 2.0L AWD - $49,490 plus ORC

The 2020 Escape’s starting MSRP is $7000 more than the current model, but it comes with a more powerful engine and automatic gearbox as standard along with plenty of extra kit including:

  • Push-button start
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • DAB+ radio
  • SYNC 3 infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay  
  • Voice-command in-built sat-nav with Australian accent recognition and Traffic Management System
  • 8.0-inch full-colour touchscreen
  • Reversing camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Power windows with global opening and closing via key fob
  • Cruise Control with adjustable speed limiter
  • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection 
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Forward collision warning
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Blindspot detection   
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Driver impairment monitor
  • Tyre pressure monitor

The ST-Line spec adds bespoke 18-inch alloys and upper grille design, sport front and rear bumpers and side skirts, lowered sports suspension, black roof rails and a bigger rear spoiler.

The interior is also a bit racy, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, red-stitching and metallic foot pedals.

Opt for the ST-Line PHEV and you get partial leather trim, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a 10-speaker premium audio.

The luxury-focused Vignale sports its own unique body styling that includes a chrome front fascia, 19-inch alloy wheels and self-levelling LED quad-projector headlights with a  dynamic bending function to help is ‘see' around corners.

In addition to the EcoBoost Escape and ST-Line versions, the Vignale comes with:

  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Heated leather-wrap steering wheel
  • Leather accented seating
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Head-up display
  • Hands-free power tailgate
  • 180-degree rear-view camera
  • Advanced automated park assist.

All versions will also come with the new FordPass Connect system embedded modem as standard that brings remote vehicle functionality and connected services such as remote vehicle lock and unlock, key vehicle information and the ability to schedule your next service, all from a dedicated phone app.

It also has a service called Ford Guide, who can assist – by phone or email – with any queries about connected services.

The 2020 Ford Escape range will arrive in Australian showrooms around October this year when it will take on the likes of Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi Outlander.

It's part of a new SUV push by Ford Australia, which began with its Endura large SUV last year and bolstered by the small Puma crossover.

2020 Ford Escape pricing (November 2020)

  • Escape 2.0L FWD -  $36,490 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line 2.0L FWD - $38,990 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line 2.0L AWD - $41,990 drive-away
  • Escape ST-Line PHEV FWD - $52,940 plus ORC - Arrival date end of 2021
  • Escape Vignale 2.0L FWD - $46,520 plus ORC
  • Escape Vignale 2.0L AWD - $49,490 plus ORC

Updated 29 October with pricing and quotes

Contributing: Tim Robson


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