Just a Reminder That There's a New Ford Escape Coming

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Debuting in North America for the 2013 model year, the third-generation Ford Escape is getting long in the tooth, forced to compete against newer compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. Toyota’s RAV4 is all-new this year, too. And Dodge, well… Dodge still sells the Journey Abe Lincoln drove from rural Illinois to D.C.

Looking to cement its status in this white-hot segment, Ford has a fourth-generation Escape due out later this year. We’ll have full details for you on April 2nd (the media sneak peek was last week), but here’s something to tide you over.

The new Escape’s arrival comes not a moment too soon. Climbing the U.S. sales charts following its 2001 model year debut, the model cracked the 200,000/year mark in 2011 and busted through the 300,000/year mark in 2014. Growth then stalled, with the model’s 2017 high water mark standing at 308,296 units. Amid competition from newer rivals, the aging Escape’s volume fell to 272, 228 units last year.

From the glimpse afforded by Ford’s Twitter account, the Escape dons a tall and wide mesh grille, eschewing the complex visage of years past. It would seem Ford’s aiming for a flat-hooded sense of brawn here. Or maybe a combination of that, plus elegance. “Plasticky” is no longer a good look.

Out back, the rear glass seems more steeply raked than before, topped with a spoiler and underscored by large “ESCAPE” lettering glinting away in chrome. Taillights are an LED-lit, downward hockey stick affair, with the outer edges creeping forward along the rear flanks of the vehicle.

Interior volume and content will surely see upgrades, but don’t expect to see a base S model with Ford’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder in tow. 2020 model-year VIN decoder documents sent from Ford to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the 1.5-liter Ecoboost inline-four staging a return, with the 2.0-liter unit offered as an upgrade. Unlike the third-gen Escape, there’s also a hybrid option — two, in fact. The VIN docs list both a hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain, each utilizing the 2.5-liter and an electric motor. Range, like combined output, is anyone’s guess, but a 2019 Fusion Energi can travel 25 miles before the gasoline mill kicks in.

The hybrid variants can be had in SE, SEL, and Titanium trims, in both front- or all-wheel drive guise.

As we said before, expect a closer look at this vehicle on April 2nd.

[Images: Ford, via Twitter]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Whatnext Whatnext on Mar 31, 2019

    Does anybody even care about Ford anymore?

    • See 1 previous
    • Lie2me Lie2me on Mar 31, 2019

      Last I checked Ford was still selling a million trucks a year in the US alone. I don't think they're ready to shutter the place just yet. What I do see in the coming years is a lot of consolidations/mergers within the auto industry to remain solvent

  • Akear Akear on Apr 01, 2019

    The problem is the Escape falls short of the RAV4 and the Rogue. Remember, Nissan and Toyota also have a full carline to back them up that Ford now doesn't have.

    • Shawnski Shawnski on Apr 01, 2019

      And that’s why there is a new one. BTW, it may fall short in a fresh appearance, but the current Escape drives very well with quick steering.

  • 2ACL Not as bad as some have quipped, but half the appeal of a sport compact is the car on which it's based. The Ion was one of the worst in segment, blunting the outreach of GMPD's work. More marginalization hit in the form of competitors evolving into some of their most compelling interations. $8.5k? KBB tells Joe Average to aim for half that. Within the context of those specifically interested in this model, the magic words for asking more than market seem to be 'Competition Package.' If the best the seller can do in a short ad is vaguely reference aftermarket audio, they don't deserve a premium.
  • The Oracle I can’t wait to see the UAW attempt to organize the Chinese plants when they come.
  • Redapple2 They strove to excel and improve in this era ( on the cheap? ). They gave us Saturnasty and Northstarubish and the F150 grew in dependability and features over the Silveradoffal. -gm- a legacy of utter garbage.
  • Tane94 Yes and yes to both questions. GM and Fird have long used built-in-China components in their vehicles -- the GM 3.4L engines used in past SUVs being just one example. Why is the US so scared of China's manufacturing prowess? Why is the US so scared of China's ascendency to world super-power? Look at China's high speed rail network, including mag-lev trains, and then US trains. I would buy a China-built vehicle with no trepidation.
  • Theflyersfan Adding to what Posky said (and for once, I kinda agree with what he wrote), and as an auto enthusiast it kills me to think this, but why should auto makers care about enthusiasts any longer? Hear me out... It can be argued that the first real enthusiasts were those coming home from WW2, having served in Europe, and fell in love with their cars. And Detroit responded. That carried over to the Boomers and Gen X. The WW2 generation for all sakes and purposes is no longer with us. The Boomers are decreasing in number. The first years of Gen X are nearing retirement. After us (Gen X), that's when we see the love of cars tail off. That was the generation that seemed to wait to get a license, grew up with smart phones and social media, got saddled with crippling home and student debt, and just didn't have the same love that we have. They for the most part are voting on do-all CUVs. Yes, automakers throw us a bone with special models, but they tend to be very expensive, saddled with markups, high insurance rates, and sometimes rare. Looking at you Audi and Lexus. Friends of mine who currently have or have just raised teens said their kids just don't care about cars. Their world is not out in the open and enjoying the moment with the roar of the engine. It's in the world they created for themselves at their fingertips. If they want bland and an appliance, that's what will be built.