By on September 18, 2019

2020 Ford Escape

Ford says it is eventually going to phase out most of its cars – save the Mustang – but the brand isn’t above basing a compact crossover on a car platform.

Yeah, it may be called a crossover, especially by people who draw paychecks from the Blue Oval, but the 2020 Ford Escape is based on the company’s European Focus platform.

Perhaps it’s a bit of a cynical approach, especially with a more rugged “baby Bronco” on the way. But if ride and handling are something you care about, even when shopping crossovers, the results may be pleasing to you.

Possibly more pleasing than the Escape’s styling, anyway.

(Full disclosure: Ford flew me to Louisville, Kentucky and fed and housed me so that I could drive the new Escape. The company also offered a bourbon tasting and allowed journalists to participate in a fake horse-race betting game. I did not partake in the latter, as I have already lost enough real money on horse racing).

Ford’s first- and second-gen Escape was boxy and rugged and looked like an SUV. The next one had sleeker styling that made it look more car-like, if not more handsome and refined. This one looks like an anonymous blob, at least in the pics I saw before I saw it up close.

In person, it’s not that bad – it simply looks like a raised hatchback. The ovoid/blob look fades. The gaping maw of a grille is still confounding, and the look still lacks charm or character, but it’s better than photos would suggest. I did see a few wince-inducing panel gaps; however, the vehicles we drove were either pre-production or early builds, so that’s somewhat understandable.

2020 Ford Escape

It’s a bit better story inside – the interior is mostly unremarkable and inoffensive. I am perturbed, as always, by a tacked-on infotainment screen, although removing the shift lever in favor of a dial works in Ford’s favor. The dash is expansive enough to play board games on. Unfortunately, the materials often felt a bit downmarket. I did dig the available digital instrument cluster, although the seat felt a bit tight for my tall and dad-bodded frame.

[Get new and used Ford Escape pricing here!]

Escape is available in S, SE, SE Sport (hybrid), SEL, and Titanium. Lower trims – S, SE, and SEL – come standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque, while a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque is available in the SEL and standard on Titanium. Both pair with eight-speed automatic transmissions, in either front- or all-wheel drive guise. All-wheel drive is standard with the 2.0-liter mill.

There are also two hybrid powertrains on offer, which we’ll cover later this week.

2020 Ford Escape

I started my day in an SEL with all-wheel drive. On Kentucky’s narrow, curving back roads, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Credit for the Escape’s relative nimbleness likely goes to the usage of the Euro Focus platform.

Steering is appropriately weighted, if not a tad artificial in feel, and the ride isn’t sacrificed for sport. While most OEMs are building competent-handling crossovers these days, the Escape simply feels a bit more sprightly than most. Ford claims that the 2020 Escape shed 200 pounds, so that can’t hurt.

It’s not particularly fast in terms of acceleration, but it will get the job done for passing and merging. More than a few assembled journos joked about how an Escape ST with the 2.3-liter turbo four from the Mustang would be a good seller.

I also spent a few minutes in an SE 1.5 with front-wheel drive. It was predictably slower and a tad louder and coarser – I’d spring for the 2.0 were my checkbook on the line.

2020 Ford Escape

Delightful as it was from behind the wheel, I’m still perplexed by the styling. As noted above, it’s a sleeker look in person, even if the grille is just one big gaping maw. But the look is still silly, as if someone simply lifted a hatch. Which, I guess, is kind of what Ford did.

Ford claims the grille is Mustang inspired, which I can see, but I rolled my eyes at a claim the lower front end is inspired by the GT supercar. That kind of marketing silliness won’t fly here.

I understand why Ford would go more car-like with the styling, as opposed to Toyota’s turning the competing RAV4 more masculine with rugged looks. There’s a rugged mini ‘ute en route to the lineup, so Ford needs to differentiate the Escape as an urban runabout.

I also get why Ford will continue to refer to the Escape as a crossover – the word “car” isn’t as hot these days. So this new Escape is lower, longer, and wider than what it replaces, but it’s going to be referred to strictly as a crossover.

2020 Ford Escape

Crossover buyers care about utility, of course, and one neat trick offered by the Escape is a rear-seat that slides six inches fore and aft. Maximum rear cargo space is 37.5 cubic feet, and you can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Available features include the digital instrument cluster, park assist, evasive steering assist, Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver-aid tech (standard), adaptive cruise control, in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, Sync 3 infotainment, USB ports, heated steering wheel, power foot-activated tailgate, dual-zone climate control, heated front row seats, premium audio, head-up display, moonroof, fog lamps (LED available), and wireless cell-phone charging. Wheels are available in 17-, 18-, and 19-inch sizes.

2020 Ford Escape

Fuel economy for the 1.5 is listed at 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway/30 mpg combined with front-drive and 26/31/28 with AWD. The 2.0 checks in at 23/31/26.

Base S models start at $24,885, with the SE starting at $27,095. SELs clock in at $29,255, and the Titanium at $33,400. Those prices do not appear to include the $1,195 destination fee. We’ll cover the hybrid trim and pricing information, along with specs and fuel economy, later this week.

Automakers usually provide us lowly wordsmiths with a press release extolling the virtues of whatever we’re being feted to test, and Ford is no exception. The boilerplate line from the chief program engineer that appears in this release refers to the Escape being fun to drive.

2020 Ford Escape

This time, the propaganda isn’t totally wrong – the Escape is pleasant to drive. Problem is, it’s no looker.

It’s all about priorities, of course. Shoppers seeking style may search elsewhere. Those who care about cornering might not. And plenty of crossover buyers care more about other qualities – size, capacities, features, fuel economy, price, utility.

Putting aside its best and worst qualities and focusing on the rest of the factors that matter to buyers, the Escape fares well enough. It doesn’t offer anything mind-blowing – the sliding rear seat is nice, and it’s a bonus that Co-Pilot is standard (although RAV4 also offers similar tech standard) – but it does offer what shoppers want.

There’s an old cliché about beauty being more than skin deep, and another one about not judging books based on their covers. There’s also an entire genre of pop culture suggesting that inner beauty trumps exterior looks. The Escape is the latest in a long line of vehicles that offer more than the styling suggests.

That said, if you sign the note, you’re the one who has to look at it.

Ed note – the interior image is from a hybrid model, as there was no time to shoot the interior of a gas-engine model. My apologies for the glare; the sun is an a-hole sometimes.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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96 Comments on “2020 Ford Escape First Drive – Books, Covers, Judgement, Et Cetera...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Escape ST with the 2.3-liter turbo four from the Mustang would be a good seller.”

    If it matched the performance of the Focus ST I’d be forced to at least test drive it.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    That front end shot – ugh – I’m vaguely reminded of the duck quality of the Tesla 3.

    The rather busy rear looks like “generic” CUV – it could be a Hyundai.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Not sure why the reviewer is preoccupied with the looks of this vehicle – it’s an entirely subjective matter, and I don’t see this being much different than the rest of its peers.

    That being said, a CRV will be faster, more fuel efficient, have more room, and be more reliable (1.5 3 cylinder versus 1.5 4 cylinder). I sometimes thing the “big 3” have just given up.

    • 0 avatar
      Joseph Kissel

      I usually love reading articles on this website … but when seemingly half the article about a brand-new vehicle “focuses” on the incredibly subjective topic of styling, I think there might be a word-count requirement at play. I respectfully suggest to keep the styling comments to one paragraph and let the photos tell the tale. Personally, I think the Escape looks fine and probably will make more sense from a styling perspective when the baby Bronco is launched …

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      I also assume the Honda Tax applies with the CRV. So the CRV will be $3k-$5k more expensive in the real world for the same features no matter what stickers on the vehicles are.
      Is a Honda a better vehicle than the D3, probably; is it $3k-$5k better? That’s a different question.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        But that’s Ford’s biggest problem – as long as they sell for $3k to $5k less than a Honda (essentially the total profit margin for this class of vehicle) they can not justify their existence.

      • 0 avatar
        quaquaqua

        $3k-$5k more expensive? On what planet? The Escape, much like the Ecosport and Edge, are hardly bargains. In fact they’re more expensive when similarly equipped (and base models tend to be far more stripped).

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      TIL that fewer cylinders makes an engine more reliable?

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      That’s a fair point! Looks are subjective. But the consensus among TTAC’ers and other is that the thing is ugly. If you like it, cool, I like some cars others think are ugly. But if the majority of people find it ugly and shop elsewhere, that’s an issue for Ford, ya know?

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        The CRV is hideous and still sells. This is just inoffensive to the extreme, like the rest of the compact crossover class. The entire point of the class is to be as beige as possible to sell to people who regard driving as one step above sleep. Just like midsize and compact sedans used to be

        • 0 avatar
          Robotdawn

          Agreed, looks is quite obviously subjective, but this is just bland. It’s not bad, it’s just a nothing.
          The CRV and the other acronym laden Honda are ugly as hell to me. But hey, they are Hondas and not everyone likes what I like.

    • 0 avatar
      C5 is Alive

      Google “CRV oil dilution” and then get back to us about Honda reliability.

      That said, while this and other issues with small turbocharged engines can probably be blamed primarily on regulations forcing the technology ahead before its time, I’d still select the Honda before taking a gamble with Ford’s other numerous and damning QC issues. Fortunately there are more than two choices in this segment.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’m 100% with you. This looks like the anonymous car used in reality shows where the producers couldn’t pay royalties. The Jeep Gladiator, a car which many here seem to like, is nauseating to me.

      Take decent pictures, from multiple angles and let them speak for themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I don’t see this as ugly, the RAV-4 is ugly, this is just bland and that is what a lot of people want in their CUV. The baby Bronco that is based on this will most likely be far less bland.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      No way the CR-V is faster than the Escape. The 2.0 has the best performance in the segment.
      Also regarding reliability, Honda’s 1.5T has not been that great:
      https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/honda-extends-warranty-on-troubled-turbo-engines/

      The only letdown I can think about the Escape right now is the bland styling ( which is still better than CR-Vs overshaped styling)

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      The same.

      Looks fine to me, especially compared to that Toyota thing. Or a Veloster.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Small cars need bright colors on the outside and light colors on the interior. The paint color above really helps make this rig look bad.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’ve seen the one from the auto shows that is in a near Fire Engine Red.

      That actually looks pretty decent and most of the time I see it my first thought is “Oh so that’s the new Focus wagon?” – Then I remember that the Focus is no more.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Instead of a happy fascia(out) or an angry fascia(in) Ford’s given this one the worst combination of the two— its a sulking child.

    Inside and out— its got a unbecoming protruding lower lip and folded arms.

    Until one gets to that decade-old Mazda smile in the front.

    Yuck.

    Nice gauges, though— How configurable are they?

  • avatar
    Boff

    I don’t get the inevitable shade thrown on “tacked-on dash screens”. Were they to be integrated, they’d either be too low in the dash or surrounded by a lot of dashboard bulk that would hinder visibility, airiness, and aesthetics. Sounds like autojourno laziness to me, sort of like “hard plastics” and “understeer at the limit”.

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      I disagree. I strongly dislike the tacked on screen. It’s fine putting it in the dash, where radios have traditionally been, and where there is a giant absence of radio now. It isn’t too low (to me), and I’ve driven many a variety of rent-a-cars with them in dash.
      On top of the dash they get in the sight-lines, they distract my eyes from the road and collect dust.
      I only have a few no-buy rules, but throwing an Ipad up on the dash and calling it a day is one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Well, to be fair, they may be easier to fix when placed like that. I need to ask around. But mostly, it’s a pet peeve.

      And hey, hard plastics are a thing! At a certain price point, I don’t want hard plastics. I want soft touch. Which reminds me, I forgot to mention how the Escape is plagued a bit with hard plastics.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I completely agree. After test driving some cars with the integrated vs higher “tacked” on, the tacked on is much easier to look at because it sits higher. Dashes would have to be much higher and larger to accommodate a higher integrated screen.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The Straight Pipes pointed out that in the current gen Jetta the “tacked on” above the vents screen is much easier to use than the last gen integrated “below the vents” screen. The old screen required too much taking of one’s eyes off the road.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Call me crazy, but I don’t want the screen to be too easy to see. There’s already too much information being sent by cars. In addition to the screen, you’ve also got your regular gauges (which are what you should be looking at much more often than the radio), the information screen between the gauges, as well as every beeping alarm and flashing warning the car is sending at you for drifting in your lane or tailgaiting.

          I want less information, not more. And maybe a windshield that’s not so steeply raked that I can’t see that deer standing in the road because of all of the glare.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The actual sight difference between the integrated uConnect screen in my Charger and the on-top mounting of the screen in my Stinger is functionally zero. However, I wish Kia integrated the screen better because I do think it looks kind of goofy.

      And “hard plastics” do matter to me if I’m spending over $30K on a car.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Would it be enough for the plastics to look soft? Is it the shine? Or is it about the touch experience? And if so, why do you spend so much time fingering the dash and panels? What about the steering wheel, controls, touchscreen and buttons/levers? Shouldn’t they be even softer than the dash and panels.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          There’s a hierarchy of importance for materials.

          1) Steering wheel and shifter
          2) Seating surfaces
          3) Console, areas near switches, and other parts of the dash you touch regularly
          4) Door cards, at and above the armrest
          5) Dash top (highly visible)
          6) Everything else

          One small pleasure about higher-end Lexuses is that they have *really* nice steering wheel leather. Soft, smooth, and wonderful to touch if you keep it clean.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            Typing this with my elbows to say I agree with dal20402 and ajla that the armrest and center console should be comfortable where my elbows rest while driving. (And ideally at the same height so that my shoulders stay level.)

            On my to-do list is re-covering the driver side door card armrest of my daily driver in genuine cowhide and adding additional padding.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Would it be enough for the plastics to look soft?”
          No.
          _______________

          “Or is it about the touch experience?”
          Yes.
          _______________
          “why do you spend so much time fingering the dash and panels?”
          I touch my door panels when opening/closing the door and often rest my arm against either the sill or upper door panel. Also the center armrest should be comfortable. I don’t touch the dash very often so you you could probably get away with harder plastic there for me, as long as it doesn’t rattle.
          _______________
          “What about the steering wheel, controls, touchscreen and buttons/levers? Shouldn’t they be even softer than the dash and panels.”
          Not “softer”, but it is nice if those things are of high haptic quality as well.

          I don’t expect “soft touch” materials in something like a Camry L or Ram Tradesman but people acting like it doesn’t matter to buyers of any vehicle class are wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Thanks, good to know. I’m just happy when the knob on the window crank doesn’t line up with a boney part of my leg. Otherwise I’m glad I don’t have that level of refinement and expectation. Drive around enough with missing door panels, pillar trim or console, and you’re just thrilled to have the jagged/sharp, and or unsightly mechanical parts all covered.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      +1, I vastly prefer the upright “tacked on” screens in modern vehicles. Obviously they wouldn’t have worked 15 years ago, but with the way current vehicles are designed, they’re the best solution

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Look at the screen placement in older Ford Focuses, or my 2017 C-Max. The screen is integrated into the upper dash, recessed with a quite necessary sunshade on top and a handy shelf below that gives a place to stabilize your hand when pressing commands on a bumpy road. Best of all, there’s a “DISP” button that does nothing but turn the screen off when not needed. If the new Escape has this feature, I’ll probably buy one. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to fasten a black hanky to the top so I can cover the screen 90% of the time. Every accident I’ve had involved distraction, and a bright TV screen on the dash is the biggest distraction I can think of.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The grill is upside down compared to the more handsome cars like the Fusion. Otherwise it looks like a compressed Crosstrek (which is probably nicer inside) for whatever that is worth.

    The tacked on screen is still a deal breaker for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You must not have been inside of a Crosstrek, if you think that. Capable, yes. Rugged, yes. Nice? Absolutely not.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      You posted this right below Boff’s defense of tacked-on screens. Made me chuckle.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Sorry, it wasn’t yet there when I typed my post. Sometimes it sits in the browser while I get around to it. That said, I have heard those arguments before and they make no sense. For one, if it is tacked on and I did not order Nav, where do I put my nav unit (why should I burn my data plan)? Or if the cell phone has a hard time with receiving a sat signal you can’t suction cup that up there either. People have used radios in the dash forever and you don’t see many issues. Especially with steering wheel controls. I have only used the in dash units and when there is a passenger the in dash is a better reach for them. A proper in dash unit is only a few inches below a tacked on unit.

        In a perfect world they would put the meaningful stuff on a HUD unit.

        Kyree, I have not been in either vehicle and the reason I said probably. I have been in a few lower end Fords and only one Subaru that was a Legacy.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Focus-based Escape is nothing new. The previous, third-generation Escape was also on the same Global C platform as the Focus (so was the C-Max). The boxy first- and second-generation Escape used the CD2 platform, an offshoot of Mazda’s 626 underpinnings.

    As for this one, I’m sure the 2.0T is a hoot to drive, but I just can’t get over the exterior styling. The previous Escape looked just fine, to my eyes, after the 2017 refresh, especially if you opted for a blacked-out SE. But the backseat was cramped. Was the backseat on this one alright?

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      That is correct — it’s not new. I hope I didn’t imply that by mistake, I think most of us knew that the previous-gen Escape was also Focus-based. This one, however, is on a different platform.

      Yeah, rear-seat room was alright. Not too cramped.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I actually like the way this looks overall. Sure, a different shape on the grill would be welcome, or just different angles maybe. But what’s on offer with the 2.0 and AWD isn’t actually that bad. Curious about weight. This could actually be fairly quick with 280 lb ft of torque probably at very low rpm and AWD to get the power to the ground. It’s overall ground clearance and height are also skewing more toward car. This is the future imo, a return to wagons as crossovers continue to morph with sedans that are being culled.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      What I think we’re going to see because of fuel economy pressures etc is that manufacturers are going to quietly start lowering CUVs in actual ground clearance etc to see if anyone notices.

      It will be wagon/hatch with a taller than a sedan greenhouse (like it’s the late 1940s all over again.)

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I’m actually impressed with the gas mileage with the 2.0T. Mazda CX-5 is only 27 on the highway with the 2.5T. We might be interested but around here, I’l have to drive 250 miles to find one with a 2.0T AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I agree, high 20’s average for a car with that much power and AWD isn’t bad at all. But there is always gaming the test cycle and real world may not stack up. Seems like most cars get pretty close to EPA numbers though. You just might see it coming out on the lower end more often.

      • 0 avatar
        Robotdawn

        I had a Buick Regal with a 2.0T and high 20s low 30s wasn’t unusual. I know people who swear by their Toyota 2.5s in the low to mid 30s too. Rental car me is also impressed with that engine/CVT combo. Gas mileage-wise.
        Real world has matched the stickers in cars lately for me. Although I’m not a lead foot, nor do I drive above 77 mph often. MPG tails off over 70 something fierce from my experience.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          The lower displacement turbo engines are made to cruise and gobble up the miles. My 2018 TourX has no problem hitting low 30s on the interstate even at 80 plus miles per hour.

          In town with my lead foot it gets fuel economy like a naturally aspirated V6 but I’m having too much fun to care.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            I’m getting 31 with my Mazda 6 with the 2.5T. Knowing that I see why the Mazda CX-5 with the 2.5T and awd will get less.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Honestly, 90% of the population would not be able to tell what this was, and might even Israel it for the Porsche whatever CUV in blue paint pictured in the headline article below, if the badges were removed.

    The two are that close, and serve as further depression evidence as to how anonymous nearly all of vehicle styling has become today.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    ^Not sure how “Israel” got in my response above –

    – should read “mistake” or “confuse” as in “90% of the population would mistake the Escape for the Blue Porsche whatever CUV pictured in the article below.”

    • 0 avatar

      I too see some Porsche resemblance. That was my first thought when I saw the prototypes. I actually like the design for the most part, but something about the grille/headlight styling just doesn’t work. It makes it look like the Escape has an “overbite”. Reminds me of the front of the KIA Sportage, and not in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      legacygt

      Not sure either but Israel is largely desert and cars there often carry a couple layers of dust and sand. That would help the looks of this car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    With my super secret Ford connections I was able to drive a Titanium trim version of this CUV last month. It was a bronzy-orange color which did help it to stand out more. I didn’t mind the styling although it does appear visually smaller than other things in this class.

    Overall, even with the 2.0T it was too slow for me (although I’m quite power hungry these days) and I still don’t like Ford’s infotainment and kitschy graphics. It drove well but some reviewers are stretching by calling it “sporty”. Personally, within its competition set, I’d put it above H/K, Mazda, Subaru, VW, and GM stuff but behind Jeep and Toyota. No experience with the CRV.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      That is actually a pretty decent color on their cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford actually has some appealing colors for the Escape, including that bronzy-orange. Also of note are a green (!!!) and nice shades of blue and red (one of each). It’s unfortunate that the Escape in the photo was saddled with that dull grey color. I keep hoping that this dull grey scale cycle for automotive colors will come to an end. The new Corvette C8 offers some hope.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      The 2.0 may be slow for you, but it’s quite a bit quicker than it’s direct competition.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “With my super secret Ford connections I was able to drive a Titanium trim version of this CUV last month.”

      trust me, we’re not impressed. Especially not because you know someone stupid enough to risk their job over this.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    By the pictures and the info provided in the article article-I see nothing that makes this a compelling buy. IMHO-The Tucson, RAV-4, and CRV are all much better looking.

    Ford seems to be having a very hard time have anything in another market segment (besides the F150) stand out.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    p.s. -‘Man, does the edit function on this site suck.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Looks like a Kia from the front and a Hyundai from the back. So we’ve gone full circle here with Ford copying the Korean styling?

    As for engine choice, I’m interested to see what they wedge into the Lincoln version.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Can’t really take this article seriously when about 30% of it demonstrates zero knowledge of the definition of what a crossover is. The entire point is that it’s based on a car platform, and is more carlike than an SUV. They’re designed explicitly to appeal to 30+ women (subcompact crossovers are filling the age gap beneath that), and they’ve succeeded massively in that regard.

    The Nissan Rogue has been the absolute definition of “crossover” since it was introduced and this hews to that template.

    This isn’t 1995 anymore, no one is going to call this anything but a crossover, they’re firmly part of the cultural landscape. Anybody who mistakes this as a “lifted hatchback” or “wagon” either needs glasses or is probably over 45.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      There are only two (and a half) lifted hatchbacks on sale in America in 2019 and those are the Subaru Crosstrek and Mercedes GLA/Infiniti QX30. They are literally the same vehicle as the standard hatchback but lifted and with cladding. All other crossovers are unique body styles on the car platform.

      Similarly, the Outback, Alltrack, Allroad and TourX are lifted wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      I think Chrysler started the “crossover” class with the Pacifica. Cadillac quickly followed suit.

      I could be wrong, but I don’t recall any prior to that.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Every single one of the intended customers will call it an SUV, not a crossover.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I know quite a few people who own CUVs. Not a one of them ever refers to their cars as SUVs, but Manhattan twits who let Carlos Slim’s NYT tell them what to think can’t tell the difference for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Hey, thanks for teaching me, a journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering autos, what a crossover is. I had no idea before!

      Sorry for the snark, I am feeling unusually salty today. In all seriousness, yes, crossovers are car-based SUVS, but this one comes really close to being a tall wagon. Technically, yeah, it’s a crossover, but it looks and drives more like a lifted hatch.

      My point is that since crossovers are all the rage, Ford dare not call it anything but.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      You’re all wrong. “Crossover” is simply a marketing term used for SUVs because back in 2007/2008 the SUV was vilified beyond belief and thus manufacturers had to come up with something more palatable.

      Prior to that time, the Escape was always referred to as a SUV despite being car based.

      Why they insist on still using the term today is beyond me. It’s a SUV.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Cannot wait for the Lincoln Corsair rumor to be release in October/November and to go on sale in June/July 2020.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I wish Ford luck with this one. When a Toyota Rav 4 or Hyundai Tuscan slaughters this thing in looks, offer a better and more powerful 4 cylinder engine (Rav 4) for less money you know there is a problem. Hell I even like the current Nox or Terrain better and would pick any of those choices over this 3 cylinder turd that looks like a cross between a sad Porsche mixed with a Tesla.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    “I did see a few wince-inducing panel gaps; however, the vehicles we drove were either pre-production or early builds, so that’s somewhat understandable.”

    Have no fear. Ford is working O/T to ensure that poor assembly is available for all their customers. And they’re extending that greatness to Lincoln Aviators too.

    As for looks, I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would call this thing “ugly”. It’s just a standard blob, neither better nor worse than the other very average typical crossover pap. I disregard such useless vehicles, while I run in terror and hide from Toyota CH-R’s in light or two-tone colors, or the UX. Now, that’s what hideous looks like. Not this plain wrapper Escape.

    I like a high-mount infotainment screen. That said, this one looks to have a chicken neck, it’s so tall and probably in the way. My new car has a top of the dash mounted screen, and there is no possible combination of driver or seat height sightline that doesn’t place the top of the screen lower than the bottom edge of the windshield from the driver’s seat. So it cannot obstruct forward vision. But then some companies sweat the details and others are run by the philosopher Professor Moonbeam who’s bamboozled the latest Henry.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    In regards to styling, I think Ford kept it as neutral as possible because they are literally going to sell this in all their markets, so their thinking might be neutral is best. Also, with the more rugged Bronco coming out they needed to differentiate more between the two

    I’ve always been an Escape fan, but I’m sure I’ll like the Bronco better

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I imagine the Bronco II will be the true inheritor to the original, more rugged and SUV-looking Escape. This Escape was clearly designed to inoffensively blend in in China, and to not send any Europeans cowering for their safe spaces.

  • avatar
    Fliggin_De_Fluge

    Nissan/Kia-ish. Ford is dropping the ball on the engine choices. First the Explorer now the Escape.

  • avatar

    The Fusion was a looker. This vehicle simply is not.

  • avatar

    I don’t know what all that brouhaha is about, it does not look ugly, it is excuse to continue to buy garbage from Japan. It looks like Porsche. Aren’t you guys anti-Tesla and Porsche fans? In reality front is similar to Fusion just headlights are placed higher than grill which makes it the most affordable Porsche CUV on the market for even less than Lincoln. Would you buy Lincoln or Porsche for less? I thought so.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Bwhahahaha at everyone that sees any hint of Porsche in this design. Clearly we have a poor vision epidemic in this country.

    This Escape represents typical Ford design language…sloppy and hideous. It’s like they took the original design and put it in the oven for a bit and let it melt.

    Saying this thing looks like a Porsche is the same as saying the Fusion looks like an Aston Martin. It’s insulting to the real car brands.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Am I the only one that thinks the taillights look like a 100% ripoff of the 2019 Rav4? Not a bad thing, I actually think the whole car is fairly handsome.

    Now as far as the THREE(!!!) cylinder, yuck, no thanks. What I’ve sampled of the 1.5T 4cyl class is already unrefined enough.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    JUDGMENT. Correct your title!

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Out of curiosity, is there any significant cost savings associated with manufacturing a 3 cylinder over a 4 cylinder with the same displacement? I can understand that there is 1 fewer cylinder bore, connecting pin, piston, rod, but then there’s the addition of the balance gear (I confess to not knowing the proper terminology).

    I know they’re becoming more common since BMW use them in the larger Mini Countryman (Clubman?) and Ford have used them in the 1 litre Focus, Fiesta, EcoSport.

  • avatar

    The headlights don’t look cohesive with the grill. They seen to be unrelated and somewhat incongruous.

    I say get a Fusion before they are gone. The fusion looks a lot better and will be a better overall value.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Considering how the RAV4, CRV, and Forester look, I have no complaints.

  • avatar

    The imports won’t have Ford’s poor build quality.

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