The fourth-gen 2020 Ford Escape took the market by storm with its thorough redesign inside and out. The fourth-gen Escape was now more curvy and angular as well as more fun to drive. With a recent complete overhaul, there are no changes expected in the 2021 Ford Escape when it hits the stores somewhere down this year.

When Ford gave up on its small cars for SUVs and crossovers there was a visible void of nimble and easy daily-drivers in its lineup. To fill the void, Ford completely redesigned its second best-selling product after the F-series, the Escape for 2020, spinning off its fourth-generation. The new 2020 Ford escape debunked its raised-hatchback like stance for a more angular and crossover-ish attire. It now has a sleek profile, new stylish front and rear fascias along with enhanced aerodynamics. It also gets a new and powerful base engine along with revamped suspension and a lighter body. 

Most importantly, it is now more efficient and is also more energetic and fun to drive. The 2020 Escape also brings back the long-lost Escape Hybrid back into its family. In stores right now, the Ford Escape will enter its 2021 model year somewhere towards the end of this year. Since it already underwent a thorough makeover a few months back, the 2021 Ford Escape is most likely to carry over unchanged. We take a quick look down here at what the 2021 Ford Escape could pack in when it finally rolls out towards the end of 2020.

Trims and Prices

The 2021 Ford Escape should carry over its five-layer trim structure which was updated for 2020. Buyers will still get to pick either from S, SE, SE Sport, SEL and Titanium. Standard as FWD, you will also have the liberty of sticking an optional AWD on all trims just like the 2020 Escape. Even the prices of the 2021 Ford Escape wouldn’t see a notable bump over the $25k starting price of the 2020 model

Engine and Transmission

The 2021 Ford Escape shall carry the same engine configurations as its current 2020 model. A standard 18- hp EcoBoost 1.3-liter turbo 3-cylinder and a 250 hp 2.0-liter turbo inline-4, optional with the SEL and Titanium models. A hybrid upgrade on the SE Sport trim with a 2.5-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors and a CVT shall also be available with the 2021 Ford Escape. Importantly, the 2021 Escape is also slated to get a plug-in hybrid model pitched opposite to the recently unveiled Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid.

With either of the engines, the Escape feels to have the right amount of power to carry it all day long. While the standard 3-cylinder offers a mix of efficiency and mild punches, the 250 hp 2.0-liter optional turbo adds a lot more vigor to its character. With the 2.0-liter turbo, the Escape is much quicker and its strong mid-range allows for easy highway passings. Apart from the CVT in th hybrid model, every Escape is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 8-speed auto does shift smoothly but seems a bit hesitant while downshifts.

Models

2021 Ford Escape

2020 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

Base MSRP

$25,000 (est)

$22,105

$25,950

$25,190

Engine

1.5-liter turbo Inline-3

2.4-liter Inline-4

2.5-liter Inline-4

2.5-liter Inline-4

Transmission

8-speed automatic

6-speed manual

 

8-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

180 hp @ 6000 rpm

180 hp @ 6400 rpm

203 hp @ 6600 rpm

187 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

190 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm

175 ft-lbs. @ 3900 rpm

184 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm

186 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

With the optional 250 hp 2.0-liter turbo engine, the Ford Escape certainly has an edge over its rivals in terms of power. It is also one of the best handling and driving cars in its segment. However all the cars here have a similarly powered base engine, let alone the RAV4’s slightly better 203 hp. Not surprising at all, these humble machines are meant for value and practicality than rather being track-hunters.

Fuel Economy and MPG Figures

The thoroughly redesigned fourth-generation Ford Escape not only gained on power, aerodynamics and driveability but also economy. The new smaller 1.3-liter turbo engine is not only powerful but can also shut down a cylinder for better efficiency.As a result, the 2020 fourth-generation Escape churns out 27 mpg in the city, 33 on highway and 30 combined. 

Models

2021 Ford Escape

2020 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

MPG (city)

27

23

26

25

MPG (highway)

33

32

35

31

MPG (combined)

30

26

30

28

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

14.7

13.5

14.5

14.8

Range (city/highway in miles)

396.0/441.0

311.0/400.0

377.0/507.5

370.0/458.8

Jointly with the Toyota RAV4, the Ford Escape shares the top-spot as the most efficient cars in their segment. Both these cars deliver an economy of 30 mpg combined. Thanks to the Escape’s enhanced aerodynamics and RAV4’s efficiency tuned powertrain.

Design and Exterior Highlights

The major highlight of the fourth-gen 2020 Ford Escape was it's completely redesigned exterior silhouette. With recent thorough change, the 2021 Ford Escape should proudly carry forward its refreshed styling and that's only a good thing. No longer orthodoxical boxy characteristics and the fourth-gen Escape is a lot more stylish. 

Compared to the third-gen Escape’s somewhat hatchback on steroids appearance, the fourth-gen Escape has a contemporary crossover flair to it. The new Escape is also 2.4-inches longer and 1.7-inches wider. However, for enhanced aerodynamics, its height has been reduced by 0.2-inches. The new LED headlights are sleek and the rear end is humble and simplistic than ever. Even the overall shape is now more oval with round edges that give it a more updated stance.

Model

2021 Ford Escape

2020 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3299

3300

3370

3541

Length (in.)

180.5

173.0

180.9

179.1

Width (in.)

74.1

73.8

73.0

72.5

Height (in.)

66.1

64.8

67.0

66.2

Ground Clearance (in.)

N/A

8.5

8.4

7.5

Wheelbase (in.)

106.7

103.8

105.9

106.2

Compare it with its rivals and the fourth-gen Escape seems to be pretty much in line with the styling of the Mazda CX-5. While the Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Compass still carry the legendary and powerful design cues of their larger family, the CX-5 and Escape present a contemporary definition of a modern age crossover. 

Interior, Seating and Cargo

Without any major changes, the newly introduced fourth-gen Ford Escape is expected to enter its 2021 model with no interior changes. The 2021 Ford Escape would continue to delight us with its spacious and ergonomic interiors. As with the exteriors, the fourth-gen Ford Escape features a more upscale and trendy interior layout. 

Step inside and you instantly notice the increased spaciousness. Thanks to its revised proportions over the outgoing model. Not as premium as the Mazda CX-5 for sure, but it has a distinctive flavor of the modern age Fords. Contrast theme along with wooden inserts and soft-touch plastics on the dash and door-panels elevate the interior vibe. Power-adjustable and heated front seats are available based on the choice of your trim. A reclining rear bench adds to the comfort factor and gives it an edge over its rivals. x

Models

2021 Ford Escape

2020 Jeep Compass

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Mazda CX-5

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

40.0/57.6/42.4

39.2/56.7/41.8

39.5/57.8/41.0

39.7/57.1/41.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.3/56.0/40.7

38.5/55.1/38.3

39.5/56.4/37.8

39.0/54.8/39.6

Cargo Capacity (cu-fts)

33.5

27.2

37.6

30.9

The seats at both the benches are wide and nicely bolstered and also offer best in class headroom and legroom. Long journeys in the fourth-gen Escape is a very comfortable expedition. Thanks to the new-gen Escape’s revised dimensions that make it stand out in terms of interior space among its rivals. The new grown up Escape not only offers good interior space but also a generous cargo area of 33.5 cu-fts. Only the Toyota RAV4 manages to offer a larger trunk than the Escape with its 37.6 cu-fts of space behind the rear seats.

Infotainment and connectivity

Apart from the overall refresh, what didn’t change in the fourth-gen Escape was Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. However, that's not a complaint and we are quite okay with that. The infotainment system consists of an 8.0-inch floating infotainment screen on the dash. New for the fourth-gen Escape though is a new 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that is available only with the Titanium trim. 

With the recent significant upgrades we are most likely to get the same infotainment setup in the 2021 Ford Escape as well. Though the infotainment gets most of the modern amenities like Apple Carplay and Android Auto, its complex interface makes it difficult to get used to. In terms of intuitiveness and ease of access, its rivals like the Jeep Compass offer better infotainment interfaces.

Safety Features and Ratings

Along with enhanced proportions and presentations, Ford also upgraded the safety packaging of the fourth-gen Escape. Along with numerous standard safety features, the 2020 Ford Escape also brought along Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 plus driver assistance features. The same apparatus is also likely to be carried along in the 2021 Ford Escape. In its fourth generation, the popular crossover further enhanced its safety with an all new platform and better ergonomics. No surprises, it received a Top Safety Pick recognition from IIHS and a 5-star safety rating by NHTSA. Some of its major safety features are listed below:

Highlighted Safety Features:

  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Stability Control
  • Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System
  • Traction Control
  • Rear View Camera
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps
  • AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control)
  • Emergency Braking Preparation
  • Post and pre- Collision Safety System
  • Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags

Verdict

The all new Ford Escape is one of the better “value” oriented cars in the compact-crossover/SUV segment. Right from its versatile engine choices to a modern exterior design and fresh interiors, it checks all the boxes that a crossover in 2020 should. Moreover it is also agile and comfortable, has tons of interior space and top of the line safety features as well. Interestingly, all of this package costs you around $25k, making it a true value for your hard earned money.

Also Read:

Is the Mazda CX-5 still better than the fourth-gen Ford Escape in terms of comfort and driveability?

Hers's why the Toyota RAV4 is the most trustworthy and best-selling compact-crossover in the States.

FAQs

Is the Ford Escape a good car?

The fourth-generation Ford Escape is a very good compact-crossover for sure. It offers all the essentials that one would ideally look for in the segment. It's spacious, efficient, agile and loaded with advanced safety and tech features. Moreover, it now also looks very stylish and is also one of the most practical products in its segment.

What is the difference between 2019 and 2020 Ford Escape?

Compared to the outgoing 2019 model, Ford completely redesigned the 2020 fourth-generation Escape. The new-gen Escape has a refreshed exterior styling with new front and rear ends along with a stretched body. It is also morte spacious and premium on the inside. The 2020 Escape also gets a new standard engine that is more powerful and efficient. Above all, the 2020 Escape is more aerodynamic and fun to drive.