Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid
Base MSRP: From $28,265
- SE Sport Hybrid – From $28,265
EPA Range: 30 electric miles, 520 total
Battery: 14.4 kWh 360 lithium-ion
Charging Acceptance Rate: 6.6 kW
Reviews of the Ford Escape PHEV
Performance: electric motor, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder 209 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 38-40 mpg
Price estimate: From $28,265
Warranty: 3 years / 36,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Roadside assistance: 5 years/ 60,000 miles
Corrosion warranty: 5 years / unlimited miles
Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid
After a somewhat unsuccessful first attempt, Ford is taking a second crack at offering a hybrid sport utility vehicle.
The all-new 2020 Ford Escape has both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version.
Ford is no stranger to hybrid SUVs. The company was a trailblazer of sorts, offering the first hybrid SUV in 2004. Unfortunately for Ford, the original Escape hybrid never caught on – its best sales year was 21,386 in 2007 – and by 2012 it was gone.
But after sitting out seven model years, once again Ford has the Escape hybrid in its fleet. However, this time the field of “green” compact crossover SUVs is sizable. And add one more rival. Toyota is mimicking Ford by also unveiling a new 2020 model – the Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid.
The Escape PHEV has some good things going for it, but one of them isn’t electric range. It only goes approximately 30 miles before it switches over to the four-cylinder hybrid operation, combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car. The RAV4 PHEV isn’t a lot better, getting 39 miles in electric mode only.
Yet Ford will point out that 30 miles is a daily work commute for some drivers. And if that’s the case, the Escape PHEV will do just fine. It’s offered in three trim levels (SE, SEL, Titanium) with a starting price of around $34,400.
Ford did a smart thing, doing a major redesign for the standard, gasoline-powered 2020 Escape and its two green vehicles. The hybrid and PHEV versions of the Escape have practically all of the redesign features.
Every Escape PHEV model will be equipped with standard safety features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning and auto high beams, as well as post-collision braking and pedestrian sound alert.
The front seating is solid from a comfort standpoint, offering good leg and head room. Rear occupants aren’t as fortunate because the battery takes away some of the leg room, However, the rear seats do slide all the back, so passengers should be able to create a comfortable fit. The cargo area is 30.7 cubic feet and nearly doubles (60.8 cubic feet) with the 60-40 rear seat folded down.
The Escape PHEV has the same interior makeup as the standard 2020 Escape that includes improved technology and better materials. It has an 8-inch touchscreen and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The 2020 Escape has a sportier, sleeker exterior design than previous models, while the interior is larger, courtesy of a wheelbase that’s two inches longer. Gone is the previous choppy ride quality and mediocre fuel economy.
The Escape PHEV has a 14.4-kWh battery, significantly larger than the hybrid’s battery pack. Both are located under the back seat. The PHEV battery will power up on a Level 2 240-volt charger in around 3½ hours and 10 to 11 hours when plugged into a conventional 110-volt Level 1 outlet.
Vehicle Power and Speed
The standard hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack, paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission. The Escape PHEV will have a 209 combined horsepower rating. Available in front-wheel drive only, the Escape PHEV is expected to travel 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, so it’s pretty sluggish from a starting position.
Ford gives the Escape hybrid another shot after ending the first effort more than seven years ago. The Escape plug-in hybrid should be one more reason to consider the compact crossover SUV.