Introduced in 2000, the Escape model was another joint project between USA’s most European style automaker, Ford, and JDM’s well-known car maker, Mazda. This was not the first time the two opposite companies worked to gather on the same page. The cooperation dates back to the 1970s Ford Courier/Mazda B Series.
First generation Ford Escape was sold in Europe and China as Ford Maverik. The Inline-4 engines was provided by Mazda and the more powerful optional V6 was provided from Ford. Mazda was also responsible for Escape’s sales in other global markets than the North America and sole the first generation Ford Escapes as Mazda Tribute. The model entered Ford’s luxury lineup as Mercury Mariner sold in North America.
Throughout time and in some other markets around the globe, Ford Escape was called Ford Kuga as well. The two Escape and Kuga models are literally the very same rebadged vehicles for different powertrains and some small touches. This is based on Ford’s “one Ford” global plan. This plan dictated that there should be only one Ford model per segment internationally.
Ford Escape is now on production for its fourth generation model since early 2020 and shares a lot with its luxury brother, Lincoln Corsair, including the Ford C2 platform.
The new generation Ford Escape is slicker, more aerodynamic and 200 pounds lighter due to more extensive use of high-strength steel. But it is necessary to mention that the Ford Escape is like no other real American cars as Ford is now a long period of time into taking European design ques instead of American. There is no wonder why Ford is more popular in Europe than the other two American car makers.
There are nine different trim levels along four different engine-transmission combinations for Ford Escape offered in the USA. Two EcoBoost Turbocharged gasoline engines, one 1.5L Inline-3 rated at 180 hp and 177 lb.ft and another one is a 2.0L Inline-4 rated at 250 hp and 275 lb.ft.
Two hybrid trims are available one conventional gas-electric hybrid and one new gas-electric plug-in hybrid.the hybrid version Ford Escapes use the 2.5L Atkinson Cycle gasoline engine which in conventional hybrid total horsepower is rated at 198 but in the plug-in hybrid version it is 209. It took Ford one full generation (the third generation) to offer hybrid version for the Escape model again as the previous generation did not offer any hybrid models.
Transmission choices are two automatics. One is an 8 speed Ford’s 8FM and the other one is a CVT. The CVT automatic is only offered on hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. Added options to better the fuel economy, the AWD Disconnect system is also available to disengage the rear differential when not needed to further reduce drag and fuel consumption.
Towing capacity for hybrid versions are close to 1500 pounds, 2000 pounds for the 1.5L turbo versions and the maximum towing capability is rated at 3500 pounds for the 2.0L EcoBoost version.
Ford Escape is USA’s fifteenth best-selling vehicle and Ford’s third best-selling vehicle in the first quarter of 2020. It is also “IIHS Top Safety Pick” due to high rankings received from various crash and safety tests. No matter what, the Escape model is popular among people as one capable, low emission compact crossover offered by Ford.
The retail price ratings for Ford Escape offered in USA starts at 24,885 USD for the base S trim and reaches high as 38,835 USD for top trim level Titanium Plug-In Hybrid.