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2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Performance Review


Performance: 8.3

The performance of the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid is similar to that of its gas-only siblings, so you can expect energetic acceleration, a comfortable ride, and fairly sporty handling. Unlike many gas-only and hybrid duos, there is no performance penalty when you opt for the hybrid. Fuel economy estimates from the EPA are not yet available.  

  • "Regardless of which model you choose, all Escapes drive with competence, refinement, and cushy ride quality. … The brake pedal in both gas and hybrid models is reassuringly firm and easy to modulate; the electrically assisted steering is dull in feedback yet welcomingly precise; and body control from the strut front and multilink rear suspension is well-managed around corners for something this compliantly sprung. " -- Car and Driver
  • "Like other 2020 Escapes, the hybrid's chassis feels stiff, which helps contribute to a comfortably firm ride and playful handling characteristics. … We spent most of our time in the default Normal drive mode, figuring that's where the majority of owners will keep their Escapes, and found that it offers good response and generally refined manners from the engine and transmission." -- Autoblog
  • "The Escape Hybrid … proved sprightly: Even with three adults aboard, a front-drive Escape Hybrid tackled moderate inclines with power to spare. Power comes with minimal delay when you press the accelerator, and the SUV feels reasonably punchy at full bore -- closer to the non-hybrid Escape's turbo 2.0-liter engine than its base engine, a turbo 1.5-liter. Transitions between engine and electric power are seldom noticeable, and Ford says electric propulsion is available at speeds as high as 85 mph." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The Escape Hybrid is lively compared to other SUVs of its size, even nonhybrids. In fact, the hybrid version of the Escape is peppier than the gas-only Escape and its standard 1.5-liter engine. Additionally, the hybrid powertrain feels refined, with relatively little drone and smooth transitions between its gas engine and electric motor.

For now, this SUV comes only as a standard hybrid. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor make a combined 198 horsepower. A lithium-ion battery pack and a CVT (a type of automatic transmission) are also standard. Ford plans to add a plug-in hybrid powertrain around spring 2020, which will have an estimated 209 combined horsepower rating.

The EPA has not yet released official ratings for either the hybrid or the plug-in hybrid. According to Ford, the plug-in model will have an all-electric range of 30 miles. Recharging its lithium-ion battery pack should take 10 to 11 hours with a Level 1 charge (household-style outlet), and about 3.5 hours with a Level 2 charge, according to Ford.

  • "Between the reasonable power output and an electric motor's instantaneous response times, the Escape Hybrid moved quite nicely under its own power, with more than enough juice to get around the city and country roads on which we found ourselves." -- Truck Trend
  • "In any of the main three modes the Escape Hybrid feels zippy from a standstill and never has a problem passing slower traffic or keeping up with those going faster. As long as a daily driver isn't annoyingly slow, it's fine to me. And this Escape is far from annoyingly slow. It doesn't feel as fast as the 2.0-liter turbo, but it definitely feels faster than the 1.5, which also isn't slow." -- Autoweek
  • "Integrated with the hybrid system is Ford's new electronic continuously variable transmission, and it does a fine job of keeping the engine in its powerband without causing it to drone, as was the case with so many CVTs in the past. Ford's had four generations to refine its hybrid system, and all that time and effort has clearly paid off. The 2020 Escape hybrid's powertrain impressed us with its sophistication and refined application." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The Escape Hybrid comes standard with front-wheel drive, and it's available with an all-wheel-drive system. This Ford's carlike handling is on par with this SUV's gas-only variants in that it's balanced, smooth, and fairly athletic. The steering has a good weight to it, and the regenerative brakes feel refined.

  • "The 2020 Ford Escape hybrid drives a lot like its traditionally gas-powered siblings, and that's a good thing. We've already told you about how the latest Escape is very car-like, with a playful chassis and a mildly sporty demeanor. The hybrid doesn't change that character in any significant way -- it's no fun-sapping miserly version aimed solely at those trying to save a buck at the pump …" -- Autoblog
  • "In general, the 2020 Ford Escape hybrid drives and rides nearly identically to the other offerings in the lineup, which is largely a compliment. The quality of Kentucky's country roads can fluctuate from incredibly smooth to horribly pockmarked, and the Escape never felt nervous or particularly out of sorts. It's quiet enough over the rough stuff, too, thanks to Ford's work to keep NVH intrusions to a minimum. The suspension components and calibrations remain the same between all Escape variants, and overall body control is excellent." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "On the road, the electrified Escape offers few surprises relative to the gas models. Both the ride quality and driving dynamics are very good as they are in other variants. Even over rougher rural roads, the Escape remained very composed." -- Forbes
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2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

MSRP: $28,265 - $35,050

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