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2020 Ford Escape Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.5

The redesigned 2020 Ford Escape has a spacious cabin, but it doesn't have the most upscale interior in the segment. There are some soft-touch materials, but many other hard plastic surfaces prevent the Escape's cabin from feeling like one of the best in the class.

Both rows of seats are supportive and comfortable, and even the rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. The Escape's cargo capacity is above average for the class, and there are plenty of standard active safety features. The available SYNC 3 infotainment system is one of the most intuitive systems out there.

  • "… it's easy to take issue with the Escape's hard-plastic door panels, sizeable gaps between the dash and door plastics, and generally uninspired material finishes, even in the top-spec Titanium." -- Car and Driver
  • "Aside from standouts like the Mazda CX-5, compact SUVs are a mixed bag for interior quality, and the Escape follows suit. Lush materials adorn most of the dashboard and doors, but some areas are heavy on dull-looking plastic trim and a few controls feel tentative. Interior quality dives when you get to the backseat, a common cost-cutting move in this class, but space does not." -- Cars.com
  • "Aside from some of the material choices, most other aspects of the experience in the new Escape are quite pleasing." -- Forbes

Seating

The Escape seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Synthetic or genuine leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats.

The Escape's front seats are comfortable, provide decent visibility, and remain supportive even on long drives. The rear seats provide an outstanding amount of space for the class. They can slide fore and aft up to 6 inches, so even tall adults can ride back there without much trouble. However, they still may not be wide enough for three adults to ride comfortably.

  • "The 2020 Escape is roomy inside, particularly in the back seat. The second row slides 6 inches fore and aft, and in its rearmost position, offers a class-leading 40.7 inches of legroom. In the real world, that means a 6-footer will have no problem getting comfortable in the back seat behind another 6-footer in the front." -- Autoblog
  • "We've talked a lot about how the Escape's redesign offers head- and legroom to tall passengers. But the same details that make it comfortable for tall folks will also make it a pleasant ride for the shortest of passengers. The high ceiling and adjustable rear seats mean that parents have more room to maneuver infants in and out of car seats. They'll also have space to move past one car seat to a second on the opposite side of the vehicle." -- Edmunds
  • "Front seats are supportive and comfortable, and we didn't experience any soreness or tiredness after a full day of driving. Heated seats are available on most trim levels, but not even the Platinum gets ventilated seats, optional or otherwise. Where the 2020 Escape's interior really excels is in rear-seat space. Some clever engineering has teased the rear seat to be far more capacious than the outgoing Escape's, improving comfort and reducing claustrophobia for rear passengers. Width across for three passengers is probably tight, but two have more than enough space." -- Truck Trend

Interior Features

The 2020 Escape comes standard with the SYNC system and a 4.2-inch display, a six-speaker audio system, and a USB port. Available features include a panoramic moonroof, single- or dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The standard infotainment system doesn't have many bells or whistles, but the available SYNC 3 system works great. Its touch screen has crisp graphics and is easy to see and reach from the driver's seat. The menu layouts are fairly intuitive, and there are physical buttons for many functions.

The Escape comes standard with a wide array of driver assistance features that work well. The list includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, curve control, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. Ford's MyKey also comes standard, letting you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for other drivers.

Available active safety features include a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, evasive steering assist, lane centering assist, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. The available head-up display is something of a curiosity, however. Instead of being projected on the windshield like in most vehicles, it's a free-standing display on the dash in front of the steering wheel. This is a design choice that some say hinders the display's usefulness.

See 2020 Ford Escape specs »

  • "Ford's steering-wheel controls and driver-information menus still are more cryptic than we'd like, but overall ergonomics are decent, and the optional 8.0-inch central touchscreen infotainment system is highly intuitive and loaded with connectivity options (Ford says additional power outlets and a wireless device-charging pad will be added after launch). Titanium models also feature an optional 6.0-inch head-up display that flips out of the top of the dash, rather than a more conventional setup that projects an image directly onto the windshield. But we didn't find it that useful, given its proximity to the much larger digital gauge cluster." -- Car and Driver
  • "That 8-inch touchscreen comes standard on the SE and up, running Ford's easy-to-use Sync 3, which also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The graphics are crisp, and the menus are easy to navigate. The screen response was quick and accurate. We also appreciate the freestanding volume and tune knobs that are within easy reach of both short and tall drivers." -- Edmunds
  • "The center stack design keeps things simple and intuitive, with a nice balance of touchscreen and physical buttons. An eight-inch touchscreen on the SE trim and above plays the starring roll here." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The Escape has 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 65.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Those are above-average totals for a compact SUV, but it's still well behind the class leaders. A power liftgate and a hands-free power liftgate are available.

The sliding rear seats – an uncommon feature in this class – give you the flexibility to increase cargo capacity while still carrying up to five people. The cargo area is wide and the floor is flat, helping you maximize the available space. There's also a decent amount of small-item storage space in the cabin.

  • "What's more, that rear seat slides fore and aft about six inches, with up to 37.5 cubic feet of space in the cargo area with the seat all the way forward and more legroom than a 2019 Chevrolet Suburban with the seat all the way back. The wide, flat cargo area can also accommodate a surprising amount of stuff – Ford showed off by stuffing six full-size golf bags back there. It wouldn't be hard to take a family of four on a long road trip, something that couldn't be said of the old Escape." -- Truck Trend
  • "Total cargo space is 65.4 cubic feet, which is less than what the Honda CR-V offers, but it's still fully competitive within the segment. The sliding rear row provides 6 inches of adjustability fore and aft, which means that you can choose between full passenger comfort or freeing up more space for cargo and luggage." -- Edmunds
  • "… there's as much as 65.4 cubic-feet of cargo space available. That's far shy of the 76.1 of the Subaru Forester or the 75.8 of the Honda CR-V, which accomplish their numbers with fixed seats, or the outgoing Escape, which had a maximum of 68 cubic feet. At least the 2020 Escape's cargo area is well-shaped and accessible – we saw Ford put four full sets of golf clubs and bags in the back of an Escape, and there was room for more." -- Autoblog
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2020 Ford Escape

MSRP: $24,885 - $36,835

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