Eco-conscious people are generally against crossovers and SUVs because these vehicles are in almost all cases heavier than regular cars and therefore need more fuel. With the 2020 Escape Plug-In Hybrid, Ford is now attempting to convince them they can have the best of both worlds – the versatility of an SUV and the efficiency of a car.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy numbers for the electrified compact crossover are in, and they’re rather good. The magical number would have to be 100, as in that’s how much the Escape PHEV returns according to its miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) metric. Compared to its main rival, the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the Blue Oval’s model offers an additional six MPGe.
On the other hand, the Toyota model has a higher electric range by being able to cover 42 miles without sipping any gasoline whereas the Ford won’t go beyond 37 miles running solely on electric juice from the 14.4-kWh battery pack. Nevertheless, it’s still a decent number compared to the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and its 26-mile electric range.
As far as pricing is concerned, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will set you back $33,040 MSRP before incentives whereas the RAV4 Prime is about $5,000 more expensive. Toyota’s electrified compact crossover does have a huge advantage in terms of power, offering a combined output of 302 hp or 81 hp more than the Ford. In addition, the RAV4 Prime is all-wheel-drive-only whereas the Escape PHEV comes exclusively in FWD guise.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid
Ford will sell the Escape PHEV in all trim levels, with the exception of the S and SE Sport. The base price we mentioned is for the SE Plug-In Hybrid, with the SEL Plug-In Hybrid available from $35,620 and the Titanium Plug-In Hybrid from $38,835. All three are configurable on Ford's site.
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100 MPGe! All-New Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid Brings Best-in-Class Fuel Economy
- All-new Ford Escape plug-in hybrid with advanced fourth-generation hybrid technology system rated at class-leading 100 MPGe – 6 MPGe more than Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid
- Ford Escape plug-in offers 37 miles of all-electric driving range – 11 more miles than even Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, with more passenger space and four times the cargo volume behind its second-row seats
- In addition to savings at the pump, Escape plug-in customers can qualify for a federal tax credit plus Escape plug-in starts at under $35,000 MSRP
DEARBORN, Mich., June 8, 2020 – The all-new Ford Escape plug-in hybrid now has a best-in-class EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe and an EPA-estimated 37 miles of all-electric driving range*. Ford Escape plug-in hybrid is rated at 6 MPGe more than Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid.
MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles – including those partially powered by electricity, like Ford Escape plug-in hybrid – to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.
“The original Ford Escape was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the all-new Ford Escape plug-in hybrid represents how far we’ve come in technology and efficiency,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “The all-new Escape plug-in has more power and more passenger space than the Fusion Energi plug-in, as well as four times the cargo volume behind its second-row seats. Escape also has an additional 11 miles of all-electric driving range before it uses a drop of gas.”
Hybrids can serve as a hedge against rising gas prices. The Escape plug-in hybrid is available as gas prices are expected to rise, according to AAA, following the easing of stay-at-home mandates across the country. As consumers begin returning to work and taking weekend trips, demand for gasoline is expected to spike from the decades-low prices of the past two months.
Whether gas is $1.87 a gallon like today or $2.87 a gallon like this time last year, Escape plug-in hybrid is suited for both, with an electric-only range of 37 miles and an EPA-estimated 41 miles per gallon combined when running strictly on the gas hybrid powertrain.
“The economic and environmental impacts of this virus have created a roller coaster for consumers looking to balance value, need and efficiency going forward,” Thai-Tang said. “Ford Escape plug-in hybrid is that ideal balance our customers want.”
In addition to savings at the pump, Escape plug-in starts at under $35,000 MSRP and customers can qualify for a federal tax credit.
The class-leading fuel economy of the Escape plug-in hybrid is part of Ford’s investment of more than $11.5 billion in electrification. This Escape features Ford’s innovative fourth-generation hybrid propulsion system, which includes an all-new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission. The plug-in hybrid system is available on every Escape trim level except S and SE Sport.
Escape plug-in hybrid has plenty of room for passengers and cargo thanks to the smart placement of its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery below the second-row seats, rather than occupying a significant portion of the cargo area.
Escape plug-in hybrid has a Level 1/Level 2 AC charging port. Using a 110-volt Level 1 charge, the estimated time to fully charge the battery is 10 to 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charge, charge time drops to roughly 3.3 hours.
Hybrid models feature four modes that allow customers to select the setting most suitable for their individual needs. This means:
- In Auto EV mode, the vehicle decides whether to run on gas or electric power
- In EV Now mode, drivers can operate on all-electric power
- In EV Later mode, drivers can switch to full gas-powered driving to conserve electric miles for later
- In all-new EV Charge mode, drivers can continue to charge the battery while driving and generate electric-only miles to use later
Escape comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360™ and offers available Ford Co-Pilot360™ Assist features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist, and a voice-activated navigation system with SiriusXM™ Traffic and Travel Link. Also available is the class-exclusive Active Park Assist 2.0.