The new generation Ford Escape had a rough start in the United States. The sales of the Kuga’s North American brother were down by 26.1 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 despite the full redesign of the crossover. In October last year, it was also announced the production of the Escape PHEV won’t begin until Ford fixes the battery issues it is having with the Euro-spec model.
Now, it turns out the seven-seat Escape is also not in the plans for a launch in the US. FordAuthority reports the Blue oval company is working on a three-row version of the compact crossover but it will be available only in China. According to preliminary details, the seven-seat model will be launched in the People’s Republic towards the end of this year or in early 2022.
Our source says the vehicle will be slightly longer than the standard Escape and will continue to be based on the C2 platform that’s currently used by a number of Ford and Lincoln products. The design will be almost entirely identical with the only difference between the five- and seven-seat versions being the more boxy roofline. The access to the third row of seats will be aided by the sliding second-row seats.
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Initially, it was believed that a seven-seat Escape could replace the Edge in Ford’s US lineup. The latter is expected to be discontinued after the current model year but apparently, the automaker’s plans have changed. We believe the upcoming high-riding wagon-like Fusion replacement could be positioned as a successor to the Edge, which leaves no room for a three-row Escape in the United States.
At this point, there's no word about whether the Kuga will get a seven-seat version for Europe.
See all of the currently available 3-row SUVs for 2021.