Crossover & Midsize

Does the New 2020 Ford Escape Raise the Bar Enough While Losing Cargo Space?

The Ford Escape first made its debut back in 2000. Back then, the compact SUV gave drivers who wanted something bigger than a sedan but smaller than a minivan a whole new option to choose from. To this day, the 2020 Ford Escape continues to be one of the most versatile SUVs on the market.

One of the things that made the Ford Escape so popular was the fact that even though the Escape was considered compact, it still had a surprising amount of interior space. This year, however, the Escape has been redesigned. It now comes equipped with several more features, but it offers a little less interior space than before. So, do the new features help the 2020 Ford Escape to raise the bar enough to allow drivers to ignore the fact that it has a slightly more cramped interior?

The 2020 Ford Escape has a new appearance

The 2020 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid on display at AutoMobility LA
The 2020 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid model | David McNew/Getty Images

This year, the Ford Escape got some much-needed updates to its interior and exterior which helps to give the overall appearance a more sleek and sophisticated look.

The exterior features a rear spoiler and chrome dual exhaust tip that look great next to the sleek black bumper. The black upper surrounded grilled, and side mirrors’ accents help the iconic blue Ford oval stand out more. The Escape comes standard with 17-inch silver-painted steel wheels, but as you move up the trim levels, you can get 18-inch aluminum wheels or 19-inch wheels. No matter which size you choose, the silver-molded front and rear skid plates will help to add a whole new layer of style and durability.

The Escape’s interior has also gotten an upgrade this year as well. The standard model comes equipped with cloth-wrapped seats, a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 4.2-inch infotainment display. The 4.2-inch infotainment display may seem small at first; however, it sits on top of the dash in a “floating design,” which helps it stand out more than other displays do. But if you want a bigger display, the SE trim comes with an 8-inch infotainment display that comes equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the SE Sport trim comes with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster.

Power and performance

When it comes to power, the 2020 Ford Escape offers four different engine options. The Escape comes standard with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine that has Start-Stop Technology and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. If you are looking for a little more power, the Escape also offers a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that also comes with Automatic Start-Stop Technology and is mated to an 8-speed SelectShift transmission. With this engine, the Escape is able to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The other two options are both hybrid engine. The 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 engine is mated to an eCVT transmission and runs on an 88kW electric motor. The other hybrid option is a 2.5-liter plug-in hybrid powertrain that can use either an 110-volt charger or a 240-volt charger.

The changes made to the new 2020 Ford Escape offer one major disadvantage

The 2020 Escape’s new design does offer a more sleek and stylish vehicle. However, because of those changes, the Escape has lost a little bit of interior space. The Escape now only has 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and the hybrid models only offer 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. If you were to fold the seats down flat, you could increase your cargo area up to 65.4 cubic feet in the standard model, but higher trim levels will only increase to 60.8 cubic feet.

However, when it comes to passenger space, the Escape offers plenty of legroom and head space that adults are able to fit comfortably in the back seat.

So, does the new 2020 Ford Escape raise the bar enough while losing cargo space? That answer will vary from driver to driver. However, the Escape does still offer a reasonable amount of cargo space, it just comes up a little bit shorter than some of its competitors. When you take into consideration that you are getting a stylish and efficient vehicle that is packed full of several new features, the cargo space might not seem like such a big deal.