The Ford Escape Will Come as a Three-Row – But You Won’t Like It

I think it’s fair to say that the Ford Escape hasn’t gotten the strongest foothold here in the states. Consumer Reports gave it a horrid review, which is a killer in such a contested and competitive marketplace. The SUV segment is getting flooded with great options, and for Ford to throw something in that cant hang with the likes of the Bronco, Wrangler, CX-5, and so on is a shame. There was some hope for the Ford Escape when we thought we would get the new three-row version…

Is the Ford Escape Popular?

Nope. Motor1 reports that the Ford Escape’s sales numbers were down by 26 percent in 2020 from the previous year. So when rumors circulated that Ford would be making a bigger three-row version of the Escape, many hoped it would do better in that bracket since there is so much demand for three-row SUVs in America. Ford announced that the bigger Escape would not be coming to America and would instead sell in China. 

2021 Ford Escape parked
2021 Ford Escape | Ford

Yep. The three-row crossover will only be sold in China. It is slated to hit the Chinese market by the end of 2022. Motor1 says that the new Escape will be only slightly longer than the current one. It will stay on the C2 platform, which is currently used by many Ford and Lincoln models. Motor1 sources say that the design will be nearly identical to the current model only that the roofline will be slightly boxier, and, of course, it will have two more seats. 

The big Escape was meant to replace the Ford Edge

The Ford Edge is suspected to be discontinued after the run of its current model year, and many believed that this new Escape might replace it in the American market. This is what makes Ford’s decision to run it only in China so strange. The current Escape isn’t good. It is getting destroyed both critically and in the real world. So, I’ll ask again, why then would Ford not try and give it a feature that is wildly successful in the states? 

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The Escape desperately needed saving 

Consumer Reports went in on the Ford Escape. It received a 46/100 on their overall test. The Escape didn’t do well on hardly anything. The overall score on the road test was 73/100, but it looks a lot better than it is. 

The 2020 Ford Escape got a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Although it’s tiny, it is enough to get the Ford Escape to and fro. Although the motor isn’t bad, CR says that around 1500 RPMs, the engine makes a terrible rattling noise. Luckily, the Escape also comes as a 2.0-liter hybrid option that handles the rattle sound issue. 

2020 Ford Escape driving in the desert and there's a mountain
2020 Ford Escape | Ford

CR also notes that the further along they got in their test, the more they realized how cheap and flimsy the interior was. The plastic steering wheel, the door panels, front seats, and silver trim all felt plasticy, cheap, and stiff. 

What’s next for the Escape?

I really don’t know. I would think if it does well in China and the sales keep dropping for the five-seater we have here, then maybe Ford will change their tune and expand the line Stateside. Maybe whenever we get to our post-Covid world, the three-row SUVs won’t be in as high of demand, and the Escape will once again take its place in the sun. Who knows?