What’s the Biggest Difference Between the New Ford Edge and Escape?

Ford has a lot of choices in their lineup, but the Edge and Escape account for most of their sales. The Ford Edge got a big facelift in 2019 and hasn’t changed much for 2020, while the Ford Escape is pretty much all-new for 2020 – and looks more like a car than a sport-ute. Ford shocked the auto world a couple of years ago when they announced they were stopping production on all sedans for the US market except for the Fusion (the Mustang is a coupe).

How to tell one from the other in a couple of rides that are almost the same thing? Here are the biggest differences.

Powertrain and fuel economy

A Ford Edge model car is on display at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show
The Ford Edge | Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Ford Escape comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder in all- or front-wheel drive. Boost it up to 2.0 liters, and you get 250 hp instead of 180 hp and all-wheel drive. Are hybrids your thing? Escape hybrid models zoom up to a 2.5-liter engine with an inline four-cylinder – again with your choice of drivetrain.

There’s also a plug-in hybrid model that looks like it’s going to get about 30 miles of range before it starts sipping gas. Average MPG for a non-hybrid should clock in at about 30 MPG, but you’ll lose one or two MPG with all-wheel-drive models.

All Ford Edge models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. All-wheel drive is an option on all Edge models. The top-of-the-line ST gets a 2.7-liter turbo V6 engine. ST models also have all-wheel drive as the standard. The Ford Edge is a little larger than the Escape and has lower fuel economy – about 24 Mpg on average.

How the Ford Edge and Escape match up in tech

Both Ford Edge and Escape models come with Ford CoPilot 360 – Ford’s suite of driver assistance programs. These are CoPilot’s core safety technologies. 

  • A driver monitoring system that tracks driver for inattention or drowsiness
  • A reverse camera
  • Auto high-beams
  • Blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert
  • Auto emergency braking sensor for pedestrians
  • Lane assistance – both a warning and steering input 

The Ford Escape has a few more smart bells and whistles – an 8-inch touchscreen is standard and a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument is available on some models. Ford is migrating the latest tech to their entire lineup, so expect future Edge models to have the whiz-bang stuff.

Which is bigger – the Ford Edge or Ford Escape?

Escape wins the beauty contest hands-down – it’s a complete redesign for 2020, and everybody likes what’s new. On the other hand, some sport-ute aficionados don’t care for the looks of the new Escape; it looks too much like a car for their tastes. The old shoebox Escape has been replaced by a softer, rounder body style that looks more like a Volvo V60 or Mazda CX-5.

The Ford Edge looks a lot like it did when it debuted 10 years ago – still sort of round, but from some angles, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a Lexus 250h. That’s not a bad thing. The ST Premium version has special trims and bodywork so you’ll look pretty snazzy in the carpool line. The Ford Edge has also added some nifty new colors to the stable.

Size does matter; the Ford Edge is bigger all around, and the inside doesn’t disappoint. There are 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up, and a whopping 73.4 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded flat.

Ford has an SUV for everybody in their lineup, and the Edge or Escape would suit just about anybody.