Ford Australia has announced pricing and specification for the new-generation Escape mid-size SUV due in showrooms in the third quarter of this year.
Moving to an automatic-only line-up, the Escape’s cost of entry is now $7000 higher, at $35,990 plus on-road costs for the unnamed range opener.
All variants bar one are motivated by a 183kW/387Nm 2.0-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, which is mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
This combination comes with the choice of front- or all-wheel drive in the mid-range ST-Line and flagship Vignale grades. The sports-focused former returns for the new Mazda CX-5 rival, while the luxury-focused latter is a first for Ford Australia.
The exception to the powertrain rule, of course, is the new ST-Line plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, which mates a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine (running on the Atkinson cycle) with an electric motor. Both drive the front wheels only.
The PHEV’s combined peak power output is 167kW. While maximum system torque is unquoted, we do know its 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery delivers an electric-only driving range of more than 50km. Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 1.5 litres per 100km.
While the battery can be recharged by plugging into a power source, it can also be topped up on the move via regenerative braking. Four PHEV-specific drive modes (EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge) can be switched between.
Standard equipment in the entry-level variant includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, a chrome grille insert, a tailgate spoiler and twin exhaust tailpipes.
Inside, an 8.0-inch touchscreen Sync3 multimedia system, satellite navigation with live traffic, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, DAB+ digital radio, wireless smartphone charging, keyless start and FordPass Connect remote smartphone connectivity feature.
Advanced driver-assist systems extend to autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep and steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, cruise control, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert, tyre pressure monitoring, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.
The ST-Line grade adds lowered sports suspension, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, a sports body kit (bumpers and side skirts), a black grille insert, black roof rails, a large tailgate spoiler, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a flat-bottom steering wheel with red stitching, metal pedals, black interior trim and a black headliner.
The PHEV version also includes a 10-speaker sound system, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and partial leather upholstery.
Justifying its flagship positioning, the Vignale grade goes even further with 19-inch alloy wheels, a unique body kit (including a rear diffuser), adaptive Matrix LED headlights, a hands-free power-operated tailgate, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, heated rear seats (outboard), a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat and park assist, the latter of which can be added to the ST-Line PHEV for $1500.
Speaking of options, a Technology Pack (adaptive Matrix LED headlights and a head-up display) can be added to the entry-level variant for $1000, and so too can a hands-free power-operated tailgate ($1300).
These three features form part of the ST-Line grade’s $2800 ST-Line Pack, which also bundles in heated front seats.
The Vignale grade can upgrade to 20-inch alloy wheels for $500, while prestige paintwork is a $650 option for all variants.
2020 Ford Escape pricing before on-road costs
|Escape EcoBoost FWD||automatic||$35,990|
|Escape ST-Line EcoBoost FWD||automatic||$37,990|
|Escape ST-Line EcoBoost AWD||automatic||$40,990|
|Escape ST-Line PHEV AWD||automatic||$52,940|
|Escape Vignale EcoBoost FWD||automatic||$46,590|
|Escape Vignale EcoBoost AWD||automatic||$49,590|