2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid Gets Estimated 37 Mile Battery Range

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 9, 2020

The all-new Ford Escape ushers in a host of changes for the popular compact SUV, but the most prominent addition is a new plug-in hybrid powertrain. Plug-in hybrid SUVs have become popular recently and Ford’s new option is gunning straight for the top of the heap with best-in-class fuel economy and an impressive all-electric range.

Ford recently announced that the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will have an all-electric fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe and an EPA-estimated electric driving range of 37 miles. The SUV is fitted with a 14.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. These are impressive figures for the compact SUV segment and line up very well against the Toyota RAV4 Prime – the Escape Plug-In Hybrid’s main rival. Toyota’s option has a 94 MPGe rating, can travel up to 39 miles on electricity, and comes with a 17.8-kWh battery pack. It’s important to note that the EPA hasn’t released its official figures for either vehicle yet.

Another key area where the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will have an advantage over the RAV4 Prime is when it comes to pricing. An early order guide revealed that the compact SUV will start at $34,235 (including destination). That makes it roughly $8,105 more than the standard Escape and approximately $4,725 more than the Escape Hybrid. Compared to the RAV4 Prime, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will be $4,895 more affordable, as Toyota has priced its SUV at $39,220.

A $5,000 difference between the Escape Hybrid and Escape Plug-In Hybrid seems like a big difference on paper, but that's before you take the federal tax credit and any local incentives into account. Because of the size of the Escape Plug-In Hybrid's battery pack, it should be eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit. If you're eligible for the full amount federal tax credit amount and any local incentives that may be available in your area, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid could actually be much cheaper than the hybrid model and a better deal for the majority of consumers.

Ford Escape

When it comes to performance, the RAV4 Prime is expected to offer more punch than the Escape Plug-In Hybrid, though Ford hasn’t released official figures for its compact SUV yet. Autoblog claims the Escape’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor will be rated at 200 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard on Ford’s SUV, too. The RAV4 Prime’s powertrain is good for 302 hp and comes with all-wheel drive. Based on the horsepower figure and powertrain, it looks like Ford designed the Escape Plug-In Hybrid to be efficient, while Toyota focused on performance.

If you’re looking for an affordable SUV with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, you have a few options to choose from, though a couple belong to the subcompact segment. There’s the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ($36,295), Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid ($35,145), and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid ($29,490). Besides the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid remains one of the more affordable options. It also has one of the longest all-electric ranges, as the Outlander PHEV (22 miles), Crosstrek Hybrid (17 miles), and Niro Plug-In Hybrid (26 mpg) can’t travel nearly as far. Neither of those options can match the Escape Plug-In Hybrid’s MPGe figure either, though the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (105 MPGe) gets close.

If Ford follows through with the Escape Plug-In Hybrid’s figures, the compact SUV will be a heck of a good deal – and not just for the class. It will even compete with plug-in hybrid sedans like the Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and Kia Optima PHEV when it comes to value.

While Ford didn’t officially state when the Escape Plug-In Hybrid would go on sale, we expect the SUV to arrive at dealerships before the end of the year. When it goes on sale, the plug-in hybrid powertrain will be available in every Escape trim except the S and SE Sport.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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