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More tech, more power and new hybrid for Ford Escape

Ford’s latest Escape mid-sized SUV to be brand’s first locally offered hybrid

25 Feb 2020


FORD Australia has ripped the covers off and announced the pricing of its all-new Escape mid-sized SUV, now priced from $35,990 plus on-road costs and featuring the Blue Oval’s first locally offered hybrid powertrain.


Being an all-new model, Ford has taken the opportunity to completely rewrite the Escape’s variant line-up both in name and powertrains, with only the single ST-Line nameplate being carried over from the outgoing model while the number of engines available has been trimmed from three to two.


All variants – apart from the single mid-range PHEV variant – will now be powered by the familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine which now produces 183kW of power and 387Nm of torque, driving either the front or all four wheels via a new eight-speed automatic transmission.


The base model, now known simple as Escape, will kick off the new line-up priced from $35,990 plus on-roads and will be available exclusively in front-wheel-drive guise, riding on 18-inch alloy wheels with an integrated rear spoiler and twin exhaust tips adding a whiff of sportiness.


Standard equipment on the base model includes a FordPass Connect embedded modem with FordPass App compatibility, push-button start, wireless smartphone charging, DAB+ radio, Sync 3 multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice-recognition, sat-nav with Traffic Management System, 8.0-inch full-colour touchscreen, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and power windows.


Safety tech has also taken a step up across the range, with Ford offering what it calls a “comprehensive standard Driver Assist Technology suite” made up of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, evasive steering assist, forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, traffic sign recognition, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver impairment monitor, tyre pressure monitor, emergency assistance and cruise control with adjustable speed limiter.


Above the Escape is the ST-Line which unlike its lesser counterpart, will be available in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations, priced from $37,990 and $40,990 respectively.


As with the previous model, the new ST-Line is the athlete of the of the range, riding on unique 18-inch alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension while also flaunting a unique sports body kit, bigger rear spoiler and black ascents inside and out.


In the cabin, the aura of sportiness is continued by a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with red stitching, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and metallic pedals.


Despite being sportier than the base Escape, the ST-Line does not add any extra equipment unless customers opt for the optional ST-Line Pack which adds a hands-free power tailgate, heated front seats and the optional technology pack from the base model (Matrix glare-free headlights with adaptive lighting and head-up display).


Sharing the same sporting underpinnings as the ST-Line but adding in hybrid power and a few extra goodies is the ST-Line PHEV, Ford’s first locally offered hybrid powertrain.


Priced from $52,940, the ST-Line PHEV is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine paired with an electric motor, generator and 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery to produce a combined power output of 167kW, all of which is fed to the road by the front wheels.


Ford claims the system will return a combined fuel economy of just 1.5 litres per 100km and can be driven “in excess of 50km” in full electric mode.


As with most modern hybrids the system features regenerative braking to recharge the battery on the move with drivers able to choose from four drive modes depending on the environment and their own preferences – EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge.


Compared to the non-hybrid ST-Line, the PHEV adds a few extra niceties including partial leather trim, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and a 10-speaker premium audio system.


Sitting at the top of the new Escape line-up is the Vignale which will come in both FWD ($46,590) and AWD ($49,590) guises, replacing the previously AWD-only Titanium.


Riding on unique 19-inch alloy wheels and featuring glare-free, self-levelling dynamic LED headlights, the Vignale replaces the ST-Line’s black accents and sports body kit with a unique chrome front fascia and rear diffuser.


For the extra outlay over its more athletic sibling, the flagship Escape adds advanced keyless entry, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather accented seating, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, panoramic sunroof, head-up display, hands-free power tailgate, 180-degree reversing camera and advanced automated park assist all as standard.


Due to arrive in showrooms from the third quarter of this year, Ford Australia and New Zealand president and chief executive Kay Hart said the new Escape, as well as the incoming Puma small SUV, would offer Australian customers cars with unique identities that stood apart from the crowd.


“Escape and Puma are also distinguished by advanced safety and Driver Assistance Technology, including FordPass Connect, paired with effortless style, simplicity and practicality,” she said.


Last year Ford Australia sold 3326 Escapes nationally, 1438 less than it managed in 2018 (-30.2 per cent).


So far this year ending January there have been 235 Escape deliveries, accounting for just 1.9 per cent of the sub-$60,000 medium SUV segment – 210 units down on the same time last year.


2020 Ford Escape pricing*

Escape (a) $35,990
Escape ST-Line (a) $37,990
Escape ST-Line AWD (a) $40,990
Escape ST-Line PHEV (a) $52,940
Escape Vignale (a) $46,590
Escape Vignale AWD (a) $49,590

*Excludes on-road costs

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