Compact SUVs like the Ford Escape may be hot sellers these days, but they’re not known for offering great interior space. With the Escape’s complete 2020 redesign, the Blue Oval changed this with more cabin real estate and cargo space, added refinement, and much more tech. Here’s a closer look.
A new platform unlocks more cabin space
The Escape’s all-new underpinnings – it’s the first Ford to ride on the new C2 platform – have unlocked more interior space. Head, leg, knee, shoulder and hip room are all increased from the previous generation, front and rear.
Better still is the addition of a sliding rear bench. Standard across the range, it provides 6in of flexibility to maximize passenger or cargo space. With the seats up, the latter is increased by about 10% over the outgoing model, even if overall cargo space behind the first row is slightly down. Note that Hybrid models have about 10% less cargo space than regular gasoline Escapes.
At the car’s North American launch near the assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky, Ford wasn’t shy in letting us know that the Escape now has more second-row legroom than a Suburban. We had a play with the options and found that it was possible as a six-footer to sit comfortably behind a six-foot driver, even with the rear seat in its furthest-forward position.
Escape’s new seating
The seating position isn’t especially high for an SUV and the seats are very comfortable, right across the range. We were particular fans of the Titanium’s leather seats, which are perforated as one of a number of measures, inside and out, to reduce cabin noise. The materials used for the interior trim are mostly about average for the segment, but we weren’t keen on the oddly patterned and slightly cheap-feeling door trim.
The dashboard design is smart and ergonomically sound, without raising the bar in the design stakes. The obligatory central touchscreen is 8in in diameter and can be paired on the Titanium with a configurable 12.3in digital instrument cluster. One of the latter’s tasks is to communicate the Hybrid’s current source of propulsion and the electrical energy’s share of the total distance traveled. It does this in a clear and gimmick-free way, which we liked very much. A head-up display is optional.
Running changes early in 2020 will add wireless charging and increase the number of USB sockets from two to four.
2020 Ford Escape Interior Colours
The new Escape is keeping the colour palette simple for 2020, offering three interior combinations plus three different seat trim colours.
Interior color combinations:
Dark Earth Gray
Seat trim materials:
ActiveX cloth with mini-perforation
Leather-trimmed cloth with mini-perforation