One size does not fit all; picking the right crossover is a matter of balancing wants and needs. Ford offers lots of SUVs of varying sizes and prices, with its three smallest being the EcoSport, Escape, and Edge. Each offers distinct capacities and features, and some are simply better to drive than others. Now that we’ve evaluated and tested the new 2020 Ford Escape, let’s examine it against its smaller and larger siblings to see how they stack up.


Ford is all-in on its EcoBoost turbocharged engine technology, which is standard across nearly its entire range of SUVs. In the base EcoSport, a turbocharged 1.0-liter I-3 engine produces 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, powering the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The EcoSport’s upgrade engine is ironically non-EcoBoost. It’s a 166-hp and 149 lb-ft naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I-4 driving all four wheels through a six-speed automatic.

The 2020 Ford Escape lineup features new and improved engines. The base offering is also an EcoBoost I-3, here a 1.5-liter that makes 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Above that is an EcoBoost 2.0-liter I-4; it bumps power to 250 hp and 280 lb-ft. All-wheel drive comes standard with this engine. Both are linked to an eight-speed automatic. A 2020 Escape Hybrid is also available, with a 2.5-liter I-4 and 1.1 kWh battery combining for 200 hp through a CVT.

Next up is the Edge, in which the base engine is the EcoBoost 2.0-liter I-4 shared with the Escape, as is the eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional. The power-hungry driver’s choice is the Edge ST, which gains a model-specific twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 cranking out 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque.


EcoSport is a misnomer—it’s never quick. We measured an 11.2-second 0-60 and 18.2-second, 76.7 mph quarter mile from the basic I-3, and a 9.9-second 0-60 and 17.4 second, 77.0-mph quarter mile with the I-4. 60-0 braking are 128 and 132 feet, respectively.

By comparison, the Escape is speedy. In the EcoBoost I-3 in front-drive form, 60 arrives in 8.4 seconds with a 16.6-second, 84.5-mph quarter mile behind. The EcoBoost I-4 drops those times to 6.9 seconds 0-60, and 15.3 seconds at 89.3 mph in the quarter. 60-0 stopping distances are 128 for the I-3; 123 feet for the I-4. The Hybrid is the slowest, hitting 60 from a standstill in 8.7 seconds and the quarter mile in 16.7 seconds at 84.7 mph. Perhaps aided by regenerative braking, it stops the best, in 122 feet. Despite the lack of acceleration, we still think that the 2020 Escape Hybrid is the one to choose.

The front-drive EcoBoost I-4 Edge scoots to 60 in 7.6 seconds before a 15.9-second, 89.3-mph quarter mile. Stopping from 60 is accomplished in 129 feet. Of this bunch, the Edge ST sits in its own performance bracket. It launches from 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, then through the quarter in 14.7 seconds at 93.4 mph. Thanks to its larger brakes, stopping from 60 takes 108 feet.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy often has a correlation to power and size, but that’s not always the case. Proof: the EcoSport, which again belies its name with an EPA fuel economy rating of 27/29 mpg city/highway with the 1.0-liter I-3. The larger 2.0-liter I-4 gets 23/29 mpg.

Compare that to the 2020 Escape, in which the 1.5-liter I-3 earns 27/33 mpg with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive drops those by about two mpg. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 is expected to return 23/31 mpg. How does the larger Escape get better economy than the EcoSport? Chalk it up to the eight-speed automatic transmission. Of course, the Escape Hybrid is the most efficient. While official numbers are not yet available, Ford is targeting 40 mpg combined, with up to 550 miles available between fill-ups.

The Edge is the least efficient here, but not by much. The standard EcoBoost 2.0-liter I-4 returns 22/29 mpg. Selecting all-wheel drive drops highway mileage by 1 mpg. The Edge ST is the thirstiest of the bunch, posting 19/26 mpg—if you’re gentle on the throttle.

Cargo Capacity

Size is one thing, but how it’s used can make a huge difference. For example, in the EcoSport, there’s 20.9 cubic feet of capacity behind the second row, which expands to 50 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Those numbers might be reasonable for such a small vehicle, but packaging compromises usability. The load floor isn’t flat, and intrusions from the wheel wells eat up space for larger objects. The side-hinged cargo door is also unusual, and can make accessing the rear tricky.

Cargo room improves in the Escape. Buyers will find 33.5 cubic feet of standard cargo capacity behind the second row, which grows to 65.4 cubic feet with the seats folded. The hybrid battery compromises capacity slightly, reducing volume to 30.7 and 60.8 cubic feet, respectively. Wheel wells protrude into the cargo area a bit, but there’s still a wide flat space between them.

As the largest Ford SUV here, the Edge offers the most space. Behind the second row is 39.2 cubic feet, which grows to 73.4 with the seats folded.


When it comes down to it, price is often the determining factor in a vehicle purchase. The EcoSport starts at $21,090 for the base front-drive I-3 version (for the 2019 model year), up to $28,370 for the all-wheel drive I-4 model.

The 2020 Ford Escape begins at $26,080 for the base EcoBoost I-3, and goes to $34,595 for the range-topping trim before adding options. The Hybrid is offered starting at $29,450.

The 2019-model-year Edge starts at $31,090 for the base EcoBoost 2.0-liter engine and front-wheel drive. At the top is the sporty ST, which begins at $43,450.

MotorTrend’s Take

The EcoSport is compromised. Originally developed for emerging markets, it doesn’t meet the levels of quality and performance we’d recommend for American drivers. Especially given the myriad competitors in the segment, we think there are better compact crossovers to choose.

Redesigned for 2020, the Ford Escape is fairly innocuous. It’s now more car-like than ever, and while it doesn’t have many problem areas (aside from the interior quality we noticed on a few testers), we’re confident it will find widespread popularity—especially with the addition of the hybrid model to the range. For those seeking something more fun, simply wait for the upcoming “Baby Bronco.”

Across our drives of the Edge, we’ve found it to be spacious and comfortable, if not class-leading. It’ll come as no surprise that we were most excited by the Edge ST. The numbers prove the thing can scoot, but it left us wanting more. Ford set the bar high with the Fiesta and Focus ST models, and we don’t feel the Edge ST quite meets the same standard.

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