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2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Rolls In with EPA Combined 41 MPG, Better Than Toyota RAV4

Sebastian Blanco
Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

From Car and Driver

  • In EPA numbers just released, the 2020 Ford Escape hybrid just edges out the 2020 Toyota RAV4 hybrid's 40 mpg combined.
  • If you're into feathering the gas pedal, the Escape has a built-in EV Coach that should help you get even more miles per gallon.
  • Our recent comparison test of the 2020 Escape hybrid and 2019 RAV4 hybrid goes into more detail about how they stack up against each other.

The 2020 Ford Escape hybrid has earned solid fuel-economy ratings from the EPA. The front-wheel-drive Escape hybrid has been EPA rated with 44 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 41 mpg combined.

Photo credit: FuelEconomy.gov

Ford says that puts the Escape hybrid at the top of the small-SUV class, which is pretty much true unless you spend a lot of time on the highway. For comparison, the hybrid version of the AWD 2020 Toyota RAV4 gets 41 mpg city, 38 highway, and 40 combined. The AWD version of the 2020 Escape hybrid is about as efficient as the front-wheel-drive model, with official EPA fuel-economy numbers coming in at 43 mpg city, 37 on the highway, and 40 combined.

In our own testing, the Escape hybrid did not beat the RAV4 hybrid. The Ford averaged 30 mpg overall and hit 32 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, while the Toyota averaged 32 mpg overall and hit 37 mpg on the highway test.

Photo credit: Michael Simari - Car and Driver

The EPA test procedure is carried out in the same way for each vehicle, and efficiency-minded drivers know that it's not that difficult to improve on the official figures. Ford even added an EV Coach feature to the 2020 Escape hybrid to encourage efficient driving. The coach comes standard on SE Sport and Titanium trim levels (the only trims available for the hybrid model) and uses part of the SUV's 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster to show if the powertrain is running on electric or hybrid power. Fuel-conscious drivers can use this information to change how they are driving so as to keep the SUV in electric mode as long as possible, which lowers fuel use. There's also an Eco drive mode, which automatically changes the vehicle's behavior to conserve fuel.

Take away the hybrid powertrain, though, and things don't look nearly as rosy. The best gas-only 2020 Escape is the 1.5-liter FWD model, which only gets 33 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. That does beat the most fuel-efficient 2019 Escape, though, which was, again, the front-wheel-drive-only model with the 1.5-liter engine. That SUV was good for 30 mpg city/23 highway/27 combined.

Along with the electric motor, the 2.5-liter gas engine used in the new hybrid Escape produces a total of 200 horsepower. The powertrain produces 152 lb-ft of torque when running on the gas engine only.

Details on the efficiency number for the plug-in-hybrid version of the 2020 Escape will be released later.

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