Plug-in hybrid worth the wait for Crossover Compact SUV
Roseville, Calif.- Ford is now offering lots of diversity when it comes to purchasing the popular Escape.
An SUV with a strong history of success, the Escape arrived in 2020 with a redesign and the addition of a hybrid version.
Ford was also supposed to add a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) last year, but for a variety of reasons that never developed. But we feel the 2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid was worth the wait.
The Escape PHEV has some good things going for it, yet one of them isn’t electric range. It only goes approximately 37 miles before it switches over to the four-cylinder hybrid operation, combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine to propel the SUV.
Yet Ford will point out that 37 miles is a daily work commute for many drivers. And if that’s the case, the Escape PHEV will do just fine. It’s offered in three trim levels (SE, SEL, Titanium) with a starting price of just under $33,000.
Ford did a smart thing, doing a major redesign for the standard, gasoline-powered Escape and its two green vehicles. The hybrid and PHEV versions of the Escape have practically all of the redesign features.
The Escape PHEV has a 14.4-kWh battery, significantly larger than the hybrid’s battery pack. Both are located under the back seat.
The PHEV battery will power up on a Level 2 240-volt charger in around 31/2 hours and 10 to 11 hours when plugged into a conventional 110-volt Level 1 outlet.
The Escape PHEV has a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s paired to a hybrid system with a rechargeable battery that produces 221 horsepower. Available in front-wheel drive only, the PHEV travels an uninspiring 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds.
Every model will be equipped with standard safety features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning and auto high beams, as well as post-collision braking and pedestrian sound alert.
2021 FORD ESCAPE PLUG-IN HYBRID
- Performance: electric motor, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 221 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 38-40 mph
- Price estimate: $32,800 to $38,700
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
Interior & Tech
The PHEV has the same interior makeup as the standard Escape. Improved technology and better materials were installed during the redesign. It has an easy-to-operate 8-inch touchscreen and includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The front seating is solid from a comfort standpoint, offering good leg and head room. Rear occupants aren’t as fortunate because the battery takes away some of the leg room,
However, the rear seats do slide all the back, so passengers should be able to create a comfortable fit that will be appreciated on long drives. The cargo area is 30.7 cubic feet and nearly doubles (60.8 cubic feet) with the 60-40 rear seat folded down.
The 2021 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid should be one more reason to consider the compact crossover SUV.