The Ford Escape lineup has improved on multiple fronts this year—and not just with the return of the far more fuel-efficient Escape Hybrid.

The other major front of improvement is being proven by third-party tests: safety. The 2020 Escape lineup was rated earlier this month by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick. 

The IIHS confirmed to Green Car Reports that the 2020 Escape Hybrid is covered by these results. 

The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid now has EPA combined ratings of up to 41 mpg (40 mpg with all-wheel drive), with no apparent drivability downside—albeit a premium price compared to other models in the Escape lineup.

The latest version of the Escape, which was introduced this year, “demonstrated a marked improvement in crashworthiness over earlier model years,” according to the safety group. 

While the 2013-2019 Ford Escape earned a “poor” rating for passenger-side small overlap protection, the 2020 Ford Escape improves to the top “good” rating. 

The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid otherwise earns top “good” results in every category of crashworthiness testing. Its standard and optional front crash prevention systems also rate “superior.”

2020 Ford Escape - IIHS testing

2020 Ford Escape - IIHS testing

The Escape earns the top nod when equipped with its available LED headlights—which earn an “acceptable” rating in this category.

Although the Escape Hybrid is a huge improvement, one other rival model remains a step better in the IIHS ranks. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid earns a Top Safety Pick+ rating, with the highest “good” rating for the Adaptive Front Headlight System available on the RAV4 Hybrid Limited. 

The Escape’s results are mostly the same as those for the closely related Lincoln Corsair, although the 2021 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid model and the Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid haven't yet reached the market.