The 2020 model year brings more than the return of a hybrid version to a fully redesigned Ford Escape lineup. It’s also the first time ever that a plug-in hybrid version of the Escape has been offered.
On Friday, our analysts at our partner site CarsDirect reported that a just-out order guide for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid reveals prices for the lineup: The base 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid will start at $34,235, including the $1,095 destination fee.
The Escape Plug-In Hybrid comes with a 14.4-kwh battery pack instead of the 1.1-kwh pack used in the Escape Hybrid. Toyota has shied away so far about listing the battery capacity of its upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4, called the RAV4 Prime, also due to arrive this year.
With that, it’s likely to qualify for an EV tax credit of more than $6,800—meaning that after the tax credit it will cost less than the Escape Hybrid SE, and in the vicinity of a non-hybrid Escape SE. The amount of the credit follows the size of the battery (at $417 per kwh), though sometimes with minor adjustments, and the closest current model is the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which gets $6,712.
Ford has only so far said that the Escape plug-in hybrid will offer more than 30 miles of all-electric plug-in range, while Toyota said that it expects an EPA-rated 39 miles of range.
2020 Ford Escape
One key difference between the two is that the RAV4 Prime, like the RAV4 Hybrid, is this time offered only with all-wheel drive, while the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will be front-wheel-drive only. While there’s no clear winner between the RAV4 and Escape in hybrid forms, the RAV4’s “over the road” hybrid system and separate rear drive motor becomes an advantage in plug-in guise, while a larger battery precludes the mechanical connection to the rear wheels in the Escape Plug-In Hybrid.
That entry price is for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid SE, which comes with a heated driver’s seat, LED headlights and taillights, and a 6.0-inch touchscreen system. The $36,815 SEL model adds fog lamps, roof rails, and a hand-free power tailgate—and the option for a panoramic moonroof and other extras—while the top $40,030 Titanium gets 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio, wireless charging, leather upholstery, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, among other items.
The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid should beat the 2021 RAV4 Prime to market by a few months. The Escape Plug-In Hybrid is anticipated at dealerships in spring 2020, while the RAV4 Prime is expected to reach dealerships in summer 2020.