A Look Back: How Far has the Ford Escape Come?

The Ford Escape is a compact SUV that debuted in 2000. As of 2022, the Escape has a total of four generations and now offers gas, hybrid, diesel, and hybrid gas options. The Ford Escape also has the distinction of being the pioneer hybrid SUV back in 2005.

It’s still one of the leading compact SUVs on the market. Let’s take a look at how far the Escape has come in two decades.

2019 to Present

The Ford Escape is now in its fourth generation since debuting over two decades ago in 2000. The Escape has more drivetrain choices than ever before with a total of five. The most powerful pairing on this Escape is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine combined with AWD and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination is good for 250 horsepower. The Escape definitely looks different now versus when it first hit the market. A more streamlined and car-like body marks the Escape’s appearance now with its most recent style refresh.

2016 to 2019

For this model year range, the Ford Escape gained more tech and a reshaped body. The front-end design was completely new and featured a broad upper grille, lower intake, foglights, and redesigned headlights. In terms of new tech, the Ford Escape became the first Ford model in the world to feature SYNC Connect as an available option. This system allows users to check anything about their vehicle from anywhere, including finding where the vehicle is parked.

2012 to 2016

The Ford Escape featured a sleek design for this model year range. It became a true compact crossover with a similar size to the Ford Focus. This Escape was about 10% more aerodynamic than previous model years and it was also 100% made by Ford, which is different from the previous models that were made in collaboration with Mazda. The base engine for this Escape was a 2.5-liter inline-four and it was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

2008 to 2011

Looking back at the Ford Escape made between 2008 and 2011, you’ll see a very different vehicle from the modern Escape. This Ford Escape looked much more like a true SUV versus the car-like crossover style of today. The style here was a more muscular appearance, which made the Escape look rather like a smaller Explorer. At this point in time, the Escape also offered a hybrid version as well as three trim levels for the gas-powered Escape.

2007 to 2008

This Ford Escape marked the beginning of the second generation. It carried over the mini-Explorer look from the first generation, but the interior was totally redesigned. The exterior also featured larger headlights, a new grille, more emphatic wheel arches, and a refreshed rear fascia.

2000 to 2006

The very first generation of the Ford Escape really resembled a miniature Explorer and quickly became quite popular with commuters and the more urban demographic of drivers. It looked like an SUV, but it was much easier to maneuver and park. Unlike the Explorer, the Escape debuted on a unibody platform and offered only two trim levels to start. It came with either 2WD or AWD and offered a choice between a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Looking back at the Ford Escape, you can easily see the evolution of small SUVs to the more carlike styles of modern compact crossovers. The Ford Escape remains a very popular model in Ford’s lineup.

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