Official EPA fuel economy ratings have been released for the 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid, and they’re among the best in its class.
The Escape Hybrid achieves 41 mpg combined (44 mpg city, 37 highway) with front wheel drive, or 40 mpg combined (43 mpg city, 37 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.
The current segment leader up until now, the Toyota RAV4, gets 40 mpg combined (41 mpg city, 38 highway), and only comes in all-wheel-drive form. Both models use a two-motor hybrid system employing planetary gears to manage power sources—in the Escape Hybrid’s case it makes 200 horsepower altogether, and in an early drive we found it smooth and responsive. One key difference between these two models is that the RAV4 Hybrid has a third motor powering the rear wheels, whereas the Escape Hybrid uses a mechanical connection to the rear wheels.
The Escape Hybrid might not be the mileage champ for long—or even this model year. With the Escape Hybrid and RAV4 both now at around 40 mpg, the upcoming 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, arriving in the next few months, could end up with a higher number.
Honda has said that, with a version of the i-MMD (two-motor) hybrid system from the Accord Hybrid, it anticipated a 50-percent boost in EPA city fuel economy, which would put its city rating at about 45 mpg—and possibly a tick or two better combined than either of these models.
A plug-in hybrid version of the Escape is also due to arrive in the few months—as is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime. Competition, it seems, is a very good thing.