Ford’s new Escape is the first Ford of any kind to be sold in Australia with any form of electrification.

Ford is working hard at reducing future vehicle emissions in many ways. Among these
will be the addition of electric power to all models, in the form of standard and
plug-in petrol/electric hybrids — as well as pure electric EVs.

The front-wheel drive Escape PHEV comes only in the ST-Line spec level, priced at $53,440 plus on-road costs.

In comparison, the petrol-only ST-Line sells for $38,490


Ford Escape has a sensible shape that looks attractive without losing interior and luggage
space by having a semi-coupe shape at the rear. This makes it relatively unusual in this

The front is big and bold with a large grille and headlights that run almost halfway to the
windscreen. The lower edge of the window line sloops up to meet the down sloop of the
upper edge.


The seats on our test Escape ST-Line were in a soft looking black colour with red stitching
that gives a real upmarket feeling.

Versatility is good as the second row of seats can be moved forwards or backwards to
juggle between legroom and boot space.

Wireless charging is standard in all Escapes, so compatible devices are ready to go at all

The advanced 10-speaker, 575-watt set-up has been specifically developed and fine-
tuned for the Escape ST-Line Plug-In Hybrid & Escape Vignale by specialist B&O sound

A powerful set up lets you hear music as it’s meant to be heard. We certainly enjoyed this
during our 447-kilometre week in the Escape Plug-In Hybrid.

However, there’s the common problem of loss of signal on the radio when the landscape
and buildings get between you and a direct signal.


Escape PHEV is powered by a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated 167kW petrol engine driving
through what Ford calls an eCVT automatic. There’s also a lithium-ion battery and electric
motor. These combine to drive the front wheels. When driven solely in EV mode you can
expect a range of about 50 to 55 kilometres.


Every Escape model features Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and
cyclist detection. Always scanning ahead, it alerts the driver of potential collisions and
applies the brakes if an unexpected danger appears in front of the car.

The SYNC3 system works if you’re in a crash that activates the airbags or shuts the fuel
pump off, Emergency Assistance uses your paired smartphone to dial emergency services
and provide them with your GPS location.


Escape PHEV can be driven as a pure electric (EV Now) or as a conventional
petrol/electric hybrid (EV Auto).

The Ford Escape comes with five selectable drive modes to suit varying conditions –
normal, eco, sport, slippery deep snow/sand and trail.

The head-up display projects key information into the driver’s field of vision, so they can
keep their eyes on the road with a minimum of head movement.

The system in the Escape is far better than that in many other marques because you don’t
need to turn your head if you’re wearing polarising sunglasses.

The 12.3-inch digital cluster reduces distraction by displaying only the information you
need. You can change between unique colour themes according to which drive mode you
have selected.

The new platform, tagged as C2, means the latest Ford Focus is up to 90 kg lighter than
the previous model. The platform provides increased rigidity as well as noise, vibration,
harshness improvements.


Ford Escape PHEV is an impressive piece of modern automotive technology. It’s
enjoyable to drive, even more so with the instant action when you use the accelerator. The
price is a killer and the sooner our various Australian governments do something to assist
buyers the better.


Looks: 8/10
Performance: 9/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 9/10
Practicality: 8 /10
Comfort: 8/10
Value: 6/10



Ford Escape FWD (P)
2.0 Escape FWD: $36,490
2.0 ST-Line FWD: $38,490
2.5 ST-Line PHEV FWD: $53,440
2.0 Vignale FWD: $47,090
2.0 ST-Line AWD: $41,490
2.0 Vignale AWD: $50,090
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Ford dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Ford Escape PHEV ST-Line 2.5-litre / battery plug-in hybrid five-door

Capacity: 2.488 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 167 kW @ 6250 rpm
Maximum Torque: 210 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 1.5 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 33 g/km

DRIVELINE: Continuously variable transmission

Length: 4620 mm
Wheelbase: 2710 mm
Width: 1883 mm
Height: 1742 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1843 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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